Many brands recognize the purchasing power of the female demographic and seek to target women as their primary consumer, for anything from consumer package goods and household appliances to automobiles, financial services and luxury vacations. However, brands that don’t take into account the below marketing misconceptions when targeting women in a rapidly evolving social media environment, are missing a real opportunity to gain positive awareness and build brand loyalty.
Misconception #1: Speak to all women as mothers
When targeting women in the 25-54-year-old age bracket, it is true that a large percentage of these women are mothers. However, marketers are shortsighted in appealing to just this aspect of a woman’s identity. In fact, very few influencers self-identify as “mommy bloggers.” While there are influencers dedicated to reporting on the trials and tribulations of parenting, many given the generic “mommy blogger” label cover recipes, technology, fashion and DIY crafts, and should be addressed by their specific journalistic beats as opposed to their status as a parent.
Mothers are using social media as a way to expand their social networks and escape their everyday life. This is time away from their babies and children, and, as such, women gravitate towards topics of personal interest. We have learned that women were the chattiest when the topic focused on makeup, skin care, diet, food and financial services. Unless a product or service directly relates to motherhood or parenting, consider targeting women as women, not mothers, first.
Misconception #2: What works for one group of women, will work for another
Your audience can be sliced into more distinct groups and subgroups now than10 -15 years ago, and there is a targeted outlet, a channel and platform for each. In addition to age, geography, life stage and interests all play a part in determining an audience, making it necessary to drill down the profile of the specific consumer you are trying to reach. If your target is a 30-something-year old mother, consider if this is her first or second child, if she lives in the city or suburbs, eats organically, works outside of the home, lives near family and how she spends her valued free time. Once you’ve identified a profile of your desired target, seek out several women that fit the description. Find out what she reads, how she hears recent news and who she looks to for advice before even beginning to brainstorm a campaign strategy.
Misconception #3: Use the newest, hottest social media platform
Before launching a marketing campaign on the new “hot” platform, review your target’s media consumption habits and evaluate the platform audience closely. Are you looking to reach middle-aged women? Snapchat isn’t for you, but Facebook might be a fit. Seeking younger female consumers (those who aren’t mothers)? Instagram and YouTube might make sense for this group highly interested in visuals, where a Facebook campaign would fall flat.
We know that mothers both new and seasoned seek and trust the advice of their peers; however, today’s young mothers aren’t reading as many personal blogs as Gen X mothers were at that stage in their lives. Millennial mothers rely more heavily on word of mouth and lean on their existing social media platforms. And if you go for video, keep it succinct, as a mother’s time is limited for feature-length campaigns.
Women can tell when they are being talked to versus engaged in a dialogue, making it imperative for brands to connect with their target demographic before launching a campaign to fully understand her media consumption habits. Only after you begin a conversation with her, can you truly communicate with her.