Mothers are an incredibly powerful demographic group in the United States. There are more than 85 million American moms, and women drive the majority of purchase decisions across a wide-range of verticals, including housing, travel, healthcare, food, and automobiles.
Yet, despite this well-known and far-reaching influence, many marketers miss the mark when messaging moms. Why? Often it’s because brands have an inaccurate understanding of how mothers view their roles, engage online, consume media/content, and buy products.
So, what do firms need to know about marketing to modern moms? Which devices, formats, and approaches are most effective? We looked at a host of recent research reports and surveys to find out. Check out the key findings below as well in MDG’s new infographic, How to Market to Moms: 5 Insights for Brands.
1. Moms Feel Marketers Don’t Get Them and Their Lives
While many brands may feel that their mom-centric marketing is spot on, mothers themselves don’t necessarily agree.
- 56% of moms in the United States feel that marketers don’t understand them
What’s driving this dissatisfaction? An in-depth survey found that it’s rooted largely in a disconnect between how moms are depicted by brands and how moms see themselves.
- Moms say they’re often shown by marketers to be saintly, perfect people with the hardest job in the world
- Moms say they see themselves as flawed and idiosyncratic, and that motherhood is an emotionally complex role, not a job
A key element that brands often miss in their marketing is that many moms are in the workforce and balancing the demands of motherhood with the demands of their jobs.
- 70% of women with children under 18 participate in the labor force
- Women are the primary or only breadwinner in 40% of households with children under 18
Moms say their lives are a complex mix of responsibilities and that in a given day, they play a range of different roles.
The Top Roles Moms Say They Play in a Typical Day:
- Safe house
- Rule breaker
2. Moms Are Avid Internet Users and Increasingly Mobile-First
For most moms in the U.S., the Internet has become essential; it now serves a number of key roles, including as a source of entertainment and as a place for connecting socially.
- 96% of mothers in the U.S. use the Internet
- Moms spend 3.5 hours on the Internet each day, on average
For harried moms who are constantly on the go, Internet-enabled mobile devices have become key tools for keeping in touch.
- 63% of moms say their mobile device is important in connecting them to their social world
In fact, smartphones have now become the main way that more than half of U.S. moms go online.
The Primary Device Used by Moms to Access the Internet:
- 55% use a mobile phone
- 36% use a desktop computer
- 9% use a tablet
While moms have embraced mobile devices and online tools, they also have concerns. Many express reservations about the outsized role the Internet now plays in their lives.
- 52% of moms say they feel the need to take a break from the Internet
3. Social Media Plays a Major Role in the Lives of Moms
What are moms doing while on the Internet? For many moms, a large portion of their online time goes toward connecting and sharing on social networks.
- 87% of moms in the U.S. use social media
- 49% of online moms check social media multiple times a day
- Moms spend 2.25 hours on social media each day, on average
Moms in the U.S. tend to be a members of multiple social networks, with Facebook being the most popular.
- Moms in the U.S. are members of 8 social networks, on average
- Facebook is the top social network with moms: 92% use it
Moms don’t just lurk quietly on social media; many frequently post updates about their lives, as well as visual content.
Moms Are More Likely Than Other Social Media Users To:
- Share the details of their lives
- Share photos and videos
4. Television Remains Important for Most Moms, But Viewing Habits Differ
Although digital channels are increasingly important to moms, traditional channels remain influential as well. Television continues to account for a significant amount of moms’ media time.
- Moms spend 2.5 hours watching television each day, on average
The continued popularity of television with mothers can be seen in how they find new products and services: TV is tied with search as the top way moms discover new brands.
How Moms Discover New Brands:
43% say via ads on TV
31% ads seen online
While moms continue to tune in to watch TV programming and advertisements in large numbers, many are now engaging online at the same time.
- 84% of moms second screen with a mobile device or computer while watching TV
- Moms’ most common online activities while watching TV are chatting with friends and checking social networks
A key thing to note is that the television habits of working moms and stay-at-home moms differ significantly.
- Working moms spend 5.5 hours less time, on average, each week watching live TV
Working moms and stay-at-home moms don’t just consume different amounts of television, they also tend to watch at different times. This can be seen in moms’ local news viewing habits:
- Working moms watch more early morning and late news than stay-at-home moms
- Stay-at-home moms watch more mid-day and early evening news than working moms
5. Mom Shoppers Are Digital Savvy, Influenced by Word of Mouth, and Like Deals
As with nearly every other aspect of their lives, digital has had a major impact on moms’ shopping habits. Most mothers are now at least occasional online purchasers.
- 82% of mothers have bought a product online in the previous month
- 88% of parents make at least some toy purchases online
What do moms look at when deciding whether to purchase or not to purchase on an e-commerce site? Delivery and reviews are two influential elements.
- Free delivery is the most important factor that gets moms to complete online purchases
- 40% of moms say customer reviews make them more likely to purchase a product online
Word of mouth, both online and offline, about products and services also plays an important role in moms’ lives.
- 75% of moms say they recommend their favorite brands to friends and family
While good recommendations always help, the primary motivator for making purchase decisions remains simple for most moms: price
What Motivates Moms to Try New Baby/Child Products:
- It was on sale/had a coupon
- It was at a lower price
- It was recommended by friends and family
- It is specifically tailored to my/my child’s needs
Ultimately, many marketers would benefit from updating their idea of the American mom. The picture that emerges of the modern mother from the research is that of an Internet-savvy woman who juggles multiple roles, frequently uses social media, shops online, still likes her favorite television programming, and is always on the hunt for a good deal.
To find out more, check out the full infographic, How to Market to Moms: 5 Insights for Brands.
MDG Advertising, a full-service advertising agency with offices in Boca Raton and New York, NY, is one of Florida’s top branding firms. MDG’s capabilities include print advertising, direct mail marketing, branding, logo design, creative, media buying and planning, radio and TV advertising, outdoor, newspaper, digital marketing, website design and development, online video advertising, infographic development, email marketing, video marketing, mobile marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, paid search marketing, and SEO. To learn about the latest trends in advertising and branding, contact MDG Advertising today at 561-338-7797 or visit mdgadvertising.com.
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Written by Michael Del Gigante