Looking Back On 2013 ... For A Smarter 2014

2013 has been a wild year of fast-moving consumer trends and industry evolution. We’ve watched the continued explosion in smartphone usage and the introduction of tons of new personal devices. We’ve marveled at the rocketing rise of Vine, Pinterest, and Tumblr. We followed the Twitter IPO with great interest and scratched our heads a little when Snapchat turned down Facebook’s $3 billion offer. And don’t forget this year’s surprising holiday shopping trends. Doorbusters on Thanksgiving Day? It’s enough to make a marketer’s head spin.

In so many ways, moms are at the forefront of these changes. They’re driving social media trends, leading smartphone usage, taking charge of their families’ shopping, and more. With all we’ve learned about our audience in 2013, we’re highlighting the top five insights that are inspiring smarter decisions at our firm in the coming year. We think they’re key for marketers, too.



1. Moms are the heaviest social media users.

Ninety-one percent of moms use social media regularly – over 20% more than the general population. Interestingly, they’re not using social media in spite of their busy schedules; they’re using it because they’re so busy. Social channels allow moms to be more efficient than ever before. Moms research, shop, and connect using the newest tools and are on the leading edge of mCommerce and social commerce.

What we can do: Create social media campaigns that better connect with our fast-moving audience, understand how and why moms use Facebook (timeliness and relevance), Pinterest (inspiration), Twitter (following news, brands, and celebrities), and parenting communities (connecting and sharing). 

2. Moms’ mobile use is necessary, not recreational.

Eighty-seven percent of moms now own a smartphone – that’s up 34% from 2012. Eighty-one percent say they use their device to manage their day, which represents a 21% increase in two years.

What we can do: Today’s mom is always on, everywhere. She’s getting her job done by leveraging digital platforms – and if brands offer the right solutions at the right time, she will welcome them.

3. Mobile technology is getting between Mom and her kids.

I found this discovery particularly fascinating. Sixty-nine percent of moms love their mobile phones, and 46% say they are addicted. But for the first time ever, our research shows that one-third of moms see their smartphone as an unwelcome distraction, an increase of 75% since 2011.

What we can do: Demonstrate value clearly. Keep our communications focused, relevant, and easy to understand. Better yet, offer timesaving tips and products that will help Mom stay focused on her number one priority: taking care of her kids.

4. Today’s mom is more informed – and overwhelmed – about health and wellness.

Ninety percent of moms say the internet has made them more informed about pregnancy and family health. Sixty-five percent are influenced by online expert advice, and 37% check in with other parents about health questions on parenting websites. Yet even with so many trusted sources of information, 56% of moms report feeling overwhelmed by the responsibility of being "on call" 24/7.

What we can do: Be sure we’re getting our message across with some degree of empathy, conveying useful information that’s easy to understand. Always approach Dr. Mom with genuine appreciation for the challenging job she does every day.

5. Dad is getting – and deserves – more respect.

I can confirm this one from personal experience, but it’s not just me: 4 out of 5 dads consider themselves involved fathers who do at least half the childcare, and 9 out of 10 say they’re involved because it’s important to them and they enjoy it. This isn’t unusual: 47% of dads say increased involvement in their kids’ lives is the new norm.

What we can do: Avoid the old stereotypes, portraying Dad as a bumbling incompetent. Reflect today’s reality and a father’s evolved role to win Dad’s allegiance. Laugh with dads, not at them, and you’ll get their business.

We’re looking forward to 2014, knowing that insights like these are the best fuel for growth amidst fast, continued change. In the meantime, we’re also taking a breath and wishing all our friends a peaceful, joy-filled holiday season.

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