I’m pretty firmly entrenched in the Mom Blogging community and have noticed that there are brands who have made The Moms love them. They all have one thing in common: They listen to The Moms. Simple, right? Not simple at all. The Moms are not a homogenous group. The age of their children may range from pregnant and expecting to adult, and The Mom who is blogging might actually be someone’s grandmother. That’s why listening to The Moms can be a daunting task. Ford and Chevy (forgive me, my friends, for lumping them together) have done an exquisite job of making The Moms love them. Both car companies have supported the mom blogging community by lending them cars for roadtrips, giving them factory tours and embracing The Moms as media at the auto shows. The Moms aren’t a homogenous group but all moms need cars… well, except the New York City Moms but that’s like another world. Here in Los Angeles there’s a group of just over 100 Mom Bloggers who write at MomsLA.com. When MomsLA formed there was a blogger named Debbie from Manhattan Beach who joined up. She owns a group of pizza restaurants. At every MomsLA event there is food from Fresh Brothers and I’m confident Debbie has donated all of those pizzas and salads. I love the salads but I’m not a woman who eats pizza. It’s just not my thing. Recently I was contacted by a local pizzeria. They wanted to have lunch with me and talk to me about how to reach the local moms. I declined. I could have had the lunch, organized an event or a series of events and had a nice big paycheck from them. I knew that no one would be very interested Debbie’s competition. I felt like I’d be cheating on a friend and I suspected that the rest of the women in town would feel the same way. This is the incredible loyalty that a few salads will get you. It’s actually not just the salads and it’s not the cars. It’s the listening. The brands that have grown to be beloved by The Moms have listened to what the The Moms want and they’ve shown up mostly as guests. Good guests, the sort who bring hostess gifts. They’ve lent their names to charities that The Moms care about and they’ve supported the events that The Moms attend. Brands who are trusted by The Moms have followed our lead. Currently I’m working with Microsoft as one of their Windows Champions. It’s one of a zillion ambassador type programs you’ll see businesses running online. It’s interesting because I didn’t think that a behemoth like Microsoft needs The Moms, but they’ve invested a lot of time and energy into the Window’s Champions program. Every time a blogger participates in one of these programs they run the risk of losing some audience. So why would an independent publisher like myself work with Microsoft? Technical Support! The last time I worked in an office was 1995. I don’t have an IT guy (why oh why are they always guys?), I don’t have coworkers to bounce things off of and I don’t have a whole lot of free time. If there’s a brand that will give me an hour of instruction every month along with access to top tier tech support as needed there’s very little I won’t do for them. Essentially they’ve become my coworker. If you give The Moms something that they really can’t get on their own (and trust me, Us Moms can get almost everything on our own) it’s a great way to build a lasting and mutually beneficial relationship. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to call a guy in Seattle and ask him a question about Excel.