MediaPost- Engage Moms
Last feed update: Wednesday August 27th, 2014 10:35:36 AM
With the back-to-school rush complete, you have a few weeks to take a breath before the madness of the holiday season begins. September is a great time to look at your overall marketing to mom strategies and see where you are finding success and where you might want to put in a little more effort as we head into the very important Q4.
In the spirit of the back-to-school season, let's open our math books and look at some big numbers. Moms spend an estimated $2.4 trillion on products and services every year. The global baby care market is expected to exceed $66 billion in U.S. dollars by 2017, with close to 4 million babies born in the U.S. each year.
If it says "mom," is it a turnoff? Have we gotten to the point where marketing to "mom" works against us? Does "moms love this!" fall on deaf ears? Have we saturated the market with mom messages to the point moms no longer hear them? Are we too myopic in our focus on mothers?
In late July, I attended the 10th anniversary celebration of BlogHer, the world's largest conference for female bloggers. This marked my seventh BlogHer event: Twice, I have been a panelist, the rest of the time an avid listener as both a blogger and marketer. Even after all these years, the women there never cease to amaze me, with their back stories, their passion, their pursuit of truth for a broad diversity of constituencies, their inclusion of topics ranging from parenting to mental illness to autism to politics to technology. Some have chosen to make a difference with their blogs, others simply to make money. The best balance both.
Everyone's getting excited for the Fall TV Season, but is that really what we should be calling it? These days, a better term might be the Fall Screen Season or the Fall Entertainment Season. Or the Fall Cross-Platform Media-Mashup Season.
The voice of Mom is powerful. It’s something that brands are desperate to attract and at the same time, it’s one thing that brands fear the most. The motivated voice of one mom can mobilize a movement against a brand, having real impact right where it hurts – online and at the shelf. We all remember what happened to Pampers Dry Max diapers. A mom loyal to Pampers Cruisers was taken by surprise when she discovered structural changes to the diapers. Well, her baby developed diaper rash. She called Procter & Gamble out on it and received an inadequate response. So she rallied other moms and amassed an 11,000-strong Facebook group: Pampers bring back the OLD CRUISERS/SWADDLERS. The overwhelming number of complaints drove the Consumer Product Safety Commission to review the claims, and though they found no link between the Dry Max diapers and the diaper rash, P&G had to settle a lawsuit and is still dealing with the mama drama on its website, using paid search ads to steer the conversation. P&G is a global, multi-billion dollar company and all it took was one jilted mom with a Facebook account to get their attention. These stories aside (you can read a ton of them in Paul Gillin’s Attack of the Customers: Why Critics Assault Brands Online and How To Avoid Becoming a Victim), when it comes to brand affinity, the voice of the mom consumer shows love with silence and dollars, and dislike with the volume turned up to 11. A Social Media Explorer study tracked and ranked the top 50 brands by social media mentions associated with love and hate. Interestingly, brands overall had seven times more hate mentions than love mentions. So, since it’s more likely that hate is fueling moms’ contributions to social media, marketers need to steer clear of behaviors that land them swiftly and squarely on moms’ sh*t lists. Here are just a few things to avoid: 1. Change Without Notice – As we saw with Pampers, when a product changes its form, size, or contents, even subtly, moms’ eyebrows raise. Moms are a sophisticated audience, and they know brands make changes to keep costs down. The damage comes when they feel the brand attempted to sneak a change by them unnoticed. A transparent, proactive approach is always best when introducing any changes to a brand. 2. Pestering Promotions – Moms are often deluged with requests to help their kids collect ’em all, like that complete set of licensed figurines from the latest superhero movie franchise, or those trading cards from that weird cartoon. Free with purchase. But it means buying kids’ meals or cereal boxes for six straight weeks. Moms are quick to see these schemes as doomed from the start, and the brands behind them become something to avoid altogether. 3. Manipulation – It’s a challenge for brands to avoid being seen as manipulative because consumers are keenly aware of the fact that marketers’ goal is to entice them to buy more stuff. A brand built on altruism can be especially susceptible. Take Dove. The Real Beauty concept has skillfully earned moms’ love with emotive videos and feel-good messaging. But while the most recent iteration featuring placebo beauty patches is on message, it serves as a strong reminder that Dove is really, really good at duping you. 4. Pinkification – It’s great to market a product that is uniquely made for women. But it really has to be made for women. As in, a man would not get the same quality experience when using the product. When a tool set, beer, or pen is splashed in pink, turning it into the “For Her” version, it’s just shallow, off-putting, and insulting to women’s intelligence. (I’m looking at you, Bic.) Just don’t do it. 5. Ignoring the Basics – It’s common to see a great marketing effort succeed in getting moms’ family-sized wallets in the door, only to be waylaid by missing some of her basic expectations. We’ve all seen those kids’ clothing stores that are merchandised so tightly they’re impossible to navigate with a stroller, the restaurants with great kids’ deals and too few high chairs, and the happy “family-friendly” airlines with no family pre-boarding. Make the brand story match the brand experience and you’ll have smooth sailing. These tips are common sense, but I find that they all fall under one of moms’ trusty parenting adages: treat others the way you would like to be treated. It’s that simple. If you consistently shape your brand’s actions through this lens, you’ll be fine. And yet, many brands have a hard time staying off mom’s sh*t list.
