We sat down with Emily Elphinstone, who, in addition to having the coolest surname in the company, was recently promoted to eumom Editor. Now that she’s been on the job for a whole month, we thought it would be great to ask her a few questions about the role she’s stepped into, along with why she thinks eumom is perfect for brands looking to engage with parents.
Tell me a bit about your new role at eumom/ZMG.
My new role is Digital Editor in the parenting division. Day to day, my job involves managing our online content: creating a schedule with group editor, Emma Parkin, writing and editing articles, engaging with contributors and making sure we keep to deadlines. I’m also responsible for taking eumom.ie to the next level: increasing visibility, and making sure what we produce is constantly improving, and fulfilling what our community is looking for.
But now eumom and Zahra Media Group’s Parenting Division are fully integrated, I’m also part of the team working on the bi-monthly Easy Parenting magazine; the Ultimate Maternity Guide which reaches 43,000 expectant mothers annually, distributed via seven maternity hospital across Ireland; and the National Parent Product Awards, which is nearing the product testing stages at the moment.
In addition to the fantastic content, a big part of what eumom does is providing brands with a way to engage with a large community of mothers in Ireland. How is that accomplished?
An important lesson I’ve discovered, is that mums don’t want to just be sold to. Instead, they need to feel that they are gaining something from engaging with brands. They want to feel heard, and they want to get something out of it!
Because of this, we try to offer a range of different ways in which our community can engage with brands. It’s important to us that any sponsored content feels relevant, and native to the site, so it’s useful for the client and the reader. Competitions always do really well, as people love to be in with a chance to win, and it’s a great way to build excitement up around a product they might not have discovered before. Plus, it’s great to see the feedback from the winners afterwards.
There’s nothing like hearing what our community of mums has to say, both through product testing and surveys. Obviously, a big part of this is the National Parenting Product Awards, which combines testing from experts and real parents for a well-rounded opinion of the best products in the market. But we also do smaller events for individual clients. This can be a great way for brands to get direct feedback from their target audience, as well as putting products directly into mothers’ hands.
Finally, we do regular online surveys, which can provide invaluable feedback for brands from a large and diverse base of Mums in Ireland.
What are some of the examples of research that eumom has conducted?
Well, it can be very broad, or very specific. Most recently we had an interesting survey in association with New Ireland about returning to work, which had over 1,500 responses. The results were fascinating, as it gave real insight into peoples motivations and feelings about rejoining the workforce. We’ve also conducted surveys on Whooping Cough and Lactose Intolerance, Shopping Habits, Appliances, and Nappies. With an incredibly engaged and active base, it’s great to learn more from, and about our community.
Why are surveys, specifically, and research in general, important for brands?
In the end, it’s the consumers that we are working for; and there’s only so much you can learn from sales figures.
Engaging with your audience and staying active with research, ensures that your brand is in touch with consumer experience, and what their priorities are. It’s useful to know that you’re going in the right direction, and to know who you’re talking to in terms of audience profile and interests. Plus customers really appreciate brands showing an interest in them.
What are the benefits for mothers that choose to take part in the brand research?
In the most simple terms, we usually offer a prize such as a €50 One-For-All voucher. It’s nice to know that they’re getting something out of it, and it helps ensure that as many people as possible complete the entire survey and answer questions fully. But many mums also like to get involved: they have a huge amount of knowledge and a great interest in certain topics, and it’s important for them to feel heard, and understood. Plus, taking part in brand research often gives consumers the opportunity to learn about new products or services they may not otherwise have discovered.