Motrin’s Headache: Marketers and SEO Extend Pain Reliever’s Crisis

Over the weekend a crisis began to unfold for Motrin. It was result of a new online ad that began running Saturday. I have embeded the ad below in case you haven’t seen it, but it caused a lot of anger from the “mommy blogging” community. From this anger came an endless stint of tweets and blog postings.

I am not here to chime in and say that Motrin ran a bad ad and then compounded the problem because they and their agency were not monitoring twitter and other online conversation, because that is apparent on other blog posts that have been written.

I want to discuss the SEO impacts of a crisis. I have seen many people attacking mommy bloggers, telling them to “get over it” and they say “who reads mom blogs when researching a pain reliever?” These folks are missing the point it wasn’t the mommy blogs that have caused the greatest pain for Mortin; instead it was the marketing community.

As David Armano pointed out in a tweet, people look to Google for answers when researching  a product.  He took a  screen shot of search results for motrin+headache and the results show that blog posts about the crisis are dominating the results.

For Motrin and its brand manager this image sucks, but if you look closer you find that these blogs are not “Mommy Blogs”, but instead mostly marketing blogs. Meaning the Motrin brand manager was taken down by her own peers, more than the mommy bloggers.

Marketing Bloggers Role In a Crisis:
How did this happen? Well most marketers love crisis situations like this because they can use them as a case study of what not to do. It also happens that marketers that have blogs, normally have a good understanding of search engine optimization (SEO). Meaning they know how to write and format their posts to rank ahead of other posts on the same subject.

The Importance of SEO
Many traditional marketers focus on the value of great ads and customer insight, but this crisis shows the importance of having a strong overall SEO strategy to help combat situations like this one.  Additionally after apologizing for a mistake in a crisis it may important to create positive content about the issue to get indexed in search results and  to reach out to marketing blogging community to make sure their reports and case studies are accurate.

The Worst Part:

The Motrin brand manager made a bad choice with the ad campaign and then made a bad choice by hiring an agency that does not monitor twitter and other social media communities. However, the worst part about it for the brand manager is that when her bosses and coworkers do a Google search about her product, they will find that most of the results talk about how badly she messed up. Ouch!

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