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Moms might not be the first demographic that comes to mind when you think about hitech smartphones, but women (and moms) are often the ones who make and influence household purchasing decisions. That's something that Sprint took heed of when starting to market its Sprint Overdrive.

The company worked with women's blog network BlogHer and enlisted a handful of moms to become brand embassadors for Sprint's new line of products. The result? A 250% increase in brand lift.

First, it's important to know why Sprint (together with media network Mindshare) decided to work with BlogHer on this effort. According to Chris Victor, partner at Mindshare:

"This is a tech savvy audience of influential decision makers that had the ability to influence other women and the community to become advocates."

Together the companies chose some prolific bloggers to create Family Connections, an active forum about parenting in the digital age that featured Sprint products and offers.

They started live daily coverage called "Momspotting" that showcased real moms using their Sprint products. In total, Spring chose 21 momspotters who wrote about ways they "use the devices in their daily lives."

They reviewed products, wrote stories that involved testing things out and blogged generally about tech issues. According to Rita Arens, assignment and syndication editor at BlogHer:

"We now have every green content now from an editorial perspective. It's great content. People wanted it anyway."

But the conversation moved beyond the branded messaging, with other members of the BlogHer community sharing their "momspotting" stories under the #momspotting hashtag.

Over a six month period, they created awareness around phone launches, new plan launches and other promotional items.

In the end, 430 new discussions were introduced that results in community conversations. Very strong increase in purchase intent was reported by people who visited the community.

Sara Devine, associate director of social media at MindShare, says:

"The writers were experiencing our product and experiencing our network. They weren't shilling for us, they're just talking about their experiences."

Over 7 million people viewed the content (7,428,934). On the campaign's product review page, there were over 60 related blog posts and 130 related tweets. But most interestingly, 22% of readers who viewed the content commented on it. Sprint says that they saw a significant increase brand perceptions — an over 250% lift across key metrics.

According to Devine:

"I'm not saying abandon digital marketing. I'm just saying, this is an amazing part of our mix."

If she had to do it all over again, is there anything Devine would change?

"If I were able to do it right now, I would book it for at least a year. There's really an opportunity for it to grow. And people ask to get involved."

Images: BlogHer, Life in Chicago

Meghan Keane

Published 6 August, 2010 by Meghan Keane

Based in New York, Meghan Keane is US Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter: @keanesian.

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