80-Year-Old Cake Decorating Company Experiences Sweet Results by Recruiting Blogging Moms to Reach a New Generation of Consumers

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As part of its social marketing program, Wilton enlisted a group of eight women, each the author of an interesting and entertaining blog about motherhood, to build awareness of Wilton products. The Mom Ambassadors have helped Wilton achieve a high level of personalized, two-way communication with a key segment of their target audience and the social marketing efforts have contributed to record growth, including a 35% increase in website traffic.

“Social media plays a significant role in our marketing strategy and the relationship with our Wilton Mom Ambassadors is a key factor in our success.”

Wilton Enterprises, the leading food crafting company in the industry since 1929, is pleased to announce the Wilton Mom Ambassadors. For this innovative marketing program, Wilton enlisted a group of eight women, each the author of an interesting and entertaining blog about motherhood. These mom bloggers help build awareness of Wilton products using social media to reach a highly focused grassroots audience.

Augmenting Wilton’s existing social media initiatives on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Wilton.com, the Mom Ambassadors have helped the company achieve a high level of personalized, two-way communication with their consumers around the world. By helping Wilton educate aspiring cake decorators and dessert bakers with useful hints, ideas, recipes, and techniques, the Mom Ambassadors have shown like-minded mothers how easy and fun Wilton can make cake decorating, and encouraged them to give it a try.

The company’s social media-based marketing approach is working, said Eric Erwin, Wilton’s Executive Vice President of Marketing & Product Development.

“Social media plays a significant role in our marketing strategy and the relationship with our Wilton Mom Ambassadors is a key factor in our success,” Erwin said.

Wilton was able to attribute measurable returns to its social marketing efforts, including the Wilton Mom Ambassador program. In 2010, with a relatively modest budget, Wilton utilized social marketing to help generate a 35 percent increase in overall website visits, a 400 percent increase in Facebook Fans (now exceeding 150,000), more than 2 million YouTube video views, a 25 percent increase in product views, and a 60 percent increase traffic from its email campaigns.

“Social marketing, including the Mom Ambassador program, allows us to get closer to our consumers and we are using insights from those conversations to improve our business,” Erwin added. “We are especially pleased because the people we have attracted through our social marketing have become truly involved members of our community. For us, it’s not about how many Facebook fans we can accumulate, it’s about how many truly interested people can we can get engaged.”

Erwin explained the group of real-life moms was selected specifically because they are not professional bakers. Instead they were chosen based on the quality of their blogs and the fact they had established strong relationships with their readers.

To increase their knowledge of cake decorating, the moms attended a series of Wilton Mom “reTreats” where Wilton cake decorating experts trained them in the Wilton Method of Cake Decorating. They also learned about soon-to-be-released products, and participated in roundtable discussions with Wilton Product Managers.

Wilton Mom Ambassador Shannon Gosney, who first used Wilton products and techniques 12 years ago while taking a class at Michael’s Arts & Crafts, said using real moms lends credibility to the Wilton brand.

“As moms, everything is word of mouth, and credibility is very important,” Gosney said. “You’re more likely to read (the blog) of somebody who shares their actual experience. I feel like being honest in posts gives me credibility. If I have a bad experience with a product, I’ll put that in my blog. Ultimately, when a blogger is honest and they say they like something, I’m going to check it out because I believe them.”

Wilton Mom Ambassador Emilie Pianfetti of Baby Loving Mama agreed, adding that using real moms makes cake decorating seem more accessible.

“It takes a little patience, a little practice, and the right tools. Once you break it down into steps, it’s very easy,” Pianfetti said. “The whole idea of using regular moms shows that the average mom can do it. It’s not as intimidating.”

Erwin said the real goal of the program is to teach a new generation of busy, professional, real-world moms how fun and rewarding cake decorating can be…and in a broader sense, how fulfilling it can be for a family to embrace special occasions together.

Pianfetti agreed, adding that decorating as a family also teaches children teamwork, fine motor skills, and how to follow directions.

Pianfetti said her experience with Wilton enabled her to create an elaborate, three-dimensional cake made to look like a train. Pianfetti said her son is a fan of “Thomas The Train,” but wanted a “big boy train” (a train without a face) for his fourth birthday.

“He was so ecstatic about that cake and I felt so good being able to make it for him,” Pianfetti said “Wilton rekindled my love of baking and decorating and I really enjoy sharing that with my readers.”

Gosney enjoyed a similar sense of accomplishment creating a “Buzz Lightyear” cake for her children.

“It was the best experience to show my family this cake I made,” Gosney said. “It’s great to see the excitement on my childrens’ faces, it’s nice to get compliments, and it’s nice to feel like you are good at something.”

Following is a list of Wilton Mom Ambassadors and their blogs:

Caryn Bailey – Rockin Mama
Jennifer DaFonte – Mom Spotted
Cat Davis - 3 Kids and Us & Oh My! Sugar High (with Emilie Pianfetti)
--http://www.3kidsandus.com & http://www.ohmysugarhigh.com
Lori Falcon - A Cowboy’s Wife & My Wooden Spoon
--http://www.acowboyswife.com & http://www.mywoodenspoon.com
Tanya Gordon - Mommy Goggles
Dee - Two of a Kind Working on a Full House
Emilie Pianfetti - Baby Loving Mama & Oh My! Sugar High (with Cat Davis)
--http://www.babylovingmama.com & http://www.ohmysugarhigh.com
Shannon Gosney (formerly Shannon Steen-Larsen) - The Mommy Files

For additional information, Contact:
Cindy Rosenwald
Wilton Industries
Phone: 630-810-2512

Wilton Enterprises, based in Woodridge, Illinois, and founded in 1929, is the leading food crafting company in the cake decorating and bakeware industry. Today, Wilton offers the industry’s most comprehensive and innovative selection of baking, cake decorating, candy making, cookie making, wedding and seasonal products. Wilton products are available online and at leading retailers such as Michael’s Arts & Crafts, Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts, and Hobby Lobby.


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