A few months ago I wrote my best post ever (so say the stats) about an idea to Take Your Customer To Work. Today, Jason sent me this write-up about a mommy blogger’s recent all-expenses paid visit to Pampers’ Baby Care Headquarters. In her post, OhAmanda’s description of the experience definitely reinforces the value of the TYCTW idea:
Tour of Pampers’ Discovery Center & Baby Care HQ
The Discovery Center is like a giant daycare. Only instead of dropping your kids off, you get paid to bring them in! You get free snacks and juice and then researchers watch you put on diapers. On your kids, I mean. We got to see the moms & babies, talk to the kids and watch research taking place.
Let’s say one of the researchers said, “Now, why exactly did you pull the tab like that?” And the mom says, “Well, it’s in the wrong position. It would be better here.” The researchers take that info upstairs to the secret pampers-place and they hand make a new diaper. This place was TOP SECRET and even our camera men weren’t allowed inside. But after donning hairnets and goggles, we were!
We watched four women hand make some prototype diapers based on the moms downstairs. I asked the supervisor, “How often do you do this?” He was kinda confused and said, “Well, like one shift. Eight hours a day.” I said, “I’m sorry. You make prototype diapers EIGHT HOURS a day? EVERY DAY?” I just can’t believe there is that much to improve upon in a diaper! But this is what Pampers does. They want to be the very best for your baby.
Pampers’ Mommy Blogger Event is hardly the first to invite influencers to the home office. But this initiative so nicely demonstrates the virtues of customer involvement, conversation, and transparency. Which brings me to the post title: are corporate invites the next-big-thing in social media strategy? They’re definitely on trend marrying worlds on & off-line.
Obviously the responsible marketer’s rules of respect & transparency must apply to this idea. Otherwise, these invites could also easily just become the latest “free vacation” ploy.