A lesson in marketing to pregnant women

Before I share this important lesson in marketing to expectant mothers I have to share one of my biggest marketing pet hates.
Self congratulatory promotion based on celebrating random acts of kindness.
For example, take the recent Lloyds advert which had (I’m assuming) an actor talk about how all of a sudden Lloyds thought she was so awesome that they gifted her the price of what I guess was one of her lesser purchases, a pair of jeans. How nice of them, what a lovely bank they must be. It’s a good job they made an advert telling me how nice they are otherwise I might not have ever heard or experienced it for myself.
I don’t have a Lloyds bank account or credit card and the idea that I might get a free pairs of jeans if I loaded up my credit card doesn’t appeal.
In fact after we moved in our new house we got a hamper from Halifax. That was nice, I told a few people about it when they asked who was stupid enough to give me a mortgage.  You don’t see Halifax advertising that fact do you?

I not against random acts of kindness as a form of marketing. I do the same in my own business and it’s not always based on how much people have spent. What bothers me is when companies brag about it. This is the age of social media, if you are offering something worthwhile people will talk about it.

Rant over.

On to two lovely pregnancy related experiences over the weekend in Marks and Spencers.
On Sunday I met my wife for lunch after she had a quick pop round M&S to look at the baby clothes. Of course she found three or four outfits she liked and when we took them to the till. The sales assistant scanned them through then scanned a card and we got 20% off. That was nice we thought, perhaps they had an offer on baby clothes and we didn’t see any signs. On inspection of our receipt we saw a code that just said F&F May.
Doesn’t F&F normally mean friends and family?
Oh well, we tried not to worry about why we saved £6 and carried on with our day.
On Monday we were out and about again and this time at M&S Kingston where I was buying a couple of shirts. At the till a sales assistant called Brian looked at my wife, scanned a card and said that he’s giving us a special discount for the baby.
That made our day. “I like the fact that M&S gave us a discount just because I’m pregnant, my mum will be very jealous” those were my wife’s exact words and we strolled home.
I don’t know if these are two unrelated events or if M&S sales staff have been told to give out discretionary discounts to pregnant women.
If they have then that’s a Masterclass in good marketing in my mind. After all, a pregnant women will soon be spending lots of money on little clothes soon so why wouldn’t you want to look after them?
If the sales staff weren’t instructed to give discounts then that’s still good as it just goes to show they are hiring some lovely people which is just as (not not more) important as any sort of marketing concept.

Either way it worked, even on someone that’s very aware of being marketed to.
Sorry Next but we’ll not be using our brand new Lloyds credit to buy baby clothes in your shop because M&S did something nice without feeling the need to shout about it.

pregancy picture Memory Gate Wimbledon

More of our bump to baby Cherubs portraits can be found at our website The Baby Photographers.

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