Busting The Back-to-School Myth

It's almost time for kids to head back to school, and you know what that means: Moms everywhere are jumping up and down with excitement! The kids will be out of the house! Let the "mom vacation" begin! 

Yeah, right.

I have three kids, ages 10, 14, and 16, and I'm here to tell you it's not that simple. For most moms with kids older than 5, back-to-school time means shifting schedules, ramped-up activities, long shopping lists, and plenty of stress. Sure, we're happy to see our kids go back to school and reunite with their friends. But, personally, I'm going to miss those easy days at the beach and long evenings on the deck.

So how can marketers show moms they understand the complicated changes that happen around this time of year? By helping with the stress, the time crunch, and the shopping list. I have pulled together a lesson plan I call Back-to-School 101:

Lesson #1:  Moms are on the move, so think mobile



This time of year, even more than usual, moms are all over the place: They're buying school supplies, taking kids to get physicals, carpooling to practice, and going back for the school supplies they forgot on the first trip. The one place you won't find them? Sitting in front of a computer. A whopping 79% of moms with school-age children own a smartphone – that's higher than the percentage of moms who own a laptop. Brands that put their dollars into mobile marketing will be more likely to reach moms during this hectic time.

Lesson #2:  Save her time (and sanity), earn her loyalty

Family schedules change dramatically at this time of year, and that's a constant challenge for Mom. One kid has to be at lacrosse practice, and the other has a flute lesson. Meanwhile there's homework to be done and dinner to get on the table. Sixty-two percent of moms with kids age 5 to 8 say they want more tips on how "to do it all," and 64% say they need help keeping up with household chores. Brands that offer real time-saving solutions will earn Mom's instant gratitude and loyalty.  

Lesson #3:  There's no such thing as a stress-free lunch

Two out of five moms pack their kids' lunch every day, three out of five pack it several days a week, and almost all say this is one of the more challenging parts of the school year. How can moms make sure their kids get the nutrients they need – and the variety that ensures lunch boxes come home empty? Fifty-seven percent of moms say they are worried about their children's eating habits and overall nutrition, so marketers who come up with healthy, kid-friendly lunch options will make Mom's life a lot easier.

Whether you're offering time-saving tips and tricks or suggesting nutritious lunches, every communication with Mom is an opportunity to show you realize how busy she is. Don't buy into the myth that all moms rejoice when the kids go back to school. This complicated adjustment period isn't all bad, but it's not easy either. And when a little bit of understanding is backed up by realistic solutions, you're guaranteed to get a good grade from Mom.

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