Verity Credit Union has gotten Seattle moms talking thanks to Verity Mom blogger Rosemary Garner.
Recognizing that it's not just Gen Y that likes to interact online, the $380 million credit union turned to British Columbia-based marketing agency Currency Marketing last August to help connect with and learn from Seattle-area mothers with its online platform Verity Mom. The microsite veritymom.com was created to serve as a fun, educational resource that helps mothers navigate their lives.
To create buzz and generate interest, the Seattle-based credit union kicked off a search for one creative, funny, talented part-time blogger to be the face and voice of Verity Mom. In October 2009, after the competitors spent weeks campaigning fiercely through videos, blog posts and networking, the public chose Rosemary Garner, a 44-year-old mom who is a video producer for public television.
"I love having this creative outlet and being able to interact with so many people," Garner said. "And it is so satisfying to take something out of the everyday mundane life and turn it into something people identify with that makes them laugh or is occasionally provocative."
She added that the job has been well suited for a working parent with a young child as it easily fits in her busy schedule.
Although blogs have a reputation for being unfiltered, Garner said she thinks before she posts.
"I feel like the blogosphere is just polluted with litter so I didn't want to add to the virtual landfill," she said. "I try to be conscientious about only posting entries I think have some meat on the bone and that's been effective."
The Verity Mom blog, which also appears on the credit union's homepage, has built quite a loyal following with over 400 subscribers, according to Shari Storm, vice president/chief marketing officer at the credit union. The site gets some 31 daily hits from visitors who stay for two minutes on average.
"We now have this group of ambassadors talking about us and turning to us for help," Storm said. "For example, one of the Verity Mom candidates asked if she could have a moms group meeting in our building and of course we said yes. She brought in potential members through our doors. We're now getting street credibility with the mom blogging market and you'd be hard pressed to find a financial institution getting that kind of word of mouth traction."
The experience has exceeded expectations and Storm said although the position was only supposed to be for a year, Garner has been tapped to continue as the Verity Mom for another year.
"She has introduced Verity to some really well known people and opened a lot of doors for us," said Storm.