Archive for category: Marketing to Moms

The Story Behind The Numbers On Moms And Millennials

ecently, The New York Times turned its attention to women without children and marketing to this group. If you missed the article on July 10, you can read it here. I was fortunate enough to be a part of Alina Tugend’s article that referenced the lucrative mom market. Tugend worked on this piece for over a month and gathered extensive data on women, both childless and with children. It reminded me of how often we read statistics, census data and research and react to the numbers without knowing the story behind them.

“Childless Women to Marketers: We Buy Things, Too” noted that nearly half of all women between 15 and 44 do not have children. There’s no debating the numbers; however, there is a reason for the increase in childless numbers today. Allow me to peel back the layers for you. Millennials are now the largest generation in our country at approximately 80 million. However, only one-third of all millennial women have had children. Multiple resources, including our own research done in conjunction with the release of Millennial Moms: 202 Facts Marketers Need to Know to Build Brands and Drive Sales illustrate that Millennial women are delaying motherhood.

What all this means is that there is a huge wave of new moms coming in the next three to five years; at least half of those women ages 15 to 35 will become moms in the future. This means that marketers need to be preparing today for the opportunities of tomorrow. As technology changes, it will be necessary for marketers to change their tactics to gain the results they desire.

I’m not going to take on the debate as to whether brands should add childless women to their menu of target consumers. I will leave that to CMOs and brand managers.

The 2016 presidential campaign has been a good source of data surrounding millennials. The media has lumped all millennial voters together, characterizing their behaviors as one giant, homogenized cohort. Just last night, I heard a political talking head declare that 80% of millennials get their news from Twitter, which means that more political messages have to be delivered via Twitter. Any seasoned marketer can tell that same commentator that there is a distinct difference between older millennials (30+) and younger millennials (18+).

I agree that you are likely to find older millennials combing for news on Twitter; however, Snapchat is where younger millennials dwell. Millennials shouldn’t be lumped together in a pool of data because it doesn’t tell the whole story. The same can be said for women with or without children.

5 Reasons To Engage With Moms In Online Community Research Groups

A 2015 market research industry paper reports a 52% increase in online communities, a tool that smart marketers will leverage when engaging with moms. Traditional research tools that my team uses every day, such as focus groups and surveys, have value and will continue to play a role in keeping a finger on the pulse of opinions and trends. However, the increase in online communities resonates with the hottest consumer segment today — millennial moms.

Millennial moms spend an average of four hours on their phones each day (rarely using it to talk) and 81% form an opinion of a brand based on social media presence. Their constant use and reliance on social media means that brands that implement and cultivate an active online community are gaining valuable resources for research and information while cultivating loyal relationships with their very influential mom consumers.

It’s a win-win for moms and brands for these five reasons:

1. Cost/Savings: Compared to traditional research tools, online communities are a cost effective way to reach consumers. In the days before online groups, research through focus groups, for instance, was either limited to local/regional groups or required extensive travel costs and time. Online communities save time and money.

2. Immediate Feedback: In this digital age of instant access to information, this fact is a marketer’s dream. Product research and development can be cut in half and consumer insights and opinions are a quick post away.

3. 24/7 Engagement: Moms check their phones anytime and anywhere, from the dinner table or during a midnight feeding. Most millennial moms aren’t constrained by the idea of brands posting during “business hours.” Online hours offer flexibility for both parties; brands post any time and moms can respond any time.

4. Long-term Relationships With Your Best Advocates: Marketers who tap in to the moms who are already talking about their brand on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (to name a few) are capitalizing on their love of communication and engagement with a brand. Online groups build brand loyalty with these moms.

5. Consumer-Generated Content and Ideas: Social listening is critical for any brand, and online communities are an excellent source of information. Organic conversations that develop in a group can offer important feedback, positive and negative. Conversations can also evolve in to an idea that comes from, in my opinion, the best source of solutions: moms.

In my recent experience, the best example of online mom communities comes from ambassador groups. These groups hit on all five points above, validating moms’ expectations of the brand, while the brand leverages relationships with moms to gauge opinions on new products, test package designs, rebranding strategies and much more.

The Un-Mother’s Day

No Engage:Moms post would be complete without talking about Mother’s Day on May 8th this year. In 2015, over $20 billion was spent on cards, flowers, jewelry and other gifts according to the National Retail Federation. But what do moms really want and how can marketers reach them for a new holiday I’m calling the “un-Mother’s Day”?

