With the rise of emerging technology and digital trends, there are new opportunities and challenges for mom when it comes to creating meaningful moments for her family. Over the past year, the Moms Human Experience Center and Yahoo set out to understand how moms are navigating technology’s impact on family time, and what emerging needs have resulted with the change.
Our question: What do moms need to create meaningful family time? And how can marketers help?
THE VALUE OF A SIMPLE MOMENT
Moms around the world are being challenged by a busy schedule, limited time and the need to carve out moments with her children and partner. Family time has always been valued by moms but today, due to packed schedules and long to-do lists, these moments are the ultimate luxury. Regardless of generation, country, or even age of children – all moms voiced the importance of family moments.
“Because the 10 minutes we spend with our kids in daily routine activities like waiting for rides, driving in the car, and tucking them into bed adds up. Based on our choices, these minutes can either add up to nothing or they can add up to something that matters.” – American mom
“It is difficult to have these moments, but I try to make time for them before or after dinner.” – Argentine mom
A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH
There is no doubt that technology and the digital evolution has played a significant role in redefining family time. It is a polarizing force. Technology has the power to distract or fragment families, but it also creates new avenues for parents and children to come together and form memories.
All across the world, we saw family game nights modernized by gaming consoles, family get-togethers defying the boundaries of distance with Skype and FaceTime, and families bonding across screens with homework or online exploration.
“We really like the Wii and Playstation, which we could all play together. This is really good for sense of community.” – French mom
“We’ve found new ways of bonding through my son’s passion for trains. We explore model train videos online and both enjoy the videos, but the real joy for me is in the bonding that takes place during this time.” - British mom
“Bringing our family to the same place wasn’t possible…so we turned to technology for some help in bringing us into my parent’s home over two thousand miles away. And it worked!” – American mom
A SHIFT FROM EFFICIENCY TO MEANING
With overwhelming schedules and to-dos, marketers have often come to moms’ rescue when she has asked, “How can I get more done in my day?” Today, most content targeted at moms is focused on simplicity and speed – “quick and easy dinner ideas” or “how to clean your bathroom in five minutes,” etc.
However, through our research, moms are looking to take a step back from their manic schedule and instead be more present for their families—even if the moments are short but sweet. They are now asking brands, “How can I make the time I have with my family more meaningful?”
Interestingly, we asked global moms what they thought brands’ biggest misconception of moms was:
“That we want to be perfect all the time, e.g., make a perfect cake, meal, dress fashionable all the time, etc.” – British mom
“That mothers are always worrying about how to remove stains! Come on, we have more important things to worry about in life.” – Indian mom
MOM’S NEW RECEPTIVITY
Moms are comfortable with turning to digital resources for information and ideas. She considers it her on-demand inspiration and trusts her online networks and unlimited access for information. And today, global moms are more open to and actively seeking out advice and suggestions on how to create meaningful family moments.
“I try to know what other families are enjoying and that way I try to have some innovative ideas to enjoy togetherness although the other things that my family always enjoys is always there.” – Indian mom
Our findings uncovered moms’ new mindset. Instead of thinking in terms of efficiency and time-saving, moms are now more focused on meaningful moments with family.
We know that moms actively seek out ideas to inspire their family time activities. This heightened awareness, openness to suggestions and desire to be present with her children and partner, offers an unprecedented opportunity for brands.
Marketers who want to better connect with moms need to move away from offering simple and time-efficient suggestions, and focus on how to make family time more valuable and fun.
Technology can help make that connection possible, bringing brands, moms and family moments together.
Our global study included nine countries: Argentina, China, Colombia, France, India, Mexico, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.