Marketing to Moms: Rewards Required

Allison Howen
by Allison Howen 13 May, 2013

Moms are a valuable customer segment, as they tend to make the majority of a family's purchasing decisions. But what motivates this influential customer segment to engage with brands online and make purchases?

According to a new study from PunchTab the answer is rewards. In fact, the study, which surveyed more than 600 moms, reveals that 81 percent of moms will engage more with a brand when offered some type of incentive. In addition, the study found that some non-financial compensation, like elite status or early access to products, can also work as behavior motivators for moms.

That said, moms value some rewards more highly than others. For example, 83 percent of respondents claim that free products and services from a brand are effective motivators, followed by 82 percent stating that gift cards from popular retailers are good incentives. Likewise, moms value discounts and coupons, with 60 percent saying they would take an action in return for a discount or coupon to use on a future purchase of a brand's product.

"Moms are the most critical demographic segment for many brands. They are the primary decision makers when it comes to household purchases and influence $2.4 trillion in spend every year. Everyone wants to engage this audience segment. The question is: what motivates moms to take action?" said Angela Sanfilippo, CMO at PunchTab. "This study offers definitive evidence that providing moms with the right incentives can boost word-of-mouth and drive sales across a company's entire brand portfolio."

It is also important to note that rewards are effective at driving participation in surveys and polls. According to the study, 72 percent of respondents would take a survey or poll for an incentive, while 59 percent would sign up for regular email updates when a reward is offered. Plus, 41 percent say they would share personal details and purchase behavior for incentives.

The study also reveals that rewards are effective at driving word-of-mouth advertising. In fact, 41 percent of moms will post a review and 50 percent of moms are willing to share brand content on Facebook when offered an incentive. Moreover, rewards can motivate moms to follow a brand on social channels, as 57 percent of respondents said they would "like" a brand's Page on Facebook for a reward, while 50 percent would follow a brand on Pinterest and 52 percent would do so on Twitter.

As for non-financial incentives, the study shows that 67 percent of respondents would be interested in perks associated with elite status as compensation, such as free shipping or branded merchandise. For instance, more than one-third of moms said they'd value incentives that offered them exclusive access to a brand, including being able to purchase new products ahead of the general public (39 percent), being able to influence a brand's future products (38 percent) or receiving advanced notifications of new products (36 percent). Furthermore, 58 percent of moms said they would want a brand to make a donation to charity on their behalf as a reward.

Perhaps the most shocking insight from the study found that gamification strategies, like leaderboards and badges, are actually the least motivating incentive - with only 6 percent of respondents interested in being rewarded with badges and 23 percent appreciating recognition for their contributions.

That said, the study suggests that big companies may be better off implementing umbrella loyalty programs rather than brand-specific programs, as this strategy can influence moms to purchase other products in a company's portfolio. For example, 73 percent of moms said they'd be interested in a loyalty program for a parent company, with 59 percent of moms saying they would purchase other products from the parent company if doing so resulted in more loyalty points. In addition, 52 percent of moms are willing to take a social action in return for a discount or coupon to use on a future purchase from a brand's broader set of products, and 46 percent say they would actually switch from a competitor's product to a brand or parent company in order to earn loyalty points (as long as the products are equivalent in quality).

Take a look at the PunchTab infographic below to learn more about how rewards can influence moms' social behavior: