Help Them Make Friends

by , Oct 21, 2009, 10:15 AM
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Recently, Mom Central Consulting released results of a survey conducted to understand Moms' online and offline social habits, specifically focusing on their attitudes towards networking, community, and sense of self. The data reveal that Moms of all ages are lonely and use the Internet to form new friendships based on shared interests, life events, and parenting support.

Key Trends

Moms Lack a Best Friend or Strong Inner Circle: With daily activities including meetings, carpools, meal preparation and eldercare, Moms maintain increasingly hectic schedules. Unfortunately, this frenzied pace and lack of personal time often means the deterioration of Moms' inner circle and the lack of a best friend, resulting in loneliness and isolation.

Tough Transition Times for Moms with Young Kids and Moms with Teens: For Moms with young kids, loneliness often occurs when they exit the traditional workforce, leave behind workplace friends, and transition to a new and potentially isolating life with infants and young children without the support of a familiar social structure. Likewise, loneliness and isolation hit older Moms, whose role as the primary caregiver wanes as their high school-age kids forge new independence and rely less on Moms for daily care and attention.

1950s Mom Isolation Redux: Loneliness. Isolation. Lack of support. Sound familiar? Based on a geographic distance from family, deteriorating sources of everyday support, isolation from busy neighbors and unsympathetic co-workers, and perceived lack of support from partners, Moms face a real challenge in emotional satisfaction not seen since the 1950s. Yet Millennium Moms have technology at their fingertips that offer the ability online to forge new, and surprisingly lasting, offline friendships.

Key Trends for Brands and Marketers

Facilitating Connectivity Deepens Brand Loyalty: Moms increasingly go online to connect with like-minded Moms, actively seeking out friendships online to fill the void of a lack of best friend or strong inner circle. Brands now have an opportunity to pull them together in forums with others who share their interests. The result? Increasing loyalty to brands that facilitate Mom-to-Mom connectivity.

Key Take-Away: More than ever, brands should focus on providing Moms with opportunities for connectivity, both online and offline, rather than just information, expertise or coupons. Tactics such as forming Mom Ambassador programs offer them significant opportunities to build relationships and leads them to effusively thank the brand for bringing them together.

Geo-Targeted Local Gatherings: With the frenzied pace of today's Moms, many women find that friendships and relationships often fall to the wayside. With just 19% living in the community where they grew up, Moms desperately seek new connections and they struggle: 58% report experiencing loneliness in the past month, and 4 out of 5 need more friends in their lives. Offline events give them the opportunity to meet fellow Moms they know from online communities.

Key Take-Away: In developing Mom-focused consumer campaigns, brands have to think locally while reaching globally. Robust geo-targeted programs with both online and offline components enable Moms to relate brands to their daily lives, and offline events help them build local relationships and connections with fellow Moms in their communities.

• Rise in Social Network Participation Due to Friendship Seeking: Millions of Moms turn to sites like Gather.com (Mom groups), along with Twitter (shared passions), Facebook (reconnections with family and friends) and Linked-In (business-related) for connectivity.

Key Take-Away: By facilitating connectivity and community on these platforms, brands can build tremendous and lasting loyalty among their Mom brand enthusiasts.

For a copy of this research study, please contact Tracey Hope-Ross, VP Social Media and Research: tracey@momcentral.com or 617-244-3002. To find out how brands can effectively utilize these insights, please contact Stacy DeBroff, CEO at stacy@momcentral.com or 617-244-3002.

0 comments on "Help Them Make Friends".

  1. Jonathan Hall from American Pop
    commented on: October 21, 2009 at 12:36 p.m.

    We at American Pop love Mom Central! Very interesting insights. Hopefully the trend of brands trying to understand moms and speak to what they are passionate about continues. We've found through our many Mom social media campaigns that they are not pushovers (you need to do your homework and be relevant) but you could not find a better group to rally around your program if they find it interesting and important.

  2. Stephanie Piche from Mingle Media TV
    commented on: October 21, 2009 at 12:37 p.m.

    Stacy, this is a great article and so true about friendships being built online. Taking this online friendship to the next level with sites like the live interactivity of MomTV allows moms to share real-time via text and chat with show hosts and others in the rooms during the 60 + live streaming webshows each week. We are seeing and hearing Moms talking about how they are growing their friendships while on MomTV and then actually meeting up at off line events. Would love to talk to you about joining the conversations on MomTV.

  3. Joe Barnes from Digital3000.Net
    commented on: October 21, 2009 at 12:39 p.m.

    Nice comments Stacy. You are so right about the power and respect moms deserve---and how to target them.
    Joe Barnes, Chief Marketing & Development Officer, Girl Scouts of Western Washington, joewb@girlscoutsww.org

  4. Bruce Christensen from PartyWeDo
    commented on: October 21, 2009 at 1:57 p.m.

    Stacy,
    It is because of many of the issues that you discuss here that my "empty-nester" wife pushed to have our online white elephant party developed.
    She uses online social tools, like these parties, to gather her family and friends together to share gifts and conversation. She finds these online connection events are a bridge between the times that she can travel for a personal visit.

    Did you study the affect of the loneliness on empty-nest mothers?

  5. Christine Randle from DPR Group
    commented on: October 22, 2009 at 9:14 a.m.

    As a work-from-home mom, I find this article to be dead-on accurate. Great insight!

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