in this opinion piece, Co-founder and CEO of Cooperate, Justin Cannon (pictured below), explores why tailored customer journeys are vital for brands to better understand and market to Australian mums.
Mums. What just came to your mind? Be honest. Did you envision a group of women whose lives revolve around their children? Whose identities are inextricably linked to their experience of motherhood – and nothing else?
Well, if that’s what came to mind, it turns out you’re just like most people – which includes marketers and advertisers – and mums (if I dare group them as such) are not impressed.
In a previous article, Marketing to Mums founder and CEO, Katrina McCarter, who also hosts the very informative Marketing to Mums podcast, wrote that 63 per cent of Aussie mums believe that marketers don’t understand them.
She said: “Mums in Australia are fed up with the way they are being communicated with by brands, and increasingly taking action thanks to social media”.
“Ignoring this growing dissatisfaction is commercially disastrous for brands.
“Astute marketers who take the time to gather deep insights about mums and work to earn their attention can deliver a significant commercial advantage in an increasingly crowded marketplace”.
A survey by global communications and advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi supports this: after surveying 865 mothers across the UK, they found that only 23 per cent of mothers were happy with anyone other than their families calling them ‘mum’ with three out of 10 agreeing they are ‘me first, and then a mum’.
According to the survey, there were at least 66 distinct groups that mums use to define themselves, from ‘mums of teens’ to ‘feminist mums’ to ‘mums of children who have special needs’.
It turns out that these broad and diverse identities heavily influence the decisions these women make and the relationships they have with brands, something that thousands of marketers miss when they rely on simplistic assumptions and generic insights on what real mums really care about.
Simply put, assuming that motherhood is an all-encompassing identifier that trumps all other aspects of personality and interest is tantamount to marketing suicide, and can result in alienating a huge proportion of your customers.
So how do brands get around this? Simple: create a tailored customer journey.
At Cooperate, we talk to marketers everyday, and a key thing we’ve noticed is that companies with a customer-centric culture are significantly more likely to have happier, more loyal employees and customers.
An essential part of keeping your customers happy is understanding what they want, which means suspending your assumptions and thinking outside the box.
Effective customer journeys – essentially roadmaps detailing how a customer becomes aware of your brand, their interactions with your brand and beyond – are built on a solid foundation of understanding what your customers are experiencing in the lead up to (and after) purchasing your product or service, and are central to the future of marketing.
However, this doesn’t mean it’s always easy: in the last five years alone, we’ve seen an exponential growth in the atomisation of content and fragmentation of media channels, which means marketers must now think of, and create, many more individual units of marketing content.
Gone are the days of just cutting your 60-second TVC into 30, 15 and six-second variants for digital and social channels and calling it a win: now, it’s all about creating specialised content that needs to be fed into more and more channels, each with a different variant that suits the medium and context in which the customer is engaging with your brand.
Whether it’s social profiles, an email series, retail screens, video channels or anything else, this fragmentation adds to the marketing challenge because it’s effectively adding branches or offshoots to your customer journey.
With increased fragmentation comes greater complexity, which often makes it difficult for marketers to keep track of if the content they’re putting out there is really connecting with their customers.
One way to do this is by really focussing on customer journeys, both in the research stage (remember, never assume anything!); and by finding a way to map this content to suit the various stages of the customer journey.
In many ways, our platform is a great way to make sure the customer journey comes to life. A clear understanding of your customer journey is key and a fundamental piece of work for any marketing team.
So, going back to the example of “mums” as a single customer base, it’s always best to come back to the simple fact the each of us is unique, with fundamentally different requirements to make our lives easier and enable a connection or relationship.
A customer journey, if done properly, will more accurately target your customers, whether they’re a stay-at-home mum, single mum, working mum, married mum, or a mum of younger or older children.