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Big Orange Slide

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Grip interviews: Erica Ehm

December 21, 2009 by Dave Hamilton

erica_ehm

Erica Ehm is the Founder and Editor-in-chief of YummyMummyClub.ca.


1) Twitter is to marketing as _____ is to _____?
Oh god, I’m too tired to do this. Pass please.

2) What’s the big idea behind Yummy Mummy Club?
It’s an online magazine that speaks to the woman in every mom.

I think the marketing world has been getting the mom market all wrong. This generation of women with kids is more than somebody’s mom. A majority of us are well-educated career women who include children in our lives, but have many other interests as well.

When I first launched YummyMummyClub.ca, the only ads marketers wanted to place with us was for diapers. They assumed my readers were only interested in their kids. It’s taken me three years of standing on my mummy soapbox, but now clients are understanding that moms are equally interested in pop culture, electronics, fashion, makeup, movies, cars and careers – all reflected in the myriad of eclectic blogs and articles written by and for moms on our site. The content is edgy, playful, modern and relevant – like my peers. It’s a very exciting and powerful community to be a part of these days.

3) There’s a thread of empowerment that underlies the site. Is that a result of feeling marginalized in some way when you left behind your entertainment industry career to become a full-time mom?
Becoming a mother was the most difficult transition I’ve ever been through. No one told me how hard it would be. I felt ashamed and guilty. I secretly believed I was a bad mother. But after “confessing” my shame to other moms, I realized I wasn’t alone. There was an army of intelligent, capable ex-career women out there feeling like I did. So I launched a tiny grassroots website to share the secrets of what life is really like as a mom and to let moms know we’re all going through the same shit.

A pivotal moment for me was at a dinner party six months after I had my son. Some trendy dude was chatting with me and asked what I did. I proudly said “I’m staying home with my son,” rather than what I was doing career wise. As soon as I alluded to the fact that I was a “stay at home mom,” groovy dude starts scanning the room for someone more interesting to talk to. I was so angry I wanted to say, “You just missed out talking to Erica freakin’ Ehm.” It was a terrible experience. But it also helped me understand why so many moms feel invisible.

So, to answer your question, yes my site is all about empowering moms to feel proud about their choices, lifestyle and interests. If more moms felt passionate about their day-to-day lives, we’d be raising even better kids. Mums are role models and we want our kids to be strong, interesting, and proud. We have to walk the talk. Yummy is a state of mind.

4) On your site you’ve redefined the term “MILF.” Tell us how and why?
Just like I appropriated the term Yummy Mummy and turned into an expression of empowerment, I want to do the same with MILF. I invite our readers to go to this page and create their own acronym. The results have been both hilarious and heartfelt. Now when I hear the word MILF, there isn’t that same sexist sting to it. Now I think of a definition like, “Multi-tasking Inspired Life-making Freaking babes.” Are you smiling yet?

5) It seems that I get a dozen or more tweets and status updates from you a day – how are you able to keep that pace?
I’m obsessed with Twitter. Actually I’m obsessed with communicating with my readers and Twitter is the most direct and effective way that works for me. I can have chats with my readers and real time interactions. I feel like I have so much to talk/tweet about. The content on my site is quite extraordinary and I can’t wait to shout it out to anyone who will listen. I’ve met amazing like-minded women and men on Twitter.

Bottom line – my business has grown more than 20% directly from Twitter since I caught the Twitter bug a year ago.

6) What’s been the biggest “ah-ha” you’ve had on the learning curve as an online marketer?
That I was an online marketer. I’m a mom with a message and a vision. I want to revolutionize motherhood. So I guess that also means addressing the way the media relates to moms. I’m not an expert in marketing. I’ve never been to marketing school. I just understand who’s buying. It’s me. I’m in the mom gang.

7) What are big, traditional marketers missing when it comes to marketing to women using the web and social media?
Don’t patronize us. Talk to us. Listen to us. Join the conversation. Give and don’t ask for something in return. Talk to us like we get it. Talk about things other than motherhood. You may be surprised at the amazing conversations and connections you’ll make. Be authentic. We can smell a fake.

8) Could Erica Ehm the MuchMusic VJ survive a week in Erica the entrepreneurial mom’s shoes?
I’m the same person. When I worked at MuchMusic I also had a hat business, I had a record label, I was a songwriter, I acted, I did voiceovers – and that was while working full-time on air.

I like to work. To create. I was a multi-tasker back then – I’m doing the same thing today, only now all while taking care of two great kids. To survive parenthood you need to be a master multi-tasker, so I would ask – would Erica Ehm the MuchMusic host be able to keep up with Erica Ehm today? Probably not.

9) How would you use your digital marketing expertise to fix the music biz?
The problem with the music biz is the same as the broadcasting biz. It’s bloated. Self-important. The playing field has shifted. The net has democratized the media. People have the power. The music biz old guard is still trying to find ways to wrestle power away from the consumer, while those on the cutting edge are working with the consumer. Just like traditional TV broadcasters, the winners are going grassroots, being authentic and fair.

10) Where are you at with your songwriting?
Sadly I don’t have enough time to write. The last thing I wrote and produced was this.

11) What’s the coolest app on your iPhone?
It will be the app I’m creating for YMC (but I use a BlackBerry).

1 Comment on "Grip interviews: Erica Ehm"

  • Jane
    December 22, 2009 @ 5:48 pm

    Erica, you rock! I’ve been following the Yummy Mummy Club since I returned from maternity leave #2 to my Marketing job and I would agree – I’m not interested in diapers, either – I’ve got that figured out. YMC has it dialed – we’re interested in travel (with and without the wee ones), we’re interested in growing and connecting and idea sharing. Marketing today is fascinating and ever-evolving, exciting and fun. If you are not these things you’ll fail. It’s been great to watch YMC evolve and to learn some tricks. Thanks for the great interview.

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