Posted by Jamie Dunlop,
Mar 25, 2013
Having logged in to a number of Advertising Week Europe’s talks and seminars, one that stood out for me amongst a ream of brilliant discussions was the ‘How to reach today's modern Mothers’.
The panel consisted of:
- Sarah Cawood Blogger
- Nicola Kemp Features Editor, MARKETING UK
- Sasha Miller International Manager Editor, BABYCENTRE
- Rachel Swift Marketing Head, Fashion & Nursery, JOHN LEWIS
The basis of discussion was around both how modern mothers are coping in a world where they have so many resources to turn too that the Mother/Mother-in-Law are no longer the only option and therefore from the advertisers perspective, what is the best way to converse with them.
Whilst the debate covered a multitude of issues, concerns and ideas, I wanted to outline a few that I found particularly interesting all of which cantered around the modern mothers online consumption habits
Today, 68% of Mums purchase more goods online than offline. It was agreed by the panel that anecdotally most Mums hate shopping and will therefore look for the most efficient way of doing it whether it is clothes or groceries even if they enjoyed it prior to children. However it is not just shopping that draws mothers and mother-to-be online. For example, friends , family and support groups have always been a key area of support for Mums both in terms of asking questions but also wider emotional support. The online space is increasingly a space that Mums turn to whether it be asking Google what temperature bottled milk should be or going on Social Network platforms for discussions, further questions and general support. It is in these areas that Mums are beginning to put increasing trust in. A couple of stats that stood out for me were:
- 35% of Mums spend more time online than the average in the UK (46 hours a month)
- 47% of Mums are more likely to consume Social Media than the average.
- 88% say internet is the key source of information.
- Social Media is the new NCT class. Gives support, answers questions and share issues. Feel less alone.
Mobile is another area that is key to the modern Mum and indeed advertisers looking to reach them. Mobile is such a great platform for Mothers as it enables them to get online quickly whilst on the move or when they have a couple of spare minutes. It has become such a useful accessary for Mums that 28% increase mobile usage when they become a Mum. They going on Social Network sites, use Apps and even make purchases, something many other groups are still nervous about.
Following on from the points that both online and mobile were key to reaching mothers, the debate turned to when the best time to reach them is (time targeting being a luxury that online and mobile advertising has brought with them). It was unanimously understood that to reach Mums and be effective you need to be very opportunistic with your marketing. One needs to think like a Mum, when will they have time? When are they most relaxed? They have precious few spare minutes in a day and therefore can no longer do things like browsing magazines for long time periods and picking out their favourite fashion items.
Not just when but also how mothers experience the brand is key. They no longer have time for poor user journeys or shop experiences so anything that the advertiser/website/store can do to smooth this experience out and make it “mother-friendly” immediately strikes the right cord. Rachel Swift was giving the example of the John Lewis stores which have crèches aimed at making the experience less stressful for Mums meaning a) they come into the shop and b) they spend longer once they get there.
Finally, like advertising in general, conversational v’s broadcast comms is key. Mothers want to be talked to and helped through the process at whatever stage they are at. They want what is best for their kids and therefore don’t just want to be sold to but they want a discussion about why it is the best product for them and their child. As such the notions of trust and community are key. Throughout history Mums have looked to those they trust for support and therefore if the brand can occupy this space by providing advocacy, relevant content and value exchange then Mums will grow to trust the brand and the key to this is they will tell others about it either online of off.
The discussion finished with the conclusion that the resources, touchpoints and information available to the modern Mother is like nothing seen before. There are a multitude of platforms, communities and spaces for the Mothers to use which brings with it vast opportunities for the advertiser however they need to do it properly. They need to select the right platform, use the right tone and create trust. Only then will a proper conversation happen with the tech savvy, time poor Mother of the modern world.