Moms Say Marketers Ignore Their Needs

Marketers have made great strides in recent years to better understand and connect with moms. But in trying to perfect the message, many have forgotten to listen to the very consumer they are trying to woo.

According to M2Moms, 60 percent of moms feel that marketers are ignoring their needs, and 73 percent feel that advertisers don’t really understand what it’s like to be a mom.

Last year’s Motrin Moms kerfuffle, in which women on Twitter and YouTube reacted to an ad offending baby-toting moms, raised the antennae of marketing managers everywhere and underscored the importance of not just reaching moms but understanding their value systems.

Initiatives like Wal-Mart’s “elevenmoms” (a partnership through which the retail giant and a collection of mom bloggers are building a well-timed money saving community) demonstrate how marketers are taking steps forward to engage moms — particularly mom bloggers — and to develop mechanisms to absorb their input. Not all marketers have to go to such lengths to understand today’s Power Moms, but much can be gained from expanding perceived notions about this important and highly-influential demographic.

An Influential Force

While marketers today have a so many opportunities to connect with mom at various inflection points during her life (having a first or second baby, child entering school, return to work), the challenge is sensing her distinct needs and responding in a way that truly resonates. This forces marketers to redraw the vision of mom in our head.

As CEOs of their households, Power Moms wield more influence than ever before: moms control 85 percent of household spending, and are worth more than $2 trillion to U.S. brands, as reported by the Marketing to Moms Coalition. Most moms work. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, in 1965, about 45 percent of women with children (under 18) were employed; by 2000, over 78 percent were. Whether they work out of the home, telecommute, or run a business from the home, media technology and the Internet have become a true enabler.

Linked In

Nielsen reports that moms between the ages of 25-54 who have at least one child under the age of 18 within the home represent roughly 19 percent of the total online population. And they are not passive observers online. Rather, Power Moms leverage their megaphones to influence online purchase decisions. Considering the expansion in ecommerce for foods, beauty and household products — which is projected to grow to $12 billion in 2011 — effectively reaching moms has real bottom-line implication.

Power Moms leverage digital applications to stay organized, connect with their families, friends and mom networks (think Facebook and micro-blog platforms like Twitter, as well as mushrooming networks like and, and to get things done, like paying the bills, ordering groceries, downloading coupons and hunting for ideas for the next family vacation. And lest you envision moms tapping away at their computers, know that Power Moms are also mobile enthusiasts who are 35 percent more likely to use text messaging/SMS on the go.

But even online, not all moms are created equal. According to M2Moms, African American mothers are more likely to read articles online (68 percent) and listen to music (45 percent), whereas Caucasian mothers are likely to frequent social networks (45 percent) and message boards (43 percent). Web 2.0 is also relevant for Latinas: blogs were the top choice among Hispanic Moms (55 percent) followed by social networks (42 percent).

Prophetic Profiles

Understanding the Power Mom’s online behavior affords a more holistic awareness about her passions and interests and also enables precision in online targeting for optimizing media plans. For example, established moms aged 40-50 who have three or more children in the home are heavy online shoppers, over-indexing on sites like Shopzilla, Target and Walmart compared with the average online consumer. On these sites, Power Moms are likely to be receptive to advertising deals and promotions. They also stay connected on email and are beginning to dabble in social networks, primarily Facebook.