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Certified WBENC Women's Business Enterprise


MARKETING TO MOMS: Moms Talk, Part I of 2

by Renita Van Dusen

“Busyness is the new social status for moms,” says Amanda Stevens, speaker at the 2010 M2Moms Conference in Chicago. In fact, 71% of moms are in the labor force full time (and this doesn’t include work-at-home moms). A simple look around confirms what we moms already know: Whether we’re rushing off to a board meeting or picking up the kids from swim lessons, chances are we have very few open spots in our days.

Being a mom can be challenging, but 80% of American women do it. Why? “Motherhood is the most rewarding job on the planet. It’s rewarding because it’s hard,” comments Katherine Wintsch of The Martin Agency. As a mom who collaborates every day with other moms, I say Amen.

So knowing moms are busy – and they have great purchasing power – I’m alarmed when I hear statistics like 80% of ads don’t resonate with moms and 30% of moms are actually offended by what they see. What does that say about what we’re communicating to them?

Moms aren’t a niche market, and representing the average mom in marketing and advertising isn’t necessarily a bad idea. Sure, perhaps we like to see representations of ourselves a bit more dressed up or with better hair, but most of us don’t want to see supermodels. There’s a fine line between aspirational and just plain unrealistic. In one study, moms were asked if they would rather get information from a celebrity mom or an experienced mom like themselves. 67% said they would more likely turn to a peer mom. That’s the kind of messaging we need to keep in mind.

Never underestimate the power of the MOM. Remember, moms talk. Women talk 13,000 words a day MORE than men! 88% of moms will tell others when they’ve had a great brand experience. And 56% of moms will tell people about brands they love even when not asked. When we design brands for moms, we need to make sure we’re being talked about – in a positive way. In fact, one of the most interesting quotes from the M2Moms Conference was “The number one objective of brands should be to be the topic of conversation at the dinner table.”

How do we become that topic of conversation? How do we reach mom – and get beyond her busyness and clutter to help her make solid purchasing decisions?

BE that topic of conversation at the dinner table! Give moms a reason to talk about your brand. If she loves your brand, she will talk. Mom’s #1 mission: to create more family time. And, Moms are now the early adaptors of new technology. One study from Disney showed moms believe their roles are, in this order: 1) caregiver, 2) entertainer, 3) household CEO and 4) family historian. So what can we do to reach her? Make it easy for her to achieve these tasks. Create new technology that is easy and accessible. Let her be able to multi-task and accomplish her goals.

Moms are women, too! Today’s young moms enjoy being moms, but enjoy being recognized first as women. In other words, they are multi-dimensional and aren’t JUST moms. Women – and moms – expect more from their brands.

How can brands resonate more with moms? Check out Part 2 of Marketing to Moms next month when we discuss Purpose-Driven Marketing. We’ll dive into how and why moms are the epitome of the cause consumer.