A new year is upon us – and with it comes the pundits with their predictions about trends and what to expect in the upcoming year. Since I’ve been in the trenches planning Q1 initiatives for clients, I’m sharing with my thoughts about moms, their top concerns, and the trends we marketers should anticipate when looking forward to 2012.
But before we touch on the trends for 2012, let’s recap the highlight of 2011 which will continue to play a big role in the New Year. The most significant trend in ’11 has to be the incredible jump in smartphone usage among moms. In 2009, only 22% of moms owned a smartphone. That figure jumped to 62% this year: a whopping two-thirds of moms now own a smartphone and the device is quickly becoming her primary “screen” since she’s always on the go.
In 2012, marketers will need to focus on how to effectively reach mom on her smartphone in meaningful and relevant ways. Most importantly, the key will be to rise above what is quickly becoming as cluttered as the web is now. A word of caution: push notifications have the potential to be the new “pop-up” ad. Make sure this very effective touchpoint is managed wisely.
Ok, so on to the subject at hand:
1. Bargain Hunting: As I’ve mentioned before, “never pay retail” has become the mantra for moms. They’ve demonstrated their prowess in finding deals using favorite social media and mobile tools. Mom won’t pay full-price without first exhausting her resources – of which there are many. If Amazon’s brilliant campaign to push users out of stores and to the web with discounts as a lure is any indication, the trend to use bargains that shift and maintain loyalty will be important in 2012.
2. Going Green: The green movement isn’t new however in years past, moms have considered “going green” cost prohibitive (remember the term “Whole Paycheck”?), so the trend appealed to a wealthier demographic. Today, Moms realize that “going green” doesn’t mean breaking the bank. Continued education and messaging that green living goes hand-in-hand with a budget-conscious lifestyle will be big in 2012.
On the flip side, when it comes to food, moms are willing to spend more -- especially since they’re working hard to save money elsewhere. More than three-quarters (78%) of U.S. families now purchase some organic foods and 48% of parents believe that organic products “are healthier for me and my children” – so they’re paying more for those products. We’ll continue to see shifts away from overly processed items and artificial ingredients and increased spending on healthier foods.
3. Education and Technology: As the debate over the quality of our school systems continues, more and more moms are turning to external supplements to enhance their children’s education. Number one of the list of teaching aids? Technology. Tablets and the infinite number of educational apps available on them, as well as game-changing resources like KhanAcademy.org (touted by Bill Gates as being on the leading edge of education), are taking the place of tutors and creating significant waves in the way we teach. In 2012, smart marketers will continue to connect the dots between technology and education to address the movement towards the rethinking of the way we educate our children.
2012 has the potential to be one of the biggest years yet as far as significant shifts in the way moms interact with brands and how they spend their hard-earned, but plentiful dollars. Brands can be integral in those shifts as long as they engage with moms respectfully, smartly and in meaningful ways.