When U.S. Economy Gets Rough, Moms Still Spend

In 1992, Bill Clinton was elected President. The media was quick to attribute the success of his campaign to capturing the votes of “Soccer Moms.” 

It was the first time the media had focused on women with children as a collective powerhouse of voters, consumers and decision makers. Never before had so much media attention shined on moms until 2022 -- the year of formula shortages, angry school board meetings and professional women who hold positions as first responders and educators.

As someone who has written about the power of moms since 1999, I’d like to say the attention they’re garnering today is a long time coming.  It’s unfortunate that it took a pandemic, formula recall, $5/gallon gas and rising prices at the grocery store to do it.

Nonetheless, as a marketer, congratulations to the brands who have decided to put their advertising dollars focused on tapping into the $3.1 trillion moms spend collectively in the U.S. economy each year. 



I’m not accusing brands of ignoring moms as purchasers. I believe that companies such as Proctor & Gamble, Kimberly Clark and Kellogg’s have long known that moms are their main target as buyers.

However recently I’ve seen traditional television ads focused on marketing to moms by the likes of Bank of America, Swarovski, Carhartt, and Google.   I can’t help believing that recent headlines highlighting the innovative ways moms are coming together to source formula or moms developing less expensive solutions to every day consumables have contributed to the awakening of marketing departments across Fortune 500 global brands toward moms as consumers.

If your company is still sitting on the sideline trying to figure out how to better tap into the buying power of moms, here’s a few tips.

Start by listening to your customer. It’s so easy to do this in today’s world of social media.  Search hashtags related to your product and find out what moms are saying about you and your competitors. Resist the urge to jump into the social conversation with comments, likes or shares until you clearly understand the mom's point of view.

Establish a long-term relationship with mom consumers. Executing a one-off campaign won’t work. Moms want to have a relationship with the brands, products and companies they do business with. This can be following them on social or serving as an ambassador in their local market.

Create content that’s relevant and timely. Sending a back-to-school coupon is great, but sending it out in September misses the target. Moms begin preparing for back to school in July, because most schools south of the Mason Dixon line return to the classroom in August.  Unfortunately agencies and media based in New York City recognize back to school as the day after Labor Day, when their local students return to the classroom.  Point is, good content delivered at the right time is a great way to establish a relationship with moms.

Use influencers wisely. Seek out mom influencers with high engagement rather than large numbers of followers. The power of word-of-mouth marketing among moms is their interactions with each other. Don’t be fooled by influencers or agencies that sell you on impressions.  If no one is listening, it doesn’t matter how many moms on their feed.

As consumers begin to tighten their spending, it’s a good time to target moms, who control America’s household spending.

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