In 2021, every business who wishes to attract mothers (and their families) needs to have a well thought out testimonial strategy. Why? Mothers are increasingly rejecting corporate sales messages in favour of third-party endorsements. As they seek the perfect solution to their problem they use testimonials to refine their search and minimise the chance of making the wrong purchase decision.

What Australian Mothers Say

In our Marketing to Mums research in 2016 and again in 2019, we found testimonials to have the greatest influence in mothers’ making a purchase – they even outperform a mum-to-mum recommendation. The sentiments from mothers in our research included:

‘Testimonials are big for me, especially when the content isn’t edited, with the good and perhaps not-so-good included. I would happily spend more on an item if I can read an honest review.’

‘I find reviews the most helpful when researching a product or service for our baby. Hearing the pros and cons from people in the same position as me is a big influence for us. Incorporating reviews into each individual product you have on your site would absolutely increase the likelihood of me making a purchase.’

‘Provide all feedback from previous buyers, not just positive five-star reviews; that way I don’t have to search Google for hours to feel comfortable with the information. More often than not I will still purchase the product, and won’t be surprised by the item having flaws. Not everything is perfect.’

‘Mothers understand that not everything is perfect all the time. They spend their days problem solving. And a bad review provides a great opportunity for brands to demonstrate how they handle a problem. Mums watch closely when this occurs. Use a less than glowing review to amplify your superior customer service.’

The Power of a Single Testimonial

I’ve experienced the power of testimonials firsthand. A woman who owns a party supplies business read my first book Marketing to Mums: How to sell more to Australia’s most powerful consumer and posted this review in a closed Facebook group for mothers in business:

‘I finished reading this book this weekend and highly recommend it for businesses targeting Aussie Mums. Really great ideas and I’ve written myself a list of about 40 things to action from it!

Side note- I read the book on my plane trip from Canberra to Brisbane which caught the attention of the passenger next to me and he excitedly told me his daughter ran her own jewellery business! We chatted a bit more and I couldn’t believe the coincidence that I’d been seated next to Trinket Poppy- Clare’s dad!!! Such a small world!’

The post attracted a lot of attention about the practical steps I provided for small business owners. Within 48 hours my book had gone to number one on Booktopia’s Business Bestseller list. It remained in the top 10 for the next four weeks. This started a chain reaction of events with an urgent call received from my distributor seeking more copies of my books to keep up with the growing demand across bookshops across Australia. This book is now in its fifth reprint.

Tips In Creating Your Testimonial Strategy

Here are five things to consider in creating your testimonial strategy:

  1. Turn on Recommendations on your business Facebook page.
  2. Regularly encourage your community to share their experience working with you. Make sure you take the time to thank those who have invested their time in writing a review for you.
  3. Set up a system so that you automatically ask for feedback or a review after delivery of your service (once it is part of your customer process it becomes easier to ask). Remember to thank them for sharing their feedback.
  4. Consider filming testimonials from participants’ parents straight at your venue. These can be candid and done on your phone.
  5. Show that you value testimonials in your business. Make sure you promote all third party endorsements including awards, testimonials, reviews by including them on all your marketing materials including website, social media, brochures and posters.

I have enjoyed great success for my clients by including testimonials as part of a wider market research project to identify their most profitable segment of the mum market. It generally yields at least one hundred testimonials for them enabling them to amplify two testimonials a week for two years without repeating one.

Testimonials are definitely powerful when wanting to influence mothers. It’s critical that your children’s activity business invests in developing an effective testimonial strategy.

This strategy will make it easy for mothers to source third-party endorsements to ensure your activity based service features in their consideration set.

Guest blog by Katrina McCarter, Marketing to Mums