Marketing to Moms: 12 Outrageous Facts I Learned at M2Moms

October 24, 2011 § 5 Comments

The 7th Annual M2Moms Conference just wrapped up in Chicago, and I am sitting here trying to digest all the breaking news from the conference.  So while it is top of mind, I thought I would share some of the mental SWAG from the week.

1.  Forty-four percent of Millennial Moms think marriage is obsolete.  It seems that marriage is no longer considered a societal role imposed upon women, but rather a choice they make.  Some 41% of all births are now to unwed mothers, and that number rises to 51% when considering just Millennial Moms.  This is a trend that will have long-lasting repercussions in our society.  (Rose Cameron, Euro RSCG Chicago, Parenting by Millennials).

2.  Fifty percent of women Facebook their birthing event.   Those video cameras in birthing rooms have been replaced by eager Moms who Facebook the event for all their friends to read and see in real-time.  As these Facebook babies grow up, maybe those photo galleries will be harder to find than those old VHS tapes that earlier generations saved.   (Rose Cameron, Euro RSCG Chicago, Parenting by Millennials)

3.  Musings on the usage of iPads by children: “A magazine is an app that does not work for a one year old.”  Probably the best quote of the conference.  Rose Cameron showed a fun video of a one year old who kept punching a magazine photo trying to get it to do something.  This was proof that children today are growing up with a totally different adaptation to technology, not to mention babysitting.  Maybe these little digital natives are Steve Jobs most lasting legacy.

4.  The Era of Gender Surrender.  I have never heard more research catch phrases and twisted trend terms in my life, but this is one that rings true.   Parenting roles are being redefined, and 33% of dads are taking on the roles of traditional moms.  The shared responsibilities and Stay At Home Dads are a target audience for marketers to consider.  And the poster child of this new Dad is the fictitious Daniel Lee of Google Chrome advertising.  As you might expect, a side note to this is more women are feeling responsibility for the finances of the household.  (Missy Maher and Jennifer Babbit Bodner, Edelman, Modern Family).

5.  Grandmothers are Second Parents.   Several of the presenters talked about those active, vital grandparents and the huge influence these grandparents are making on the lives of their grandchildren, and on purchase decisions for those children.  These very vibrant and well-healed Boomers are large in the lives of their grandchildren, with some 75% of Boomer grandparents involved in the raising of their grandchildren, and using that disposable income on Junior. Conversely, marketers have somehow totally ignored the purchase power of grandparents. Just as important as their debit card, Boomer Moms also have the strongest bonds with their Millennial Daughters.

6.  Smartphone has allowed Moms to work at home, at the playground and in carpools.  This robust new era of work at home Moms who are professional bloggers, entrepreneurs and freelancers owe their new freedom to their supportive be-all-you-can-be upbringing and their ability to conduct business anywhere with a smartphone.  Guess that’s a second legacy piece for Steve Jobs.

7.  Ninety percent of Moms go online for “me time.”  Soap operas and chick lit are out, and social online time is in for Moms needing a little refuge from the Mom World.  Going online helps fill Mom’s needs for social interaction, self-sufficiency and bargain hunting.  But beware, some 36% are getting bored with what their friends had for dinner last night and are looking for more fulfilling news and content.  Sixty-three percent of Moms read articles posted by others, 35% share what they are reading, and 35% post content that others share.  (Lauren Weinberg, VP Strategic Insights & Research, Yahoo!)

8.  Millennial Moms are more isolated than past generations and social media fills a need.  Only 19% of moms today raise their child in the community in they grew up.  And as their network of friends is more far-flung, social media fills a real need.  Many moms have two Facebook identities.  Nine out of ten moms Facebook; three out of five Tweet; and three out of five blog.  (Stacy DeBroff, Founder & CEO, Mom Central Consulting.)

9.  Two-thirds of moms trust reviews of those they have never met. The Recommendation Culture Rules.  Moms are becoming less brand loyal and more review loyal.  Moms are likely to switch brands if friends love it and recommend it, and the brand will help them save money.

10.  Boomer Moms are paying for 59% of adult children’s cellphones.  Boomer moms are spending 84% more than their moms did on them.  Boomer moms pay for 53% of insurance, 39% of rent, 38% of travel and 33% of computers for adult children 18-30.  Some 40% spend more than $5,000 per year on their adult child 18-30 years old, and the Boomers don’t even know when is the right time to stop subsidizing their children’s household. (Stephen Reily, Founder, VibrantNation.com, The “Graduate” Mom.)

11.  The Zero Moment of Truth is the overlooked part of today’s purchase funnel.  Today’s shopper uses twice as many sources of information on products before making a purchase decision.  On average, shoppers consulted 5.2 sources in 2010, and that number has doubled to 10.4 sources in 2011.  To take advantage of this new reality, marketers must provide multiple opportunities for shopper to find out information on your brand, find consumer reviews on your brand, and find product comparisons.  Whether the purchase is made online or offline is not as important as where the research is done.  (Jim Lecinski, Author Chief ZMOT Evangelist and Managing Director of US Sales, Google, and John Ross, CEO, Shopper Sciences)

12. Seventy-five percent of Moms don’t think marketers understand them.  It seems that most marketing is still steeped in the Leave it to Beaver era, not recognizing the diversity or the composition of families.  But even more important are the needs of today’s moms and how marketers really speak to the important roles that moms feel are their job today.  What moms like are marketers that speak to their heart, helping them solve problems and facilitate their role as mom. (Laura Salant, What Moms Really Care About, about.com)

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