There's No One-Size-Fits-All Mom

Marketers like to bucket us into categories of the second life mom, the Millennial mom, Gen X moms, Gen Y moms, the vibrant mom, the survivor mom -- to name a few. The truth is, it’s very hard to categorize us. We are a huge demographic. And the growing multicultural mom is barely being addressed. 

Most research is done through surveys, which don’t really bring to life what it’s like to be in the midst of today’s highly social mom. The moms I’ve met don’t care one iota if you are a single mom, a divorced mom, an older mom, an empty nester, a WAHM or a SAHM. It is motherhood that binds us together along with a desire for camaraderie and shared information. And these virtual moms are often our BFFs. Gone are the days of moms hanging over the picket fence and spending a few minutes socializing. We’re all just too busy. Brands looking to leverage social media should be looking for the influencer moms who have built networks of mom relationships and where trust has been established. These networks have little to do with categorization. 

There are several things that marketers can remember regardless of “mom type.”

1. Moms have one foot in today and one foot in the future.

She thinks about the immediate and what lies ahead. She likes brands that save her money today while keeping an eye on our collective future through sustainability or eco-friendly practices.

2. Enlist an opinion of women/moms to weigh in on your marketing ideas.

Moms are eager to talk to brands. We don’t bite. But brands often forget to include the very audience they are trying to attract. Translating marketing insights into campaign materials that will resonate is often a big misstep because research is often taken so literally. Just because it says we “like” to garden, doesn’t mean you throw photos all over the communication materials of moms gardening. Think about gardening from a different perspective: why is she gardening? Is it because it’s therapeutic? Is it calming, “me” time?

3. Don’t be so overt that you’re marketing to mom.

Mom has become a huge focus of today’s marketing. But that doesn’t mean you have to start off things with headlines or voiceover copy saying, “Hey, moms! This is for you.” And don’t use pink-unless it’s brand appropriate. We don’t buy things because they’re made for moms, we buy them because we need them. Brands need to sell from the perspective of what she is looking for, not from the fact she is a mom. 

4. Use social media to beta test your marketing ideas.

The great thing about social media is that it is a living, breathing research resource of your audience. You can put out ideas to the audience to see their reactions before spending lots of dollars. Moms are happy to give opinions within reason. The influential mom will want to be paid to give a brand advice, but it will be money well spent. 

5. Remember marketing to a mom is marketing to the family.

Brands targeting mom need to know she’s choosing with her family in mind. And because today’s families are so busy, she’s looking for things that bring the family together. Watching YouTube videos and gaming are the new family entertainment. That new popcorn brand she just picked up was not chosen because she was hungry, it was chosen because she thought the family might like to try something new.

Make a great product and she’ll find your brand. Make a great product with great customer service and you’ll have her for life. And this is true of any categorization of mom. Brands need to look at their products in addition to their marketing efforts and mix. Moms aren’t going to socialize a crappy product at least not in the way a brand would want. Start with providing detail. Moms like information and to be educated about the products they are bringing into their homes. Remember Moms are well equipped to adapt to the changing social media landscape. Moms do their homework and understanding the details is part of the homework regardless if they are a Latina mom, a boomer mom, a second life mom...

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1 comment about "There's No One-Size-Fits-All Mom ".
  1. Vera Holroyd from MomFocus Marketing , September 20, 2012 at 3:52 p.m.
    Hi Holly, I like your article and appreciate all the points brought forward. I especially agree with the second bullet point, suggesting companies enlist (real) Moms to help them polish their marketing strategies as well as specific tactics in order to truly resonate with their specific Mom audience. As I have written before, we are very passionate about "Mom advisory boards" in our practice as a result of their value we see each time we utilize them for a project.