If mums were an industry they would be bigger than the mining industry, the agriculture industry and the fishing industry.
“Mums are a huge consumer powerhouse in Australia,” said head of research at Viacom International Media Network, Kirsty Bloore. “A study that was done a few years back said that they control over a $132 billion worth of spending per annum. So clearly it’s beneficial we all understand what mums think.”
Bloore shared the figures at a breakfast in Sydney this morning for Foxtel TV channel Nick Jr. and hosted by The Multi Channel Network (MCN).
MCN teamed up with parenting websites Nick Jr. Parents and Baby Center and the University of South Australia to research the modern day mum, the differences between Gen X mums (born between 1961 – 1981) and millennial mums (born between 1982 – 1998) and how technology has impacted modern mums in today’s society.
The research combined three separate studies from MCN, Baby Center and Nick Jr. Parents, with 1500 respondents.
“There’s no such thing as a typical mum,” said Bloore. “I think we’re all guilty in the advertising and media world that often we bundle mums into one group.” Their various ages need to be taken into consideration by marketers.
Gareth Jones, head of strategy at MCN, said that while brands play an important role in the life of mums today, brands could be doing a much better job of speaking directly to them.
Here are six things that can be done to target the mums of today.
1. Talk to mums individually rather than en masse
Technology has allowed mothers to further define themselves, and brands need to talk to mums individually rather than as a clump.
“Nowadays with mums defining themselves more and more through technology and content that we have access to, it’s about really empathising that not all mums are the same and that challenges have changed since previous generations,” said Jones.
“Acknowledge that all mums aren’t the same and using relatable mums in communications is a really quick and easy way to connect with your audience.”
2. Get in the social media space
A lot of mums have a social media presence, with the favourite platform being Facebook, according to the study.
“Mums in particular are becoming increasingly influential people amongst their group and amongst society as well,” said Jones, adding they’re more likely to voice their opinion in Facebook groups as well as seek out and give advice.
“It’s as much about supporting each other and comparing themselves against each other,” added Jones. One mother took her ill daughter to the doctor who diagnosed a fever and gave her paractemol. Upon finding a lump behind her ear after the doctor’s trip, the mother posted the photo on Facebook, asking for advice. It turned out the lump was extremely serious and the mother was urged to take her daughter to hospital. The daughter was okay.
“If you’re a brand who plays well in this space, it’s a great way for millennial mums in particular to become your best marketers,” said Jones “It’s definitely an opportunity for brands to engage in the right way in a social environment with these influential people.
“As a brand, if you’re trying to talk to the millennial audience, it can be really important. If you get it right, it can bring great success.”
3. Functionality trumps fun
“Function tends to trump fun,” said Jones. “In all the different conversations we had with the mums they talked a lot more about utility rather than entertainment.”
The modern day mum study showed that mums are becoming more and more connected across devices and they embrace brands that shows it can add value.
“Brands that can appear to add value by delivering content, short form content in particular, that provides that inspiration, ideas and support, they will really embrace,” he added.
One key take away from the study was if brands are targeting the Gen X mums, make sure the message is still PC friendly and help them with their technology use, millennials are already there with tech.
4. Simplify shit
If technology such as apps are going to create more work for mums, chances are they may not use it.
“Communication should be simple and actionable,” said Jones. “It needs to help mums wind down and de-stress and with any kind of competition, make the mechanics easy.”
Referencing the health app ‘My Fitness Pal’ Jones said: “I’ve had a go at it and pretty much the same as most of the mums that we spoke to…it promises a lot, but really it’s a bit too much like hard work.”
While mums were receptive and interested in health related technology, when asked whether they would use them “they said ‘not unless it became easier’”.
5. More wifi
“One of the biggest annoyances for modern mums is they actually wished they had more free wifi around,” said Jones.
“Any brands that want to be providing more free wifi in places will definitely have some fans on their side there.”
6. Get on mobile
Mums use their smartphone to research on the go. “If we can really get in there and get our brands in front of them whilst there out and about thinking about things and giving them the opportunity to immediately purchase, that’s a great opportunity for us too,” said Jones.
However with mobile and immediate purchases come the issues of privacy and safety. “The reason why more mums aren’t necessarily doing one-click-buy is all about reassurance. If we can reassure them that it’s safe, make it easily visual and immediate and make sure it works then we’re likely to have a receptive audience.”