Mothers control over 85% of household buying decisions, amounting to $2.4 trillion in purchasing power. However, three out of four moms in the US say companies have no idea what it’s like being a mom. (Source: Forbes) In fact, nearly half believe that mom-related marketing presents unrealistic ideals.
We held a webinar last month focused on how brands can connect with diverse mom audiences using media and turn them into loyal customers. Our incredible panel included Priyanka Sanyal, North America Strategy & Innovation Manager at Kimberly-Clark; Brechelle Corn, Strategist at The Mom Complex; Britany Reckitt, Vice President, Director — Inclusive Marketing Lead at Starcom, and LG Ad Solutions’ Sales Director, Jen Mutchnik.
Below are the top webinar takeaways and key strategies that brands should refer to while creating content or advertising catered toward diverse moms:
- De-center Personal Beliefs, Reset Defaults and Reimagine Possibilities: The first step is to stop thinking of mothers as one-dimensional personalities but as whole human beings with various intersecting identities. Understanding a mother’s lived experience is crucial to getting campaigns and content right. Going hand-in-hand with this is representing real moms as they are, not idealized versions of what they strive to be. Depicting a perfect mom who has it all together creates a dissonance for the mom viewer as she can’t relate with the character and feels a sense of guilt for being unable to live up to these (unattainable) standards. Instead, showcasing how a brand can make a mom’s life easier depicts an understanding of her circumstances, compared to just talking about the features of the product/service.
- Gen Z Does Away with Norms: Gone are the days of predominantly Caucasian, heteronormative dual-parent households being the norm. As times change and society evolves into a melting pot of various beliefs, cultures and genders, marketers need to reform their vision and represent modern families as they actually are. Regardless of family structure or background, all moms deserve to be reflected authentically and spoken to in a manner that does not make them feel less than or irrelevant. Gen Z, as a generation, is likely to give rise to many single moms, with dual parenting becoming less of a standard. This change in society is, in fact, already happening. According to Pew Research, the number of moms parenting solo is up 4.5%, giving the US the largest share of single-parent households of any country in the world.
- Culturally Centered Children: For moms from diverse backgrounds, it is crucial that their children, too, understand and connect with their cultural heritage. Awareness and appreciation of tradition helps children develop a sense of belonging and take pride in their identity. Content and advertising that represents cultures accurately and educates children about their histories (festivals, practices and cultural norms) are likely to be preferred by a diverse mom. If the choice is between a brand that understands a mom’s needs in the context of her culture and a brand that is just pushing product, she will definitely choose the brand that reflects an understanding of her culture.
One underlying truth for every mom is that she wants what’s best for her child. However, only if she sees herself or her children reflected in a piece of content or commercial will she believe that the product/service or scenario applies to her. This true resonance is only created when brands do the research and deep dive into the nuances of this audience segment.
The best way for a brand to understand the mom consumer is by hiring mothers on their team. This way, marketers can access an authentic voice and a mother’s real-life experience to help make decisions around mom-catered content. However, simply hiring diverse talent to occupy a seat at the table is not enough. The key lies in ensuring that diverse groups feel comfortable putting forth their point of view and contributing to the conversation meaningfully. Investing in diversity by helping voices from varied backgrounds be heard is crucial to bridging the gap between who moms really are and how the media represents them.
Watch the full webinar on-demand: