The Mom Economy
As marketers, we sometimes make the mistake of talking about moms in purely emotional terms. In truth, they are smart, economic agents who are expertly trading in the currencies of advice and ideas. In fact, according to a recent global study by McCann Truth Central, “The Truth About Moms,” the vast majority of moms see themselves as influencers within an important ecosystem that we call The Mom Economy.
Many brands hoping to drive advocacy amongst moms will undoubtedly have a mom blogger strategy, and the mom blogger is a force to be reckoned with in the Mom Economy. Her blog is a treasure trove for other moms, and this is a space where brands can play a role. The number one reason moms say they visit a mom blog is to get new ideas for products and ideas for activities to do with their kids.
We spoke with a number of mom bloggers whose stories often began with wanting to create an archive, to tell their family stories and express their creativity. But for many women this quickly became a serious business proposition. The struggle for mom bloggers has been: how do I maintain my authentic voice whilst working with brands and businesses? In truth, only 7% of moms say they feel negative towards advertising on blogs. As long as the content feels authentic and well-integrated then moms are happy. The relationship can often be mutually beneficial; the brand brings credibility to the blogger and vice versa.
However, for brands to focus their strategy solely on the mom blogger is to miss a trick.
The daily exchange of advice and ideas is the lifeblood of The Mom Economy and mom bloggers don’t have a monopoly on expertise. The study found that 81% of moms regard themselves as an expert in at least one “mom subject.” Within every friendship group you will typically find the “health mom,” who other moms will go to when their child has an unexplained symptom … or the “craft mom,” who always has fabulous ideas for party themes and decorations.
Sharing ideas on brands and products is also a vital exchange. Seventy-three percent of moms state that they are often asked where they bought things, and how they got such a good deal: “Some of the things that I buy, they’ll ask me where I got it, and then three weeks later they have it. They will say, “You were talking about it, so it’s cool now” (U.S. mom).
This sharing of ideas and expertise is linked to status and also a sense of duty to other moms, as another U.S. mom said simply “All moms are on the same train.” Moms want to feel like they’re contributing, which is perhaps why 88% say that when they hear an interesting idea or piece of advice about being a parent, they want to share it.
The rise of these multiple Mom Experts has been turbo-charged by technology. From building their bank of expertise, to making new connections, to becoming a savvier shopper, moms are mastering technology in order to make more of their time. In fact, 67% of moms believe technology makes them better mothers – in emerging markets we see this rise to 90% in India and 91% in China. These smart moms are relentlessly focused on utility and efficiency, and the smart phone has become a vital mom tool. Eighty-four percent of moms agree that technology simplifies her life, and 50% of married mothers would rather save their phone or computer over their engagement ring!
If brands are to win in this dynamic new Mom Economy, they need a strategy which not only engages Mom Bloggers but also activates the other mom influencers who are answering questions and offering advice on their chosen topic (be it health, nutrition, recipes or technology) on a daily basis to moms on Facebook, in the playground, at work and on Cafémom.