Marketing to Moms? Don’t Miss These Opportunities to Make a Connection

Eunice Viana, Senior Account Executive
October 4, 2018

Three out of four moms say companies have no idea what it’s like to be a mom. Surprised? That’s according to data presented at last week’s Path to Purchase Expo by Katherine Wintsch, founder and CEO of The Mom Complex, a research consultancy that partners with mom-focused brands, products and experiences.

Here’s a recap of this valuable session on modern motherhood and the insights shared:

  • Moms lie (gasp!). They won’t admit they’re exhausted and don’t have it all under control. It’s a brand’s responsibility to dig deeper to understand their needs. However, there are some interesting generational discrepancies to consider. Millennial moms are very comfortable admitting their flaws and have no intention of achieving “supermom” status. They embrace the #momfail and recognize they’re only human.
  • The #1 pain point is dinner time. Even after a successful night getting a good meal on the table for her family, she has to face this challenge again the next day. There will never be a time when she will be done “figuring out dinner,” and this is exhausting. According to research, on average, mom makes 250 food decisions per day. She goes to at least six different food retailers to ensure she gets the right items for her family. And she doesn’t complain, because she’d rather battle the road than deal with the family’s frustrations.
  • Moms don’t plan more than 48 hours in advance. The typical mom plans for today and about 60% of tomorrow. If it’s more than 48 hours away, it might get saved in a text message, but that’s about it. For example, most moms don’t buy ingredients for a week’s worth of perfectly planned dinners (despite what Pinterest may tell you). They’re much more likely to just shop for the next few hours. A grocery retailer that empathizes with the “survival mode” reality of moms might reimagine a themed “what’s for dinner” display to include multiple options that consider ease of preparation and cost.
  • The most successful brands outpace moms’ expectations. When a mom has a great experience with a brand, it raises the bar not just for brands in that category, but across categories. For instance, Sephora went above and beyond by creating a store experience built on exploration, personal attention, and product experimentation. Now, this experience is the expectation. With modern moms, it’s not enough to be the best in your category. Brands should look for out-of-category inspiration to continually raise the bar.
  • Shopping fits in the cracks of her busy life. No, she’s not thinking about your brand, or the retailer. She does not delight in weekly (heck, daily) grocery shopping, or taking long trips to the mall to buy new school clothes for the kids. Brands should seek opportunities to make her life easier, and help share the load whenever possible.
  • The most shared feeling of moms around the world is doubt. In an international study of moms, The Mom Complex found a striking emotional commonality: moms feel deep self-doubt as they navigate motherhood, on questions big and small. As described by The Mom Complex presenters, being a mom is like swimming while trying to learn how to swim. Despite this, brands still rely on outdated June Cleaver personas. Don’t be one of those brands. Empathize with moms by championing vulnerability and authenticity.

At Partners + Napier, we help consumer brands across categories — from Friendship Dairies cottage cheese to Mederma scar cream — better connect with modern moms.

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About the author
Eunice Viana, Senior Account Executive
Eunice hails from Ignite JWT in the Dominican Republic. She leads the Delta Vacations business in growing bookings and revenue, and drives volume at shelf, grows market share, and increases household penetration for CPG accounts like Saputo Dairy Foods USA and Friendship Dairies.