If you are like many mom marketers, you are probably spending this week recovering from BlogHer, the annual blogging conference that just celebrated its 10th anniversary in San Jose. You might be, as blogger Janie Emaus calls it, "BlogHerized"- a mind-boggling state of sorting through the Who, Where, Why and When of What you experienced at the conference. You met some amazing bloggers, but how do you begin finding those blogs that will be the best partners for your brand?
On any given night, on a not-so-infrequent basis, you can find me at the Forever 21 store in New York's Times Square. Call it a guilty pleasure or perhaps a convenient stop at 11 p.m. after a business dinner; however, I just can't help myself from stopping in on my way back to my hotel. At that hour, the store is still buzzing with deal-seeking fashionistas.
When a woman becomes a mom, her life fills with "firsts": first bath, first steps, first time sleeping through the night. While each first gives moms a reason to celebrate, many usher in a new set of challenges.
There is no doubt that moms have found their voice in countries all around the world. I recently spoke to Aaron Sherinian, VP of communications and public relations for the UN Foundation, who said, "Ask a mom today where she lives, and she will tell you she has a global zip code. Don't assume she only cares about one issue or cause and don't assume that it's a cause that lives in her backyard. She communicates on more than one channel and is interested in a host of issues. Today's mom may want to help out at her local school, but she's also worried about economic development, health care, climate, education, poverty, hunger and human rights issues around the world. It's important to meet her where she is and help her as she bridges her involvement in both local and global issues."
Becoming a mom changes everything: your priorities, your schedule, your ability to sleep more than four hours in a row. But nothing feels as dramatic and surprising as the changes in your shape and body image. In just a few months you go from using a rubber band to keep your jeans closed to wearing what can feel like a small tent. And for most women, the body image roller-coaster ride doesn't stop after childbirth. Maybe you go back to your pre-pregnancy weight, but none of your old clothes fit. Maybe you struggle with stretch marks or changes in your breasts. Some women even go up a shoe size!
I love surveys, data and statistics that turn opinions and emotions in to concrete, quantifiable numbers. Whether it's for social media conferences we host, the dozens I attend each year or at the request of a client, survey data bring it all together. That's why I'm pleased to see this recent report by Kelby Carr of Type-A Parent, "Parent Bloggers Mean Business." It's refreshing to see more validation of what we know about moms who blog, the blogosphere, and particularly what we have been telling brands for a long time.
I've been attending mom blogger conferences for years-this summer will be my seventh BlogHer event. Yet this month was the first time I had the opportunity to turn out for the Mom 2.0 Summit, which took place in Atlanta. Staff members who had gone in the past highly recommended it, and finally, this year, I had no scheduling conflicts.
A new study from DeVries Global focuses on the power and influence of the "otherhood," a word used to describe women who are not moms. The word is actually the title of a new book by SavvyAuntie.com founder Melanie Notkin. In fact, Notkin partnered with DeVries Global on the study, which sheds new light on a demographic of women-moving them beyond the "Sex and the City" stereotypes and showing women who are smart, savvy and discerning in all aspects of their lives.
