Mummy Bloggers are fast becoming an important social media partner for many brands as marketing teams look beyond conventional channels to communicate with their market.
Garofalo pasta launched in the UK last Autumn and currently sells through Ocado and independent deli’s nationwide. Whilst the brand is a best-seller in continental Europe, it has only a niche presence in the UK, which it is working hard to expand and is developing a loyal following from a growing band of premium pasta gourmets.
As part of the drive to increase brand awareness, Garofalo in the UK has been working with foodie and mummy bloggers to encourage trial and to use the power of the blog and word of mouth, to support trade and consumer marketing and PR.
Mal Pullan, Managing Director of Garofalo UK is very positive about engaging with the blogging community and cites the success the brand has enjoyed in Italy as an indication of what he hopes will generate similar success here in the UK: “In Italy Garofalo has been engaging with food bloggers for the past 12 months or so, encouraging bloggers to post and share their recipes on the Garofalo website and also running a bloggers competition. The results have been excellent and a significant number of bloggers now post regularly on facebook with people from all over the world sharing their favourite recipes.”
The pasta market in the UK differs from that in Italy where consumers are very selective about their brand of choice. In the UK, by comparison, the majority of consumers buy on price and see pasta as a convenience food often to partner with a jar of ready-made sauce, for a quick mid-week supper. As a premium pasta brand, Garofalo is working hard to encourage consumers to recognise the better quality and taste their product offers. Developing a database of bloggers who are keen to sample the brand and post their views gives Garofalo a highly cost-effective channel to extend brand awareness and encourage more consumers to actively seek out their brand.
Pullan comments: “The decision to co-sponsor the first Mummy Blogger conference was borne out of the knowledge that this blogging community is becoming increasingly recognised for its influence across a wide range of subjects and food is one of them. We wanted to support the first CyberMummy conference to reach an audience of women who we believe could become great ambassadors for our brand. We intend to build on this involvement to support our marketing activities in the UK and are actively looking for similar opportunities.”
According to one of the CyberMummy organisers, Susanna Scott, the number of parent bloggers in the UK rose from 200 to 1,400 in the past year. American research company Nielsen, estimates that US advertising spend on social networking and blogging sites climbed to $108m in 2009, an increase of $59m on the previous year.