Moms Want Tools, Not Toys
But those days are here. And I have my fellow moms to thank for it. Over the past few years, moms have been a powerful catalyst for tech innovation, demanding gadgets and technologies that simplify their lives and empower them to be better parents.
|Mom's 2010 Gadget Wish List|
|2 Nintendo Wii Fit|
|5 External hard drive/back-up|
|7 HD digital camcorder|
|8 Portable DVD player|
|10 Digital camera|
* Plans to buy in the next year
At the recent Mommytech Summit at CES, it was clear that just because technology has become an integral part of mom's daily life doesn't mean she's constantly on the hunt for the latest bleeding-edge gadgets and features. Function rules the day for mom. She wants tools, not toys. She uses her phone to help manage her family's schedule, her webcam to ensure grandma and grandpa don't miss a single milestone, and her laptop to do just about everything, including storing her most prized possessions -- her family photos. According to a recent BabyCenter survey, mom isn't only the primary user of technology in her household, she's often the one to identify the need for new technology in the first place. Here are a few more tidbits from the survey:
5 Truths About the Influence of Technology on the 21st Century Mom
1. From geek chic to utility, tech purchase criteria change after becoming a mom. When a woman becomes a mom, she has to incorporate more than 10 hours of parenting into her already packed schedule. In this new world, utility is a must-have. Over half of moms say that after having a baby, simplicity, multi-functionality and convenience are her biggest priorities when it comes to technology. Color choice and design all fall to the bottom of her list.
2. Mom is integral to the tech purchase decision process. Sixty-seven percent of moms play a key role in purchasing new technology for their family. When it comes to buying a new laptop, 73% of moms say they are the initiating the purchase process and choosing the key features. Not too surprising, given that moms are 20% more likely than dads to use the family laptop.
3. Moms have become tech-fluent to better navigate their new roles. From Dr. Mom to Chief Memory Officer, becoming a mom means taking on new roles. Moms look to technology to make those jobs easier. Moms' top three uses of technology include handling the family schedule, managing family health and wellness, and storing and sharing memories. Seventy-five percent of moms say they're in charge of documenting and sharing family memories, which could explain why an overwhelming 93% own a digital camera and one in three never leave the house without it.
4. Technology convergence gives moms more freedom to roam and interact with family. Now that smartphones and wireless home networks are mainstream, the concept of "home office" is evolving. Moms can now stay connected in and out of the house. Seventy-two percent say that, after having children, they're far more likely to use the laptop in the kitchen or living room so they can stay near the children.
5. Moms are aware of technology's negatives, and they're taking steps to minimize them. As technology becomes more ingrained in their daily lives, moms worry about downsides like less physical activity, lack of face-to-face contact and shorter attention spans. However, moms are taking steps to mitigate these risks by making sure their families enjoy time together uninterrupted by technology (78%), setting limits (75%), using parental controls (41%) and taking away devices (37%).
The 21st Century Mom is armed with technology. She's knowledgeable, discerning, and demanding, and the primary user and decision maker for tech products in the home. The days of women being intimidated by technology are over. Today's moms don't blame themselves when technology doesn't work, they blame the brand. Tech companies who take the time to understand mom and build products that empower her will earn a very powerful fan with a whole lot of friends.