Marketing to Moms

By Lori Berns  | 

Mothers are an important demographic group, as they drive buying decisions related to childcare, housing, food, healthcare and travel. Enter Covid-19, and most moms are now a captive audience grappling with new challenges including how to keep kids educated, entertained and fed while at home all day, every day. That spells unique opportunities for marketers. Indeed, the way brands target moms has arguably never mattered more. To land on the right message, here are a few key points to consider.

Be a Source of Support
From homeschooling to finding time for remote work to countless home-cooked meals, many lockdown moms are juggling a new range of responsibilities. Brands can step in to lend task-lightening aid, like formulating fresh offerings for kids. Fisher-Price recently partnered with Wieden+Kennedy to launch Home Collection, a campaign that provides tips to kids and parents for how to fashion toys out of mundane household objects. Similarly, Sesame Street teamed up with meditation app Headspace to create animated content featuring Cookie Monster, Elmo and other beloved characters sharing tools for managing tough feelings during this tricky time. Recent economic uncertainty has prompted many parents to reevaluate their household budgets, so it perhaps comes as no surprise that 88 percent of moms currently crave deals and cost-saving promotions, according to a May Influence Central survey. Brands can do their bit by marketing accordingly, whether via discounts, giveaways or buy-one-get-one-free contests. Online shopping has also been on the rise since most stores shuttered in March. 71 percent of women surveyed by Influence Central, report shopping for groceries in stores less frequently than during pre-pandemic days. Food companies and brands can fill that missing market need by maintaining a vibrant online presence.

Customize Offerings
Every mother is different. What’s more, modern parents are particularly accustomed to being addressed in personalized ways by brands. Current messaging should therefore be thoughtfully curated to cater to moms’ specific needs. Influence Central found that food content is of particular importance, with increasing interest in testing sourdough starters or innovating novel ways to cook rice and beans. Of the women surveyed, 57 percent want recipes that include only a few ingredients, while 49 percent hunger for content that relays cooking methods using pantry staples. An additional 43 percent want both interesting recipes and healthy snacking ideas, providing ample opportunities for brands to deliver. Further innovation can be achieved in the home and sectors, as 47 percent of moms are presently seeking ideas for home organizing and cleaning projects. 45 percent want arts and crafts inspiration, 44 percent are interested in educational or virtual-learning offerings and 42 percent are looking for at-home fitness programs.

Strike the Right Tone
Before the start of the coronavirus, moms already paid more attention than average consumers to the purpose and meaning expressed by brands. Now, according to a recent GfK market study, they’re scrutinizing such messaging ever more carefully, with over 80 percent reporting that the way brands behave during the course of this crisis will affect future purchasing decisions. Mothers prefer truthful authenticity over polished, picture-perfect Instagram veneers, which is no surprise, given that cramped lockdown lives tend toward messy. And while some marketers have chosen to mute themselves during Covid-19, that may be a mistake. Moms want and need brands to be audible and visible, helping them shoulder burdens, speak to them in ways that feel real and meet them online, where social media use has surged. In fact, according to GfK, moms’ time on digital channels is now “significantly higher” than the US average.

From innovative activities for kids to food inspiration to fitness motivation, marketers have an opportunity to meet moms’ most pressing needs in meaningful ways. Leaving a lasting impression now could have a big impact on brand loyalty in the future.

Lori Berns
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