How Marketers Can Avoid Sending Aussie Mums To Sleep: Step Change’s Kathy Rhodes

How Marketers Can Avoid Sending Aussie Mums To Sleep: Step Change’s Kathy Rhodes

“If you don’t know why your product exists, why your brand exists, and how your product contributes back to your organisation purpose, now is the time to articulate and work that out.” 

These were the first words from Step Change strategy director Kathy Rhodes, one of the keynote speakers at the Mums Marketing Conference on Monday in Sydney.

Rhodes talked about why most marketing to mums sends them to sleep, and woke up the room up with some eye-opening research on marketing companies. 

According to Rhodes, those that have the strongest purpose, the ones that connect with all customers (mums included), can be stripped down to five fundamental human values in their marketing and ad campaigns: 

  • Eliciting joy 
  • Enabling connection 
  • Impacting society 
  • Evoking pride 
  • Inspiring exploration 

Rhodes uses a Pampers ad for premature baby diapers as an example of both enabling connection and inspiring exploration. 

Pampers had previously lost billions of dollars, and realised they needed to connect back with why their product exists, leading to a wildly successful, tear-jerking campaign. 

“Its not about what you want to say about your organisation – it’s what your customers need to hear in order to make a decision, to get one step closer to buying your product,” Rhodes said. 

There are four areas companies can identify when it comes to working out what their customers need to hear, according to Rhodes. 

  1. The drivers: what do the customers need or want from your product? 
  1. Triggers: when and where are they thinking about your brand? 
  1. Pain points: what are they finding frustrating about being a parent or a parent-to-be? 
  1. Fears and barriers: What are their belief sets they’re holding and how can you overcome them? 

For most customers –  and mums, in particular – emotions are at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to purchasing decisions, with rationalisation often below the surface. 

“We make emotional decisions and rational justifications, and this is particularly important to be aware of and understand when your marketing to mums,” Rhodes said. 

But, often label packaging or website information for companies that are marketing to mums lacks understanding, and is basically all the same, she told conference attendees. 

So, when was the last time you checked whether you sounded different to anyone else? Rhodes made everyone ponder this question to themselves and with each other before finishing up. 

“Why does your product, why does your business, why does your brand exist? If you don’t know, it is absolutely overdue time to find out,” she concluded.




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    1. Such a great conference. Thanks for the write-up B&T Magazine. All of us at Step Change are on a mission to help brands define their purpose and stand out in a cluttered marketplace.

      As much as I’d love to take the credit for connecting organisational purpose back to five fundamental human values, I was standing on the shoulders of giants when I referenced this. Those in the audience would have heard and seen that this insight came from The Stengel 50. A study conducted by Millward Brown. It’s certainly worth checking out.

      Kathy Rhodes

Kathy Rhodes Mums Marketing Conference step change

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