Marketers love moms, and for good reason. Research indicates that women are responsible for 85 percent of household purchases; but their retail influence doesn't stop at stereotypical purchases like diapers and cleaning supplies. Instead, women with children fuel a healthy (and diverse) multi-trillion dollar consumer market and leverage the Internet far more than any other demographic to do so.
eMarketer estimates that a whopping 94.5 percent of U.S. moms are Internet users, compared to 75.7 percent of the total population. This data is of course difficult to ignore, but it's moms' behaviors and motivators, which are really the most eye opening for digital marketers - or at least it should be. The Web needs to take C.A.R.E. when marketing to modern moms.
Moms are smart shoppers who want to connect with brands who are equally as savvy. Fifty-two percent of moms like receiving text messages from their favorite retailers about special offers and products (Alliance Data), while 62 percent of them use shopping apps (Mojiva). Couple this data with a PunchTab finding that 81 percent of moms will engage more with a brand when offered some type of incentive, and mobile marketing is a win-win for both modern moms and digital marketers.
U.S. retailer Target is a leader in this regard. Long before mobile apps and text messaging played an important role in marketing, Target was making the shopping experience enjoyable for moms. They could grab a Starbucks for themselves and quiet their kids with popcorn, while strolling (or racing depending on the kid) through the aisles grabbing items for each member of the family (including pets), the house and, eventually, the fridge. In short, it has always been fun to go to Target (and even more pleasant when kidfree). Target provides an intangible feeling of caring for family, self and home. It's a mommy-mecca. Then Target went and did what any brand marketing to modern moms needs to do - they went mobile (in a big way).
Target pairs mobile content with promotional offers tailored to a buyer's personal shopping habits. Either through text messages (which we already know moms like) or through Target's branded app (another mom favorite), they get mobile coupons for items they routinely buy or related items. Even more impressive, is that these coupons are scannable at the register (no printing needed), speaking to moms about what really matters - their time and money.
Social media is a game changer and moms are big fans, accessing various networks multiple times a day and on multiple devices. It has changed the way they discover, experience and are influenced by brands and products. In short, it's fundamental to the way modern moms live their lives. Mike Fogarty, who is the SVP and global publisher at BabyCenter, counts today's mom as the most influential and social consumer you'll meet.
"Before she clicks to buy, she's posted, pinned, tweeted and shared," said Fogarty in relation to his company's 2013 Social Mom Report. "In fact, social media is so much a part of a mom's life that checking her various social platforms comes before enjoying her first cup of coffee in the morning."
One of the many ways moms are using social media is to be inspired, but no two moms are alike. They are motivated by different ideals, challenges and obligations. Brands that can inspire these different "types" of moms with products and ideas are those that will compel these women to shop with them. But who are they? PunchTab recently looked into the behaviors and psychographics among mothers online and identified common personas derived from their digital conversations. They found the five most prominent to be the expecting mom, the healthy mom, the working mom, the hyper-social mom and the do-it-yourself (DIY) mom. To see how to move these mothers toward purchase based on their "mommy personas", visit wsm.co/5momcampaigns.
Once a mom is successfully connected and engaged, brands must work to keep them. Moms are more likely to re-engage with brands if they connect with them emotionally. Affluent women, for example, juggling demands of career and family, are concerned about the environment and are discriminating shoppers, according to Packaged Facts. This means it's not enough to provide them with relevant mobile promotions and meet them on the social networks they are on, but enterprises who want to retain their mom customers need to care about the world around them and market their worldly efforts.
When mom and entrepreneur Candice McCoy welcomed her twins into the world in 2012, she quickly discovered a new feeling of wanting to create something better because of the new generation coming after her. She and her husband, Jonathan, wanted to provide the absolute best for them, especially when it came to the fabric being worn against their bodies and teaching them to give to other people.
Coupling Jonathan's design expertise and Candice's love of sewing, Love Well Handmade was formed, a company that creates original, quality, organic and handmade little things for little ones. And, with every purchase, 20 percent is given back to local and global charities. With the help of their online store, powered by LightCMS, their business started to take off, even securing global sales in the first few months.
The website is fueling sales, but the organic and charitable principles of Love Well Handmade is also resonating with moms who are buying the items online, as well as the ones agreeing to sell the line in their own stores. The McCoy's diligence in the fabrics they use (sweatshop free) is friendly to moms and a testament to what missions can do for a company targeting this segment. There's a reason Love Well Handmade went organic with their materials - and it wasn't because it was the easiest or cheapest option - and that resonates with moms.
These co-owners have also started a feature called "Love Well Styled", which is sure to re-engage firsttime buyers, as well as increase conversions, average order values and loyalty among moms. On Instagram and Facebook, Love Well Handmade markets how to style their unique pieces with items from other "mom shops" or from large, accessible retailers.
Moms may ask a lot from the brands they buy from, but those moms with the means to do it graciously spend a lot on others and themselves. There are many expectations that go along with these purchases - like giftwrapping options, free shipping, email incentives, etc. This is also the case with the package that the items are shipped in. When moms buy expensive products online, they want higher quality packaging (71 percent of consumers agree according to DotCom Distribution). Merchants must deliver an experience to consumers in the mail - exceeding customer expectations in the process.
Take Dotcom Distribution client Vineyard Vines as an example. The retailer is a preppy, New England brand with a "beachy" feel. When a shopper walks into their store, the pretty blue walls and shift board make it feel like it's summer year-round. The "experience" makes moms feel happy, and when they order online, the brand's packaging mimics the experience - offering a high-quality (reusable) box with its signature whale on it, simple tissue paper and a sticker reminding the shopper to smile today. For Vineyard Vines, this is free word-of-mouth as 44 percent of females are likely to share a photo of unique packaging on social media, according to DotCom Distribution.
To offset packaging costs, retailers can charge the improvements to marketing spend, but premium packaging doesn't have to be expensive. The costs (and therefore the packaging) should be consistent with what a brand is selling. DotCom Distribution President Maria Haggerty says budget-conscious brands can save money by using black-and-white rather than four-color printing or brown boxes with pretty tape or branded stickers. These simple touches can go a long way when marketing to moms.
Marketing to moms means brands need to be on their digital games - caring about providing modern conveniences at every touchpoint and exceeding moms' high expectations of how brands should market and deliver their products, as well as act in the world around them. To get moms to care about their brands in return, it takes a commitment to growing with moms - technologically, emotionally and otherwise.
The modern family is using technology every day to make purchasing decisions. Get these self-professed showroomers and purchase delayers to convert by leveraging mobile's bells and whistles.