We knew that, of course. But along comes a Burson-Marsteller study that proves it. Mom-fluentials are described as “online moms who are also public opinion leaders.” As B-M puts it,

“Mom-fluentials issue warnings and make recommendations [about purchase decisions]. [A] majority of their friends follow on their advice.”

Interesting study, but it misses the point. Mom-fluentials are most influential when it comes to their children (and it has nothing to do with being online).

Let me explain. I’m a mom of three (amazing) grown children* and I know how influential I can be. But there’s a certain way you have to do the influencing and maybe there’s a lesson in here for those interested in WOMM (word-of-mouth marketing:

You gotta be subtle. You gotta plant the seed. You say stuff like, “Have you ever considered taking a year off before you enroll in college?” Your teenager says, “No way! I don’t want to do that!”

You wait six months without saying another word. The teenager comes back and says, “I have this brilliant idea. I want to take a year off before I start college!” You say, “Wow – what a great idea.” And you never, ever acknowledge the idea as your own.

[Ed note: yes, all three of my kids had a gap year, as they call it in the UK, before starting college.]

I haven’t thought this through completely as to how the “planting a seed” approach would work in marketing. But logically, it does. People like to make up their own minds. They don’t want to be told what to do, or feel like they’re buckling under and accepting someone else’s directive.

* If you pre-order The Corporate Blogging Book on Amazon, you’ll learn my kids’ names and more about how cool they are. It’s in the Acknowledgments section at the back of the book. Official pub date is Aug. 3rd.