Yesterday, actress Gwyneth Paltrow called for an end to the Mommy Wars. What she doesn't realize is that most moms are one step ahead of her. Our new research shows that the battle between stay-at-home moms and working moms isn't raging as fiercely as it once did. Moms today are showing more respect and empathy for each other's choices.
With an estimated 4 million babies born in the U.S. every year, the number for marketers to pay attention to is $10,000 to $12,000. That's the average to low end of the budget that today's mom-to-be will spend as she prepares for baby's arrival. Women having babies and raising young children are the Millennial generation, a group that makes up about 21% of the U.S. population and the largest consumer group to emerge since the Baby Boomer generation.
Today's social media-savvy moms are considered early technology adopters, but is mom ready to embrace the wearable Internet and become the next mobile device?
Traditional marketing-to-mom tropes have become less and less reliable. Is the modern mom working, a homemaker, an educator, the breadwinner, a spouse, a shopper, or primary nurturer? Is she all of the above, or none of the above?
If necessity is indeed the "mother of invention," then moms are increasingly finding it necessary to not only invent products to make the world go 'round, but to build their own businesses around them.
We all know that today's mom is always connected, puts her family first, and expects only the best from her favorite brands. But why does this matter to content marketers? These "household CEOs" represent over a trillion dollars in household spending per year. Marketers who truly understand this audience can leverage great content to build loyalty and influence purchases.
When we were getting ready to adopt our little girl, I thought I was prepared for the inevitable life disruptions: sleep deprivation, diaper duty, feeding conundrums. But I was completely unprepared for one of the more overwhelming aspects of early parenthood: choosing baby products and gear.
Last week I had the privilege of attending Generation W, an annual event in Jacksonville, Fla., that brings together leaders and experts from around the country for a day of education, inspiration and connection for women. While this event is about inspiring thought leadership that will move people to improve their lives and communities, it also gave me some marketing-to-mom inspiration-specifically in a session led by public relations and social media consultant Angie Orth.
Latina moms are going to be the subject of the same fervor and focus that was put towards marketing to moms and social media back in the '90s. One in four babies in the U.S. are born to a Latina mother and, by 2015, that number will change to one in three, with their purchasing power estimated to reach $1.5 trillion. According to Nielsen, "they are now the primary or joint decision-makers in every major category including groceries, finances, electronics and family care." As with every demographic uptick, this will have major effects on brands and their shopper marketing strategies. Here's what we know about the rising influence of Latina moms and how brands can effectively reach them:
There was a day in the not-too-distant past when sponsors had only a few choices for event sponsorship in the mom blogosphere. However, as the space has matured and grown, so have the conferences that serve the assorted interests and experience level of mom bloggers. Before throwing your dollars at the same events you've been tapping, you may want to look at some of the exciting new options for 2014.
Like most of the internet this week, I have been in equal measure perplexed and amused at the now infamous term "Conscious Uncoupling." In case you've been hiding under a rock this week, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin announced their decision to consciously uncouple, and the internet exploded. However, if we look past the quips on Twitter and obvious "SNL" fodder, what we see is an extreme form of a trend that has been gathering pace during the past few years.
On Monday and Tuesday, I attended the 2014 Sandbox Summit, a wonderful meeting about the convergence of technology and education. One of the speakers from BuzzFeed mentioned that women share BuzzFeed information four times as much as men.
Wouldn't a brand be delighted to receive this kind of response to their product? "I saw it and I just had to have it." "My family would be so much happier with it in our home!" "I felt much safer after we bought one."
As a Hispanic woman raising kids in the United States, I'm especially attuned to the attitudes and challenges of moms like me. But in the past couple of years, I've noticed that a lot of big brands are tuning into our needs as well. The reason is simple: Between 2000 and 2010, the Hispanic population grew by 43% - that's four times the general rate of population growth.
In honor of National Women in History Month, I want to share some of the women who have inspired me with their marketing-to-mom greatness.
Today's moms have an overwhelming amount of resources to turn to and more content to digest than any other generation before them. Search "new baby" and over 2 billion hits come up. That is information overload for a mom who is already feeling overloaded before the baby is even born and despite being a digital native. Thousands and thousands of recommendations, checklists, educational tips and opinions abound. There is no shortage of advice from friends, family, peers, influencers and celebrity moms, not to mention a huge selection of stores to buy from-large to boutique stores-both online and off.
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