Social Media Targeting Word of Mouth

Moms and the Digital Media: Changing the way we market to this high-powered audience

Posted by Heidi McIntyre on July 2nd, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Moms control over 2 trillion in consumer spending each year. And with the rise of mobile and social media, new rules are emerging in reaching this high powered audience. As a marketing consultant specializing in food/produce, understanding the mom market is key but this is not an easy task for sure.

That’s because mom’s habits change with the age of her children and she is a reflection of her own generation with key differences in Gen Y (Millennial Moms) versus Gen X and Baby Boomers. The old tendency to lump this audience into the broad 22 – 49 range no longer applies here. The better marketers target moms, the more successful they will be in their efforts. The first step in reaching moms is to pinpoint the target audience which includes her age, education and lifestyle along with the age of her children.

Impact from the Recession

According to the Marketing to Moms Coalition’s 2011 State of the American Mom (SOAM) report, moms are skeptical about the health of the U.S. economy with 85% indicating the economy is staying the same or getting weaker. Consequently most moms have altered their spending/saving habits. Millennial moms are the most likely to be spending less (58%) compared to the other generational groups. Moms are adopting a range of cost-saving approaches, including using more coupons, shopping more sales, buying store brand more often and even cutting back on eating out and entertainment.

The Multi-Media Approach

Moms are the ultimate multi-taskers juggling a variety of activities between work, home and family and they also multi task across a variety of media types including the smartphone, computer and tablet. According to a recent Nielsen report, 26.5% of moms with kids under the age of 5 use a tablet while watching TV several times a week. Therefore, marketers should consider campaigns that extend across a variety of media platforms to engage moms with a range of devices from mobile to social.

Connecting through Mobile

According the SOAM report, among the 44% of moms who own a smart phone, they are giving the smart phone a good workout. Top uses include: looking up store locations and hours (61%), keeping family schedule (49%) and work schedule (37%), texting family and friends while shopping to get their input on clothing decisions (49%).

• 33% pull recipes and menus from their smartphones
• 32% Google or search online for nutrition information while at the store
• 32% keep a grocery list on their phone
• 31% use online coupons from the phone
• 18% use QR codes

As mobile usage extends from to shopping online to banking and downloading a recipe for dinner, there are lots of opportunities for marketers to tap into mobile to connect to busy moms who have the tendency to use their cell phone as a much needed appendage.

Going Social

One key place to reach mom is on Facebook and the fast emerging Pinterest.  The Nielsen study points out that moms spend significantly more time on social networks per month than the average user. In fact, moms with kids under the age of 3 spend 976 minutes compared to 497 (average user) per month. And nearly one out of three minutes a mom spends online on a computer is on Facebook.

Social media is a key strategy in reaching moms from Facebook advertising to engaging with promotional activities and a even providing a downloadable coupon on the brand page.

Word of Mouth Marketing through Mom Bloggers

Blogs impacts moms especially Millennial moms who connect to bloggers as a key resource for information. Word of mouth should not be taken lightly within the mom market. More than half of moms say they rely on recommendations when making a purchase. About 1 in 3 bloggers are moms and 52% of bloggers are parents with children under 18.*  Mom bloggers can become great brand ambassadors spreading the word about a key product or service.

When reaching mom bloggers, marketers should think in terms of developing long-term relationships which provides more long lasting benefits than a single post.

As a recap, marketers should pinpoint a target audience when reaching moms that includes not only her age but the age of her kids. Coupons are king and discounts are important to the ever more thrifty mom during these recessionary times. And reaching moms means being willing to extend a campaign to reach a variety of platforms and devices.

A good resource for marketers is the book Tuning Into Mom, Understanding America’s Most Powerful Consumer by Michal Clements and Teri Lucie Thompson. This provides a very helpful resource especially on the generational differences and how  moms purchase decisions change based on the age of their kids.

*The Nielsen Company

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