Do You Market To Moms? You’re Probably Doing It Wrong.

Picture of young mom and sonDid you know that 70% of the world’s women aged 15 and up are mothers? That’s just one statistic in a report recently released by Saatchi & Saatchi entitled Moms & Marketing. The report is the result of a broad effort to get to the heart of what mothers of children really think about marketing geared towards them. What they found was eye-opening, to say the least.

Saatchi and Saatchi surveyed 750 mothers with children ages 0 to 17 across eight markets: China, Germany, Italy, India, Mexico, United Kingdom, United States, and Hispanics in the United States. They also performed 30 to 50 in-depth ethnographic interviews in these regions. They found that on average, 50% of these women don’t feel that marketers understand them. Given that these women make up 70% of the female population, that’s an awful lot of missing the mark when it comes to marketing.

So where are marketers getting it wrong? And more importantly, how do they fix it? The predominant attitudes among mothers that the firm found through their ethnographic study throws a thousand-watt spotlight on the problem. Among these attitudes were:

  • “I love my mom, but make no mistake, I am not my mom.”
  • “Marketers just don’t seem to get me most of the time.”
  • “Working Moms now are better role models than stay-at-home Moms.”
  • “We mother on a stage – social media has changed the maternal landscape, and provided a platform to showcase my successes, my failings and foibles.”

The report also debunks some commonly held beliefs in the marketing arena about mothers. For instance, the mothers surveyed would disagree that their role is one worthy of a pedestal. Today’s moms acknowledge their humanity, that they make mistakes, and that they have idiosyncrasies that make them unique. Another was that, in contrast to the old idea that mothers see motherhood as their only identity, today’s mothers want more out of life. This is a big departure from the old trope of the frazzled, devoted mom who finds a rare moment of peace with a scented candle or hand softening dishwashing liquid. Motherhood has taken on a different appearance for generations X and Y, yet the marketing world has been slow to catch up.

You can access the whole report here (registration form).


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