Global research from Facebook’s ‘Meet the Parents’ report reveals that new parents spend more time and share 90 per cent more content on both Facebook and Instagram compared to non-parents. Facebook Australia’s head of industry Melinda Petrunoff discusses the findings from its latest report and why it’s time for marketers to stop treating parents like they’re babies.
“When I think about all the verticals that I manage in Australia, the number one target group is always mums,” Petrunoff told B&T. “It’s generalised as ‘mum’. That’s why this research has been quite useful, it’s been able to really look at the different stages of parenting- from newborns right through to teenagers and the different mindsets that parents are at each of these stages of this lifespan.”
To find out how parents are using Facebook and Instagram, Facebook IQ looked at parents from the age of 25-65 in two ways:
1 – via age of child:
- New Parents (Expecting to less than 1 year old)
- Parents with Young Kids (1 to 5 years old)
- Parents with School Age Children (6 to 12 years old)
- Parents with Teenagers (13 to 17 years old)
2 – via a generational lens (Millennial vs. Gen X vs. Boomer)
The biggest finding from the research was that because of technology today’s parents are raising their kids in a completely different way. Parents have greater access to their extended families and more information and opinions on everything from breastfeeding to education; 84 per cent of Australian parents say that they have access to more information than their parents did and 70 per cent say they’re more informed than their parents were.
An example of the differences is that dads are playing a bigger role in their kids life, the data shows 52 per cent of new dads say they spend more time with their child than their parents spent with them. “Dads are playing an active role, advertising does not reflecting that. We would love to see brand marketers being a little bit braver then to continue with stereotypes such as the woman in the kitchen cleaning the dishes with the yellow gloves.”
But what was most troubling for Petrunoff was that Facebook IQ couldn’t find any example of an Australian brand talking to parents in a ‘real’ way. However the study could find an example from India of advertisers talking to parents in a supportive and effusive way- “It was really beautiful piece, but if you can do that in India why aren’t we doing this in Australia?”
“We couldn’t find one brand that was doing that. This is a great challenge to throw it out there and say with the insights that we have we would love to work with brand marketers to start playing with that type of content with their brands.
“Stop painting a picture that being a parent is all bubbles, smiles and special occasions, be real about it. Acknowledge that yes there are some incredible, beautiful moments when they take their first steps but equally sleep deprivation in the first five years of having a kid is shithouse.”
Another important insights was the difference between first-time Millennial parents versus the other generations (Gen X and Boomer). Millennial parents are more conscious than any other generation that to be the best parents they need to look after themselves and their health. Over half of first-time mums agree with the statement: “My family is at its best when I am at my best. I make sure I take care of myself so I can take care of my family.”
Petrunoff says this statistic is surprising. “Trying to find any time to yourself as a new mum, for me it was an absolute struggle, to hear that 50 per cent of new mums are focused on staying healthy is pretty huge indicator of just how different this new generation are as parents.
“At the end of the day respect parents as people, they were people before they had kids and they will be people after their kids leave home. It was really clear that parents have the same desires as anybody else; they want a break, they want to be entertained, they want to invest in their health.”