In recent years, online moms have used the Internet extensively not only to find resources that help them further their professional careers, but also do more with less in their personal lives.
These developments have been well chronicled. The "marketing to online moms story" has broken through the barriers of our trade publications, and has even reached the pantheons of mainstream media like National Public Radio.
What hasn't been covered well enough is the importance of timeliness in speaking to online moms.
Generally speaking, online retailers, CPG marketers, apparel companies, and other marketers targeting moms have an ideal time window during which they can speak to moms in relevant ways.
Take the example of Kimberly-Clark's diaper brand Huggies. "The lifetime value of a Huggies consumer is such a small window," says Kate Johnson, Personal Care Marketing Manager for the brand, "with zero to 48 months being the prime window of opportunity."
The challenge for marketers targeting online moms is multifaceted. First, they have to get their message in front of the target demographic in a timely way. They then have to build brand loyalty within a relatively short amount of time.
It sounds difficult, but by using a mix of new and old advertising technologies, marketers should easily be able to connect with moms in ways that are meaningful to them:
1. Use performance advertising to reach the consumer quickly: Performance advertising refers to advertising where advertisers pay for results, instead of for wasted impressions. Cost-per-Click advertising enables marketers to pay only for clicks, while Cost-per-Lead advertising enables them to pay only for qualified sign-ups.
Performance advertising is not only more cost-effective. It also allows advertisers to get in front of the target consumer in a more timely way. CPC and CPL advertising allows marketers to connect with moms that are:
a) Seeking out information or discounts. Marketers can accomplish this through ads on search engines and through CPL ads served on baby/discount/coupon sites. What better time to connect with a mom as she is researching information on your product/category?
b) Surfing the web: Advertisers can reach moms who are surfing the web through Cost-per-Lead ads in websites that have a high composition of the "mom" demographic.
Through either CPC or CPL ads, the marketer could acquire the contact information of the mom (First name, Last name, Email address, etc.) for a fraction of a cost of CPM ads. By avoiding the high drop-off associated with banner click-through campaigns, they would also be able to acquire the contact information in a fraction of the time as required the CPM banner advertisements.
2. Use engagement to build brand loyalty:
The next step is to build brand loyalty in a relatively short time period. To accomplish this objective, marketers can engage the mom in highly relevant ways once she has given them her contact information, and the permission to contact her. There are several examples of marketers engaging moms innovatively.
The Graco Nation community site gives moms a forum to share conversations about parenthood. Kimberly-Clark offers expecting mothers a widget that they can deploy on social networking sites; the widget delivers customized information based on the mom's due date. The Daily Candy newsletter sends special deals and information to moms through a "Kids Everywhere" e-newsletter.
What better way to build brand loyalty than by engaging moms in ways that are relevant to them?
Cramped for time, there's several good reasons mothers value timeliness. And that's reason enough marketers should, too.