I’ve been writing for MediaPost’s Engage:Moms since 2011. Five years is a long time to write every month on a singular topic. Recently, I went back to those first few posts and came across one headlined, “R. E. S. P. E. C. T.”: an acronym for what moms want. Following in the steps of Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute and one who is often referred to as Godfather of Content Marketing, I thought I’d repurpose this piece as it is still relevant today.
“R”-ESPECT: Not every mom is created equal. While still true, many marketers even in 2016 stereotype moms as the stay-at-home parent and caregiver. Yet, 70% of moms today are working moms, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. As marketers, you need to consider different life stages within the “mom universe.” A mom of an infant is a different than a mom of a teen. Don’t barrage her with e-mail, for example. Understand who she is and deliver what she wants, how she wants it and when she wants it. Ensure that content is relevant–otherwise moms may "unlike" your brand as quickly as they "liked" it. It’s not all about coupons. She wants relevant information with a great product experience; information and promotions that compel her to want to share. And yes, a coupon is great, but value goes beyond dollars and cents.
“E”-VIDENCE: Ensure the science, the reviews, the price comparisons and all of the information are in one place – it makes mom’s job easier and she’ll love you for it. Moms are still doing their homework and always will, so why not take some of the load off her shoulders. It’s one of the reasons Amazon is doing so well. They know how to make things easier and speed the process of shopping.
“S”-IMPLICITY: Moms have so much competing for their attention, so keep it simple. Make copy concise and consider the usability of every application, interface and website – it has to be easy to navigate. Make your brand presence easy to locate through search. Moms are not afraid of technology, but don’t annoy her with needless steps. This is particular of mobile. Remember her mobile usage is high. For example, 78% of parents will use a smartphone for back-to-school shopping, according to Retale. But if you make her mobile experience complicated, you will lose her.
“P”-RODUCTS: make great products that work, support causes, are environmentally friendly and a value for the money. Then, back up those products with guarantees and service. Great products, superior in-store experiences, cross-channel support, eco-friendly and sustainability all play important roles in mom’s overall feelings about a brand. Moms are value shoppers, but I’m not talking about price. Value for a mom means many different things in addition to the cost: fit, comfort, convenience, etc.
“E”-XPERIENCE: Moms want an experience with a brand. It’s not just the product, but also the experience, in-store and online, wherever your brand touches her life. This is particularly true of millennial moms. Don’t just focus on selling her: moms can use a little entertainment, too.
“C”-OMMUNICATION: Moms want to connect with brands on social media, as evidenced by their propensity to "like" brands on Facebook without prompting. If she posts a query or has an issue with your brand, make sure you communicate. But be sure not to talk down to her and have a personality when you speak to her. Put the corporate hat aside and think, act and react as if the brand is human.
“T”-RANSPARENCY: Last, but not least, moms don’t expect brands to be perfect and all will be forgiven if there is transparency and honesty. Transparency leads to authenticity, which is one of the key attributes millennial, and all moms, look for with a brand.