Most Millennials, born between 1977 and 1996, are well within their baby-rearing years. These new parents have been raised on the Internet, email, SMS and IM and quickly adopted social networking in their teens or early 20s. What may have seemed like two polar opposites a decade ago now bear considerable resemblance as a result of changes in communications spawned by technology.
4 Ways Millennial Moms Mirror College Students
I. They're Multi-Tech Multi-Taskers
Family Management 2.0: As do college kids, Moms view technology as a way to integrate all areas of their lives. According to BSM Media, moms' primary objective in using technology is for scheduling and to stay in touch with their busy families. In fact, 65% of moms use five or more separate technologies each day, including video, blogs and wireless devices to multi-task.
Unlikely Tech Trendsetters: In a recent study of over 1,000 people that included 300 moms and 300 college students, conducted through Mr Youth's RepNation word-of-mouth influencer network, a nearly identical percentage of moms (49%) and college students (48%) agreed with the statement, "I am enthusiastic about learning about the latest products and technologies."
II. They Build Communities To Ease Transition
It Takes a Virtual Village: As moms seek advice and reassurance, many turn to online support systems to help them raise their children. Millennial Moms use this digital community to reinforce their parenting ideas or seek out new ones that fit instead of looking for "expert" books and advice that promote a singular way of thinking.
Community Leaders: While online communities first targeted the youth market, moms could be the ideal users. A recent study by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association found that moms are 10% more likely to be on Facebook, nearly 10% more likely to be on MySpace and more likely to be on Twitter than the general adult population.
Social Networkers Anonymous: Communicating online has become an integral part of moms' daily lives. While addiction may be a strong word, the Mr Youth/RepNation study found that half visit social networking sites "many times a day." Moms' usage patterns are a major driving force for why women's online communities are among the fastest-growing Internet categories.
III. They Crowdsource Ideas
Leveraging the Wisdom of the Crowd: Moms recognize that they have networks of other moms within their reach and are not shy in leveraging them for advice. According to a BabyCenter survey, 44% use social media for word-of-mouth recommendations on brands and 73% feel they find trustworthy information about products and services there.
Giving Brands a Piece of their Mind: This is one area where moms differ greatly from college students. While college students "hardly ever" post reviews about products or services, moms are most likely to post such reviews "once a week," according to Mr Youth/RepNation study. Keeping a two-way dialogue open and involving mom early in the product development and marketing cycles is critical for brands in helping to shape the online conversation.
Peer Pressure Prevails: Moms strongly weigh recommendations from friends and peers. Like college students, the majority of moms surveyed agreed that online reviews and recommendations from a friend, relative or co-worker are "highly influential" when deciding whether to purchase a product or service.
IV. They're Masters of the Overshare
TMI (Too Much Information): While the acronym was surely coined by the youth market, moms are more freely sharing their life experiences publicly. Many parents are now finding themselves oversharing everything from baby barf, boogers and circumcisions that need to be redone, as the hilarious Tumblr," Shut the F**k Up Parents," chronicles. Certainly moms now view a much larger network as a viable audience for all their life experiences.
Boasting Goes Beyond Bumper Stickers: We all know of the "My Kid's an Honor Student" badge that proud moms have displayed on their cars for decades. Now, with social networking, Millennial Moms have an open forum to share almost everything about children and family lives. As reported in the New York Times, moms are even updating Twitter and Facebook through the eyes of their babies or creating their own pages through lil grams, totspot and kidmondo.
Hold the Presses: Many moms enjoy sharing so much that they create blogs and publish their lives frequently in them. Organizations like Mom Bloggers Club and Twitter Moms have found no shortage of willing members as more and more moms continue to find value in having an outlet to air their thoughts and hear others' similar stories.
So How Does This Change Things?
Millennial Moms have quickly become technology's early adopters, über social connectors and a powerful online voice. The implications of the changes cannot be underestimated. Brands that plan to market to Millennial Moms in the coming years will need to quickly get up to speed and stay in the loop on the latest trends, technologies and communication patterns to stay connected to their consumers.
To view the full whitepaper published Oct. 23, including 10 tips to marketing to Millennial Moms, visit www.millennialmoms.com .