As A Mom

The past decade has seen a rising awareness of the importance of mothers as consumers. Once thought to be stereotypical purchasers of household products, mothers now are the drivers of most product and service decisions in their households, and businesses are recognizing this. From cars to cookies, you'll find a mom whose opinion is paramount to the purchase decision.

While natural market forces are driving this awareness, so are the marketing agencies and media publications dedicated to marketing to moms. Columns focusing entirely on mothers, such as this one were a rare find until recently. (Kudos to you, MediaPost.)

Marketing and sales efforts designed to appeal to moms have improved as a result. Education and insight have led to a better understanding and appreciation of mothers, and there is less reliance on personal viewpoints and stereotypes.

At the same time, some businesses appear to take shortcuts in understanding and reaching out to mothers, and this poor approach shows, often in their marketing messages. Somewhere in the ad copy the words "as a mom" appear. "As a mom, you understand ..." "As a mom, wanting ..." Or, the business might believe it has a stronger connection with moms when it delivers messages such as, "As moms ourselves ...," "Moms like you ...," or "All moms want ..."



What's going on here? Well, I'll tell you. The campaign's core message likely isn't strong enough to stand on its own and effectively reach its target audience of mothers. The marketer is trying to compensate for a weak message by indirectly saying, "We get you. We understand what it's like to be a mother." I suspect, however, that it doesn't. It is attempting to pander to her role, and it doesn't work.

Moms are super-savvy consumers. They understand that marketers are competing for their attention and money. They've likely heard about or had experience with multiple instances of poor service, peppered with a few good ones. There are dozens of products that have fallen short of their expectations, and few that they adore. They have seen thousands of ads and marketing messages directed at them.

All of these factors have provided them with acute filters for identifying which products and services deserve their attention. Simply calling out "Mom" isn't enough and likely discredits the product or service among the audience of moms whom the businesses are trying to reach.

A better approach is to appeal to her needs and be a solution. To do so, businesses must be willing to make an investment in better understanding her world and how a particular product or service fits into it. They also must invest in learning more about the communication styles that appeal to women. I can assure you, they don't start with tired and trite introductions like, "As a mom ..."

3 comments about "As A Mom ".
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  1. Ellen Lebowitz from Ellen Lebowitz Press, September 22, 2010 at 8:21 p.m.

    Marti Marrletta's PRIMETIME WOMEN: HOW TO WIN THE HEARTS, MINDS, AND BUSINESS OF BOOMER BIG SPENDERS is another excellent resource for "getting" to Moms.

    "Moms" come in assorted ages so Marti's book is a great read, too and is her blog.

    Ellen Lebowitz

  2. Kevin Burke from WholesomeOne, September 23, 2010 at 12:15 p.m.

    Agreed, Marti Barletta's books are excellent. Find a complication of the top marketing to moms books here:

  3. Kat Gordon from Maternal Instinct, September 23, 2010 at 2:10 p.m.

    YES! You hit the nail on the head. Moms hear dozens of requests daily from their own kids -- all of which start with "MOOOOOOMMMMM!" Women develop great radar at filtering out what requires their immediate attention to what can be ignored as needless sleeve-tugging. The best way to convince her you're worth listening to is investing the money in learning her needs and having something relevant to say that solves them.

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