Mum’s the word: We just need proof

Posted on 20/01/2011


‘Mummy bloggers’ can do no wrong.

Communities like Mumsnet are influencing politics, individual site authors are fought over by PRs for brand endorsement.

But there’s just one thing missing… Proof that these bloggers actually drive sales. But rather than engage an independent research house to find proof (like Cadbury did with GfK NOP to prove the £3 to £1 return on its digital investment), one PR agency and Mummy blogging community in the US have decided to get their own ‘evidence’.

But behind the amazing headlines, which even the usually highly accurate WARC site covered (see picture), the reality of the facts was less than impressive

Claim that mummy bloggers boost brands

Claim that mummy bloggers boost brands

The most striking claim on is that “blogs are more than two times more likely (63%) than magazines (26%) to have inspired a beauty product purchase over the last six months.”

Impressive. Yes. Like all the claims in the ‘research’ and their comparisons with traditional media. Especially as they were reported in WARC.

But, given that the sample is from readers of the BlogHer network, the reporting is not just less than impressive, but misleading.

And, what’s worse is that (as BlogHer states), “three quarters of the total respondents were both blog readers and writers.”

Now, I’m no Ben Goldacre, but this is just dodgy maths, dodgy research and social media doesn’t need this to prove effectiveness.