What to Know When Marketing To Parents with Lindsay Pinchuk


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Mom Knows Best

Marketing to parents is as robust and complex a market as any other in the age of social media of influencers. Parents of today are smarter than ever and weary of pitches being sold to them. How then do brands find meaningful ways to connect with parents beyond just making a sale but actually earning their trust?

Recently, our CEO, Stacy Jones sat down with the founder of Bump Club, a community for parents and expecting parents to discuss how the organization started and built relationships with brands as large as Target. In this blog, Hollywood Branded examines various forms of social media marketing and helpful tips on how to best market to parents from the expertise of the founder of Bump Club, Lindsay Pinchuk.


A Little More About Lindsay

Lindsay Pinchuk is the founder of Bump Club and Beyond, a digital platform that for over the last decade has connected parents with the best products, resources, information, and each other. For nearly 10 years prior to BCB, Lindsay worked in publishing, advertising, and marketing at Hearst, MTV, Tribune in Time. For brands including Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Sports Illustrated, the Chicago Tribune and Nickelodeon.

What started as a community among moms in Chicago with BCB, grew into a national company, reaching over half a million parents and parents to be, which was acquired last year by Advantage Marketing Solutions. BCB has worked with almost every brand in the baby industry and has created and executed custom activations for Target, Nordstrom, The Honest Company, Seventh Generation, Ulta and many others.

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Interview Transcript Highlights

Question: Can you just gave us a glimpse of how you started your business?

Answer: Honestly, when I started it and as I built it, it's really been to fit the bill for myself. I wanted community and support when I was pregnant and so really that's how it started. Even as I have a nine-year-old now, we're addressing topics for grade schoolers now. So it's really grown with me as a parent and with me and my peers in mind. As hard as I work and as hard as my team works, it's almost like it's not work, because it really is something I'm passionate about. I think I just want to make parenthood a better place for parents and parents to be. And I really hope that we do that. I do think that we do, so that's ultimately the goal.


Question: How much was this driven by your background? I know you've been very part of marketing and advertising for quite a bit of your career.

Answer: It's interesting, because there are two folds here. Part of it was that I was pregnant and wanted support and community. At the same time, I also was being marketed to on multiple times a day. Expecting moms are a marketer's dream because they're looking to purchase so many new items. They are vulnerable, they're in this new life stage that they really don't know anything about, especially if they're a first time parent. And I felt I was being thrown messages left right and center. It was really hard to decipher what was good and what wasn't good and what I could trust and what I couldn't trust. So a lot of my decision to do that was not just for the community and the support, but also to build this trusted resource that I could count on and my peers could count on as well.

As we moved into the first couple of events that we hosted here in Chicago, my background played a huge role in it because I was reaching out to companies that I was reaching out blindly, but that was my job previously. Actually at the time I was starting the company and working in publishing still, but I was also selling these multi-platform programs to Fortune 100 companies and I had no shame in calling up a bought out brand and saying, "This is what we're doing. Would you like to get on board?" And so a lot of what we did, especially in the beginning and really as we've grown does play off my background in marketing and advertising and my master's degree in integrated marketing communication. So that all really played a role in how this got started. And I often joke that really I didn't utilize my master's degree until I started my own company.

Question: So your company really has two different separate offerings. You have the online world, and then you have a whole opportunity of event activations, where you work with some of the largest retailers in the world to help them better get in front of parents. Do I have that right?

Answer: Yeah, when I started this, it was really only events. You have to remember too, Bump Club has seen a lot, and so have I by way of social media and marketing and transitions. When I started Bump Club, businesses didn't have business Facebook pages, there wasn't such a thing. And it was me putting this out on my personal Facebook page and sending an email. Instagram didn't exist, Snapchat didn't exist. TikTok was not even probably a thought at that point. So things were very different then than they are now. So yeah, so when I first started this was really events only. And it was to build in-person relationships. Partially because I felt like I didn't want only online relationships when I was pregnant and then had my baby. And I wanted to meet women and men who my family could forge friendships with and our kids could forge friendships with. And that happened, and that still does happen at Bump Club.

But obviously as we've grown, word has spread and we've been working with some of the largest brands in the country. The word has gotten out and people want what we're offering and being a lean team and being a small business up until we were acquired last year, I didn't have a team to be executing events on a regular basis in hundreds and hundreds of cities across the country. So it was only natural that as social media platforms grew and the ability to reach more people in a short amount of time grew that we adapted to not only hosting events in person, but also to sharing the information that we're trusted for and the resources that we're known for in an online arena as well.  Obviously social media has played a huge role in allowing us to do that.


Question: When you started Bump Club, you were pregnant and your business was focused on babies and it's not anymore. Your children, you have two, you said a nine- and a six-year-old, your business has continued growing and it's kind of following the footsteps of you as a parent of what you're learning, what you're encountering and you're evolving your company to keep up with what parents who started with you even back when you started this company are experiencing on a day-to-day basis. So how does that impact you? How does that change as a business? Because it's not just, "Oh, today we're always this, in five years we're always this too."

