During an eight-year stint as a lawyer at Harvard Law School, Stacy DeBroff realized that there were many women around her struggling to maintain balance between work and family life. Debroff saw a need to remedy the struggle of busy moms, and launched a series of mom resource books. She ultimately began landing jobs as a spokesperson for top companies that were interested in reaching the audience of moms she had worked hard to connect with. However, instead of seeing companies answering to the needs of moms, DeBroff only saw more issues.
"I was taken aback by the disconnect between a company's marketing language and top-down messaging to reach moms versus what moms really wanted to hear and how they were making decisions," DeBroff says.
In response, DeBroff took Mom Central, a website she launched in 2007 to give parenting advice and tips, and transformed it into a social media agency focused on Moms. Utilizing what DeBroff calls "relationship marketing," Mom Central connects brands with influential mom-bloggers, twitter personalities, and other influencers to launch word-of-mouth buzz about a product. DeBroff says these "mom-influencers" reach the core of the busy mom audience with their passion for brands.
"If moms are deciding on what kind of pacifier to use, they’d much rather hear from an articulate person who is experienced than hearing the brand tell them why the product is the best," DeBroff explains.
After a formal launch of the consulting services in April 2008, DeBroff said brands were immediately drawn to reaching moms in this new way, and the company now works with more than 200 national brands from their office in Newton, Massachusetts, to create targeted social media marketing strategies catering to the mom demographic.
"During that first year, we got to experiment with ways in which brands could effectively engage moms to recommend their products or service and drive moms to trials," DeBroff says.
The company, which made $2.9 million in revenue in 2010, has exploded into more opportunities for DeBroff and her team. In addition to another Mom Central office in New York and a soon-to-be office in Chicago, the company recently opened an outpost in Toronto, Canada, which manages campaigns for companies like General Mills and Fisher Price. The company has also created spin-off campaigns, such as Dad Central, a marketing tool for dad-bloggers and influencers, and Gen Y-Knot, for 20-somethings active in social media.
A mom herself, DeBroff says her favorite part of running the company is her endless passion for her work: "This company really embraces family needs, and I think that’s incredible."
Looking for ways to take your woman-run business to the next level? Join us at the Inc. 500|5000 Conference, taking place September 22-24, 2011 in Washington, DC. Visit inc5000conference.com for more details. Be ahead of the curve and register by August 8 to save $400.