A recent study by Weber Shandwick really highlighted how brands are often missing the mark with Millennial Moms. Overlooked because of the peculiarities of online marketing and misunderstood because of the dramatic shifts in lifestyle experienced by this seminal generation.
An oddity of online marketing is that you often don’t have good handle on the age of your most ardent fans and brand advocates. You know they are connected and are thought leaders in their community, but often key demographic information is inferred rather than gathered. Interestingly enough, psychographic information is much easier to collect than, demographic, the marketing mainstay. This leaves us oddly unprepared to address the needs of a new generation.
Lifestyle brands are perhaps better at this than those that specifically or primarily target moms as the purchase decision maker. But, not aligning brand image with the changing lifestyle led by Millennial moms leaves a brand vulnerable to being irrelevant in a few short years.
While we tend to characterize Millennial moms (age 19 – 30 or so) as digital natives, there is much more that differentiates them from older generations than just their savvy online. The study points out a few that every brand should consider.
1. Millennial Moms Experience Motherhood Differently - Millennial Moms are about as likely to be stay-at-home moms , but twice as likely to be single and more likely to be the major contributor to the household income than older moms.
2. Millennial Moms are More Collaborative in Grocery Purchase Decision Making – while Millennial Moms are just as likely to be living in a household of 3 or more people as older moms, the much higher rate of single/never married/not cohabitating with a partner moms, may mean multi-family or multi-generational households.
3. Millennial Moms are More Diverse – Racially, culturally, by marital status and income, Millennial Moms that brands are trying to reach span the spectrum in ways that older moms do not. Millennial moms are culturally more accepting and twice as willing to pay for life management assistance.
We’re probably just seeing the tip of the iceberg as a rapidly changing culture means a redefinition of what it means to be “the mom”. Brands that make an effort to get to know her, remarkably easy online, once you start looking, won’t be caught off guard when the vanguard becomes the norm.