Here’s the back story. At a mom blogger conference a few years ago, a conversation among attendees turned to Mother’s Day plans. Every mom in the discussion said they certainly loved the idea of Mother’s Day: a day to relax, be pampered and feel special. As we talked more, the reality proved much different.

Every mom said that while they loved the holiday, they usually ended up planning the celebration and taking care of their own mothers, mothers-in-law and aunts. I asked other groups of moms and even fielded a survey to gather more than anecdotal evidence. The results validated the feeling that while it was a fantastic holiday, in theory, most moms felt that Mother’s Day was a lot of work.

The survey asked moms how they really wanted to celebrate Mother’s Day. Not surprisingly, more than 70% said a mom’s night out, meaning out of the house and not having to cook dinner or fold laundry, was the best way to celebrate motherhood. With this knowledge, I created the first un-Mother’s Day event called National Mom’s Nite Out, celebrated every year on the Thursday before Mother’s Day. It’s a chance for moms to meet up at local events and online and get a much-deserved break.

Focusing on Mother’s Day is certainly important considering the billions in spending. However, I challenge marketers to think about un-Mother’s Day opportunities as well. Reach out to moms with a gift and messaging that recognizes their jobs as “moms,” but also their desire for a night out. Send your product, add in a restaurant and movie gift card, and you’ll be speaking their language. If you’re reaching the right mom influencers, they’ll send you the best thank-you note ever with lots of # love on social media.

If you’re a mom, I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day and I hope you get a chance to round up your girlfriends and take a night off. If you’re a marketer, look for opportunities to reach moms for un-Mother’s Day.

Comment here or tweet me @momtalkradio to continue the conversation.

Spending Is Hopping This Easter

Here comes Peter Cottontail, hopping down the bunny trail with billions of dollars in his basket. In a survey report released this week by the National Retail Federation (NRF), an Easter 2016 spending estimate of $17.3 billion will be the highest in the survey’s 13-year history. Who is leading the charge to store cash registers and online checkout buttons? Of course, it’s moms, who are giving marketers a clear direction on the importance of all holidays to earn their business.

Focusing on the November/December shopping season is certainly a top priority. However, knowing how much millennials love any reason to celebrate, don’t overlook any holiday that can be a major boost to sales in traditionally slow seasons.

Moms love holidays (most of the time), regardless of generations or the stress often associated with the many holiday-related tasks in already busy schedules. However, I would point to millennial moms and their love of celebrations for taking special occasions to another level.

Finding new and unique ways to celebrate is a defining trend for this generation of mothers, from half-birthdays and babymoons to bump and baby milestones. It’s no surprise that a traditional, religious holiday has become not only food and candy purchases but also clothing and gifts in Easter baskets. Consider these numbers, especially if your product and brand falls in food, clothing, gifts, candy or flowers.

  • The NRF survey estimates Easter consumer purchases at $5.5 billion on food, $3 billion on clothing, $2.7 billion on gifts, $2.4 billion on candy and $1.2 billion on flowers. $2.4 billion in candy? That’s a lot of Reese’s cups.
  • Not only are moms buying special-occasion clothing for the family, they consider Easter a good time to shop for seasonal clothing for the kids and themselves. Along with the candy in baskets, moms will add in a swimsuit, flip flops, beach towels and other warm weather attire.
  • Gift giving is not just for birthdays and the December holiday season, as noted by the NRF’s $2.7 billion spend on gifts at Easter. In a separate survey of moms and digital toy purchases, 34% of mothers say they buy kids tech items for “other” holidays like Easter.

If the holiday spending trends continue, the most important of all holidays in my opinion – Mother’s Day – is right around the corner. Along with Father’s Day and even July Fourth, consider tactics that leverage the millennial mom’s love of celebrations of any kind. Send a group of mom influencers a surprise-and-delight basket to start a conversation about your brand. Send age-appropriate baskets to their children, too. Update your Pinterest boards with easy and healthy recipes, decorating tips, crafts, etc. Post short videos on YouTube, Amazon and social sites that highlight how your product makes their holiday celebrations even better. Your Easter basket will fill up quickly.

Post here or tweet me @momtalkradio to continue the conversation.