August 5, 2008
For years, marketing people have been trying to get a handle on word of mouth: how it starts, how it grows, how to measure it and so on. I know word of mouth has been around since the dark ages, but I honestly never realized what an effect it could have on an individual — until I became a new mom.
In the six weeks since my daughter Saunie was born, I’ve had a million questions, and I know many more lie ahead. What type of diapers should I get? What are the remedies for stomach gas? When is a good time to put them on a schedule? Is Desitin really better than Butt Paste? I’ve entered this whole new world and even though I read as much as possible beforehand, I never realized how much I didn’t know. But instead of looking online, I’m turning to my friends with kids, my sister-in-law, my mom and my mother-in-law. To me, their recommendations, advice and knowledge are far more valuable than anything I can find in Parents magazine or BabyCenter.com.
One of my favorite pieces of advice came from my grandmother. When she spoke to me a week after Saunie was born, she told me to drink a beer to help the breast milk come in. What??? It seemed like an odd thing to say considering that most new moms stay far away from alcohol. But she had seven kids, so I figured she must know what she’s talking about. That night, I took her advice and had that Corona Light with lime that I’d been craving all summer. I’m not sure that it actually helped produce more milk — but I was much more relaxed when it came to the evening feeding and that made all the difference. I’ve since passed on that piece of advice to two friends with new babies.
Word of mouth is powerful, especially among women. In fact, many studies show women are likely to trust friends and family as the best source of information when purchasing products. I know I love that the ladies in my life want to share all their best secrets and recommendations. It gives me a sense of comfort to know that I’m getting trusted techniques and suggestions vs. reading the latest and greatest “10 best ways to raise your baby.” I wouldn’t want it any other way.