I have an interesting view of mommy blogging because I started blogging in 2001 as a mommy before there were 'mommy bloggers.' While early blogging was therapeutic, the best thing I got from the experience were a gaggle of great friends I still have today. And what I will always have from the experience are great memories.
REMEMBERING THE CAR-VAN
Back in 2007, Dodge ran a campaign to get mom bloggers into their new 2008 Dodge Grand Caravans, and I was lucky enough to be one of the few moms to plop my then-9-year-old and her friends into the coolest van on the planet for a week (she remembers it as a month) for free courtesy of Dodge and Matchstick Marketing, which named me one of Atlanta's 50 most influential women bloggers. [shut up and stop giggling; I clean up nice.]
No I am not kidding, someone actually brought me a luxury vehicle and put it in my driveway free of charge AND the next day the car started by itself (back in the day when I didn't know anyone who had a car that started by itself or who had satellite radio).
We LOVED having that van. I blogged the experience not because they told me to or required it, but because it was so much fun taking preteen girls around town as they sat at the table in the back and squeeled with delight that I had to write about it.
I am laughing out loud just now remembering how Jenna kept pronouncing it as "car-van" instead of Carivan.
SO WHAT DID DODGE GET OUT OF IT?
In using our experience for their early social media marketing efforts, Dodge didn't convert a sale; they didn't gain a spokesperson. Nor did they make me famous or give me money.
They did something way smarter - they gave my family a memory.
They gave an ordinary mom a cape and made her a super hero and she didn't forget.
They gave an ordinary kid a ride through time she never forgot.
And they made that 9-year-old a fan before she even knew enough about cars to care.
CUT TO 2011...
Even though the video is still on YouTube, it was four years ago. Next year she-who-loved-the-car-van-most-of-all will be driving.
This passage of time is most interesting of all because:
1) I am still driving my same old car I was then. It's turning 10 years old.
2) I am looking to buy a car next week.
3) After scouring car lot after car lot, sitting in Infinities and Flexes and Sequoias and Explorers and Elements and more, I still hadn't found "the" car as of yesterday.
4) Jenna came car shopping with me yesterday, saw the Grand Caravan from a distance among hundreds of other cars, and ran to it like an old lost favorite blankie -- she peered in the tinted windows and yelled: THIS IS IT! THIS IS THE 2008 DODGE CARAVAN WE DROVE FOR A MONTH!
5) I said, no, a week, not a month. She said, YES it was a MONTH, and according to her imaginary wish clock it was. And she was sure it might even be the same van, even though I'm pretty sure it wasn't.
7) I am going to test-drive it (re-test-drive-it?). I half expect to see old McDonalds fries she left under the seat.
8) I am really considering buying it.
DECONSTRUCTING SOCIAL MEDIA PROMOTION
I have learned several things:
It felt great to be valued.
It felt even better to be shown value.
Mommy bloggers, they never really wanted you - they came for your babies.
If you want a customer later, make a memory with them now.