Answer: We've always had to change, right? To embrace different technologies and social media and whatnot, and also to change with the different mentalities of consumerism and parenting has changed a lot in the last 10 years. We've had to make significant changes to adapt to that as well. But to your point, as our audience has grown, one of the mistakes I think that we did make was that we didn't continue growing with our audience early on as much as I wanted to. And that was more of a bandwidth issue. That was not because I didn't want to, I just didn't have the capacity to do it. And you know, the heart and soul of our business is expecting new and toddler parents.

But as my kids have grown, like you said, I have had different needs and my peers have had different needs. And we have also seen a lot of our initial audience members have maintained engagement with Bump Club. Which is why we do a lot of just moms centric content, and not only for expectant and new parents. We also encourage our seasoned moms to share advice to the new moms and expected moms to keep them engaged.  It has taken a lot longer to get to that point of talking to school-age moms and truly through COVID, I mean last year I would say we did one or two webinars for school-aged parents. We did one on anxiety, which was very successful. And we did one on bullying, which was also very successful. But now because of COVID, we are amping up our content a lot and we are providing resources in sharing virtual classes and book clubs and things that I'm utilizing as a parent.

And actually we are about to make our biggest leap into the parent grade school kid space this summer. And really it goes along with the lines of that I have wanted to grow our content for this audience. And so we announced last week that we're going to do a virtual camp this summer. So it's called Camp Beyond, and we are going to be providing content for parents throughout the summer with kids ages four to 10, to keep them engaged and on a schedule and structured. So it's not going to be annoying because it's not going to be annoying like e-learning like I'm having a hard time with the e-learning. But I think everyone is just adapting to that.

It's really meant to be a vehicle to give you structure and ideas for engaging your kids in the summer, without you having to turn in assignments and whatnot and getting credit to move on to the next grade. But there's going to be a lot of content on our website. And I hope that that projects us into a place where after the summer, and maybe even after this, we are providing more content for parents of grade school kids.


Question: For our listeners who have product lines or companies that are catering to that parent, that mom, that dad, what are some of the mistakes that typically brands and advertisers make?

Answer: I think that a big common mistake when marketing to parents is not finding a trusted party to help promote your product or not even just trust it, like a synergistic party. So I think what I see now, especially with the growth of influencers and Instagrammers and whatnot, consists of brands who shell out a lot of money and a lot of product to put the product in the hands of someone who might not genuinely use it in real life. And it becomes just a post and that's it. And then the product is sold at the worst, which I can't stand when that happens, or given away or donated or whatever, and never thought of again. And I think that marketers and brand managers really need to think who would use this product and who would use it now and not just use it to make their one post, but use it to talk about it genuinely, because I think that parents are just, they're very smart.

This generation of moms is very smart. They can read through the BS for sure, and they know when something's being sold to them. I think it's very important to get people on board with your product and on board with your brand before saying, "I need you to post something by this day, just to get it out there and be seen by people." I don't think that that translates to sales, especially when you're looking at higher ticket items like car seats and strollers and cribs in the baby space. And in the parent's space there are a lot of high ticket items as well, especially when you're looking at things for kids' rooms and technology, and you really need someone who will stand behind your product. And we have always said at Bump Club that we wouldn't advertise something that we wouldn't use as a team.

So if, and we say it publicly, our audience knows it, I mean, I put my face on this brand. My team puts their faces on this brand. So if we're going to talk about a product, it better be a good product, because it's not just a millennial writer who's writing for a publication to get a stipend. I mean, it is actual recommendations and you better be able to back it up, especially to parents. There's a lot of liability and safety concerns that come along with these products. And so I think that that's just very important when you're wanting to create a genuine connection with parents. I think that that's, really, truly, that's been the biggest thing that I've seen and that's actually been something that I've heard, I'll hear from brands like, "Oh, but I spent all this money on an influencer campaign and it didn't translate to sales."

And I think that also it depends on your KPI also. I mean, it absolutely depends on your KPI, but I think that if you are interested in driving sales, there needs to be some kind of accountability metric. There needs to be some kind of retail tie-in. I think that if sales is what you're looking to drive, you better have something in place to drive it, because it's not just going to be a 30 second commercial online, or a video, or an Instagram post that's going to drive the sale. And it really is a full funnel and you need to be able to create that accountability or else you're not going to see the result.

Check Out The Podcast!

Lindsay has SO MUCH great information from her experience in running Bump Club, check out the podcast below to learn more about how she's continued to grow her business and build a community for parents!

Every week we have a marketing professional on our show to share their tips, tricks and lessons learned from their professional experience. Check out some of our other podcast blogs from earlier this year: 

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