Morrisons is the first brand to adopt the platform in a six-figure deal – the second major marketing initiative unveiled by the supermarket since the start of the year as it looks to boost its ailing sales.
The “flexible marketing” platform will allow Morrisons, and other advertisers, to rapidly change the marketing messages that appear on Netmums pages in response to popular topics or discussions on the forum instead of running a single, pre-planned message.
Morrisons will use the platform to target the mum market and communicate its points of difference such as its butchers and fishmongers as well as its recently launched Wine Cellar online initiative.
The supermarket believes the flexible approach will help it “stand above the supermarket price war” and cater to the changing needs of customers by better communicating the reasons customers should shop with Morrisons rather than its rivals.
Dalton Philips, Morrisons CEO told analysts earlier this week that the supermarket had been caught up in “me too” marketing over Christmas that left all the supermarkets’ marketing looking the same, and will be hoping that the content-led partnership with Netmums will help it distinguish itself form rivals.
Siobhan Freegard, founder of Netmums, says the flexible platform is an example of a brand taking an “instinctive, intuitive” approach to marketing rather than planning specific messages months ahead. It means the time taken to create, sign off and run brand content on Netmums can be reduced from around three weeks to three days, making it much more relevant and timely.
“Often there is a long queue of processes to get brand content published. Advertisers talk about being relevant and in conversation with consumers but you can’t do that if you’re trying to predict what people will be talking about in three months time,” she says.
Rebecca Singleton, Morrisons marketing director says: “Mums make most of the household buying decisions, so it’s key we talk to them rather than just market at them. This deal isn’t simply about trying to sell groceries, it’s as much about listening to busy mums so we can understand the challenges facing them – and be best placed to help in store.
“The flexibility was really key for that reason – we want to be able to hear what mums want and be able to react where it matters: their weekly shop.”
Netmums claims to be the biggest parenting forum in the UK and has more than one million members and one million unique users every month.
Morrisons reported a 2 per cent drop in sales over the Christmas trading period after announcing a partnership with Ant & Dec and a deal to sponsor ITV shows Britain’s Got Talent and Saturday Night Takeaway hosted by the duo.