Facebook IQ Examined What New and Expecting Parents Expect of Brands

They value ad content that depicts family life in a realistic, empathetic way

Parents of babies are more price-conscious than newly expecting parents
FatCamera/iStock

Facebook IQ released the second part of its study on how parents use the social network, this time focusing on what they expect from brands.

The social network’s research arm commissioned an Ignite 360 survey of 1,620 expecting or new parents in the U.S., ages 18 and older, as well as interviews with 10 expecting and new parent couples.

Facebook IQ said in a blog post revealing its findings: “The survey revealed that people grow more cost-conscious and focused on product effectiveness throughout early parenthood, and our interviews indicated that parents value ad content that depicts family life in a realistic, empathetic way. The survey also showed that while moms and dads each often consider themselves the primary decision-maker when shopping online in categories ranging from finance to fashion, dads care more about certain factors than moms, and vice versa.”

The survey’s findings included:

  • Parents of babies are more price-conscious than newly expecting parents.
  • Percentages of U.S. parents who don’t mind price when it comes to items they want are 39 percent for newly expecting, 36 percent for mid- to late-expecting, 27 percent for newborns and 25 percent for babies.
  • Mothers were more likely than fathers to call themselves the primary shoppers for fashion and consumer packaged goods.
  • Dads were 1.3 times more likely than moms to say they like to own or show off items that others don’t have, and they were also more likely to say that it is important to keep up with the latest trends.
  • 44 percent of newly expecting parents and 27 percent of parents of newborns strongly agree that auto brands understand what it means to be a parent.
  • Those figures are 44 percent and 33 percent, respectively, for CPG; 38 percent and 32 percent, respectively, for entertainment; and 37 percent and 28 percent, respectively, for finance.
  • Among U.S. parents who buy the same brands, 38 percent of newly expecting parents and 26 percent of parents of newborns believe consumer electronics brands understand what it means to be a parent, and those numbers are 41 percent and 25 percent, respectively, for CPG.
  • More than one-half of parents said online videos help them learn about parenting-related topics and products, with fathers more likely than mothers to welcome parenting information delivered in this fashion.

Facebook IQ also shared the following takeaways for marketers:

  • Build loyalty and acquire new customers with more empathetic messaging: New parents want to see content that reflects their day-to-day challenges and acknowledges their need for effective, affordable products and services. Consider these as you create your next campaign.
  • Appeal to trendsetters: Both moms and dads—but especially dads—care about owning exclusive, on-trend items. Play up what makes your product unique and special.
  • Address both moms and dads: Both men and women often consider themselves the primary decision-maker across shopping categories—so make sure your messaging is inclusive of both moms and dads.
  • Invest in video: People are increasingly watching mobile video, and parents are no exception. If you’re looking to reach dads, a video strategy might prove particularly effective: Our study found that dads are even more likely than moms to welcome parenting information conveyed via moving pictures. Keep in mind that mobile videos are most effective when they capture attention within the first few seconds. Show the brand or product early and include captions.