Back-To-School Mom Myths: Marketing Missteps Leading Up To The Real 'New Year'

As a working mom, I am starting to feel the heat of a waning summer season. How am I supposed to relax when I am juggling work, parenting a kid with too much free time and starting to prep for the new school year? 

Brands that help families slow down the season will earn this year’s back-to-school budgets and enduring loyalty. So put down your beach read and take a look at these numbers: parents will spend an average of $917 per child and more than a third of parents have already begun shopping for the fall.  

How can you maximize your share of backpack and lunchbox? Check out these common myths about mid-summer moms…

Myth #1: Mom Is (Only) Mobile  

Yes, I spend every season on my smart phone: 60% of parents will buy at least one thing on mobile this year during back-to-school. And if I have time to get to the store: 60% of moms plan to use their smartphone while shopping at retail. But please remember: moms are people, not channels. We want brands that tell us a meaningful story while delivering a relevant utility across devices and destinations. My phone is my most precious - and smallest – resource. Use it smartly and sparingly.

Myth #2: Mom Loves Research 

I admit it: I don’t spend $5 online or in-store without checking a product review. But while I love a ratings shortcut on the way to a buying decision, my most trusted resource for back-to-school is my mommy network. And I am not alone: 83% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family, more than any form of advertising or promotion. “What kind of laptop are you getting for Harry?” “Where did you buy Ben’s new lunchbox?”  “Liam grew 3 inches since April - do you have any online coupons for new jeans?” Talk to my friends and through my friends – and you talk to me.

Myth #3: Mom Sees Your Ad

A little math homework in August: did you know over 80% of new moms are millennials? Two-thirds of millennials block digital ads? Generation Z will be the first to avoid almost 100% of traditional advertising? Don’t sweat it: there are solutions to this challenging equation for marketers including native content, influencer marketing and branded communities – where 53% of consumers are more brand loyal.

Myth #4: Mom Has Time To Shop

Lazy summer days? With kids around and family vacation to juggle along with all of the usual chores and commitments, I have less time than ever to shop. Moms like me will drive back-to-school eCommerce dollars up 2.6% to over $800 million. We are also willing to wait as late as September for discounts and promotions. So while summer days are getting shorter, this shopping season is getting longer – and marketers have an opportunity to reward mom with online deals and discounts until the end of Q3.

Myth #5: Mom is All About the Kids 

A New Year without a party? In a recent study by ebates, the back-to-school stress of shopping for clothes and supplies outranked hectic student schedules, helping with homework and even bullying as the top worry for moms at this time of the year. So where did my summer go? Moms today believe that motherhood enhances, not defines, their lives - with 51% of moms saying that advertisers have an outdated view of moms and don't understand them. So consider seasonal messaging that encourages her-time – and treats mom as more than a personal shopper with a minivan.

Back-to-school is the most unique of seasons, when the usual rules do not apply. You still have time to make your back-to-school marketing investment work harder by: seeking mom beyond her phone, inspiring her through friends and family with a brand that is personal and easy to access - while acknowledging that she would rather be at the beach!

 
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