For marketers, 2015 has been a year of evolution—of media habits, smartphone usage, online content, and generational focus. Moms, as usual, are at the forefront of these changes, since they tend to lead online trends and control the family’s finances. To help make sense of it all, we’ve pulled together our top five observations from 2015 and summarized our recommendations for marketers in the year to come.
1. Generation Z Is Here, And They’re Ready To Interact
As I pointed out in this post, the oldest members of Gen Z are on the verge of parenthood, so it’s time to start thinking about how to engage this large, influential cohort. One of the defining characteristics of this generation is their constant, fluid relationship with multiple digital platforms: They consider it perfectly natural to juggle five devices at a time, giving new meaning to the word “multitasking.”
Recommendation: Brands need to invest in creating two-way relationships across multiple platforms. Gen Z thinks of their favorite brands as friends—someone to like, follow, and interact with—and they expect the same in return.
2. Moms Are Still Mobile, And That’s Not About To Change
Our State of Modern Motherhood Report found that Millennials increased their smartphone usage by 63% after becoming moms, and that they spend 35% more time on their mobile device than on their PC or laptop. Those numbers keep growing—a trend we expect to see continue in 2016.
Recommendation: If you’re looking to reach today’s parents, it’s “go mobile or go home.” Your message must work in a small-screen environment.
3. Mommy Blogging Is Evolving, And So Are Marketers
I wrote about the evolution of “Mommy Blogging” in September. Brands are no longer piggybacking their messages onto individual blogs. Instead, they’re working hand-in-hand with blog networks and aggregators to create compelling, professionally produced communications through photos, graphic design, and video.
Recommendation: Marketers should create more sophisticated partnerships with mommy bloggers. Invest time and effort into the relationship, do your research, and be aware of trends.
4. Video Is The Medium Of The Moment
Moms are increasingly choosing online video content over traditional televised entertainment, and that preference is reflected in the increased usage of video on blogs. We’ve also seen an explosion in popular streaming apps, such as Periscope, Meerkat, and YouNow, which make it easy for anyone with a smartphone to produce and broadcast video.
Recommendation: Don’t fall behind the video trend. If your customers are constantly producing and posting video, you should be, too!
5. Don’t Forget Dad
Back in June, we wrote about today’s dads and how many of them feel the pressure of parental perfectionism that we usually attribute to moms. The equalization of parenting roles has been happening for a while, but it was brought into focus when Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that he would take two months of paternity leave after the birth of his daughter.
Recommendation: Be aware that dads are under the same kinds of pressures to be the “perfect parent” but have fewer opportunities to vent and seek support. Showing your awareness of this also shows moms that you “get” what’s happening in today’s families.
We’ll be keeping an eye on these trends in the year to come. If 2016 is anything like 2015, I expect it to be full of fascinating, surprising, and newsworthy inspiration for marketers hoping to build lasting connections with their customers.