Stop Avoiding The Conversation

News flash: Moms don't want to have a relationship with their laundry detergent. What they do want is more time to engage with the segments that impact their busy lives, such as health care and financial services.

The Boston Consulting Croup published a book recently regarding the "female economy," stating that Moms will drive $5 trillion in incremental global spending growth and advising marketers about they should do to capture this highly influential group. It goes into six profiles of different types of women and points out, specifically, the categories in which women are easily engaged, i.e., food, fitness, beauty and apparel. This is no surprise; it's where we see most of the marketing focus from brands to Moms.

What we don't see because it "frustrates" them, according to BCG, is financial and health care services marketing to Moms. One could also add real estate, automobiles and big box stores.

The financial and health care segments are missing a big opportunity. Moms are the game-changers today, leading the way online by creating a presence for themselves on social networking sites and blogs. According to the latest stats, women are ahead of men in the most popular social media destinations such as Facebook (57%), Del.icio.us (52%), Ning (59%), Twitter (57%), Ustream.TV (66%) and Flickr (55%).

Additionally, mobile use is up and dominated by women (55%), with the 35-54 age group leading the way for social networking, followed by the 25-34 age group. With more Moms controlling the conversation, having the power, information and resources to make their own decisions, brands are going to need to step up and learn to be transparent in their relationship with them.

Personally speaking, we don't want to have a relationship with our laundry detergent. Moms do want to know that the household products we purchase work as advertised, are good for the environment, and have coupons and specials so we can make our dollars go further. However, it doesn't mean that we're not interested in the segments that "frustrate" us. Moms want more time, which means that we don't have time to sit through a three-hour consultation with a financial planner or wait around for the on-call nurse to call back so we can schedule an appointment.

Moms seek out social engagements and, by doing so online, they look for portals and resources where they can find the information they seek from an authentic, trusted source. They do this while multi-tasking through their to-do lists and don't appreciate having their time wasted. Isn't it ridiculous that laundry detergent brands have a better "relationship" with Moms than health care and financial services providers do?

Moms care about sustaining and improving their families financially; they want to know how to manage daily and monthly finances. They worry about money every day. Creating solutions that make it easier for Moms to engage with financial services beyond the household budget would be a huge growth area.

Take the health care segment. Did you know that women spend 30-50% more money than men do for health care services? Why aren't they paid more attention? Do health care providers think they're going to come and keep spending money with them and not look elsewhere for a true engagement? No wonder these segments (along with auto, big box and real estate) are listed as areas that women find "frustrating" and ones that marketers avoid. The fact is, these marketing teams are not consumer-focused, not social, and not present.

Stop avoiding the conversation. Engage with Moms in ways that show you value their time and want to have a relationship with them. The best place to start is with a conversation. Ask questions, and find out what Moms want.

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1 comment about "Stop Avoiding The Conversation ".
  1. Stacey Mathis from Stacey Mathis Copywriting/Consulting , May 19, 2010 at 7:06 p.m.

    Great article. Stephanie, it, unfortunately, may be up to women to make this happen. Often, businesses need to be shown what would happen if their women customers were to pull out. They may need to be shown the revenue increases that have resulted when other companies have shown that they value the time of their women customers and have relationships with them. Leveraging the omnipotence of social media is one way to accelerate this.