Time for Brands to Change their Approach when Marketing to Mom, Says New Report by Razorfish and CafeMom

02/02/09
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Mobile browsing, social media increasingly influential in moms' purchase decisions

 

New York, NY (PRWEB) February 2, 2009 -- A new marketing report by Razorfish and CafeMom indicates that moms' digital behaviors change remarkably when their children hit 12 years old and that mobile browsing and social media channels are increasingly affecting moms' buying decisions.


Digital Mom consists of two companion studies. The first study, conducted by Razorfish--one of the largest digital marketing companies in the world--focuses on how digital moms are adopting emerging technologies. The second study, prepared by CafeMom--the largest social networking site for moms-- concentrates on the role that social media play in helping to inform purchase decisions, among other key trends.


Survey findings will help marketers to better understand the different types of moms using mobile browsing, social media and emerging technologies and how to engage them most effectively depending on their age and the age of their children.


Part One: "Connecting with Digital Mom through Emerging Technologies"


Digital moms are not a niche market. According to Nielsen NetRatings, 32 million women in the U.S. have children ages 18 and under and go online; of those women, 84%, or 27 million, interact with emerging technologies.


For the purposes of this report, Razorfish surveyed 1,500 "digital moms"--defined as women with at least one child under 18 in the home who have engaged with two or more emerging technologies and who have researched, sought advice or purchased a product online in the last three months. Results confirm digital moms have moved beyond email and search, and are now active users of Web 2.0 technologies. The majority of moms are using social networks (65%) and text messaging (56%). More than half of these moms are also gamers, with 52% of them playing games online or via a console.


A particularly interesting trend is the rise of mobile browsing, said Terri Walter, vice president of emerging media at Razorfish and author of the Razorfish study. While only 10% of digital moms use mobile browsing, the women who do use it say it has more influence than other media channels as they get closer to a buying decision.


"This finding is significant," Walter said. "It predicts the profound impact that mobile browsing and perhaps shopping applications will likely have on peoples' buying decisions as more people adopt smartphones."
Razorfish's Key Findings for Marketers:

  • Moms with children 12 and older are motivated to adopt new technologies to stay in tune with their children. Of those who use social networks and blogs, almost half (47% and 40%, respectively) monitor their children. Likewise, digital moms of children 12 and older, versus moms with children under 12, are more likely to watch online video, (40% vs. 34%), game (57% vs. 51%), read online consumer reviews (38% vs. 30%), and watch or listen to podcasts (13% vs. 9%); This trend can be explained by different leisure time patterns among women with older children and a compelling interest in understanding their teenage children's digital lives.
  • The gap is closing between TV and digital channels in terms of creating awareness and affecting product decisions, and social influence channels are increasingly important. Although TV still has the most impact on creating initial awareness for a product (31%), social influence channels such as online consumer reviews, blogs, social network sites and RSS are highly influential in the learning/researching stage (29%).
  • Moms' interests are broad; some interests change by life stage, and some do not. More moms show interest in clothing/fashion and food than in parenting information, with the exception of moms with children under six.

Part Two: Connecting with Digital Mom through Social Networks


CafeMom conducted a companion study of 1,740 active members of CafeMom, combined with CafeMom behavioral and usage data, to achieve a deeper understanding of how and why moms are using social media, and its impact on shopping behavior and purchase decisions.


The study found that moms are spending more time on social networks than ever before, turning to them for social, recreational and informational purposes. Once part of a social network, these moms are not just passive consumers, but active participants in activities such as blogging, photo-sharing, engaging in group discussions and building communities based on similar interests.


"With the rise of social networking, moms are becoming less dependent on traditional media and brand advertising to inform purchase decisions," said Laura Fortner, SVP of marketing and insights at CafeMom and author of the CafeMom study. "Marketers can extend brand engagement by interacting with moms in their space and leveraging their influence within their social networks."

CafeMom identified five distinct segments of socially connected moms. Highlights of the report's observations and recommended marketing approaches for each segment include:

  • The Self Expressor typically has a preschooler at home and is eager to chat with other moms about parenting and shopping-related matters. She spends a lot of time building her personal profile page, so marketers should explore ways to be included on her virtual real estate and take advantage of viral pass-along.
  • The Utility Mom typically has the most children at home of all the segments, yet spends the most time online each week and enjoys relaxing with games and quizzes. To reach the Utility Mom, marketers should align with entertaining widgets and send brand messages through influential women in her circle.
  • The Groupster is a dynamic builder of online communities and seeks purchasing information and advice from her wide social circle, which includes moms she does not know offline. Marketers can reach her by associating with groups, blogs and other message centers and enlisting her as a brand advocate.
  • The Infoseeker usually has a young baby at home and is hungry for information on parenting and related products. Brands that can tie their messages into the information she is seeking, especially via the voice of other moms, will be the most successful at connecting with the Infoseeker.

The Hyperconnector, typically the mother of older children, is no longer aggressively seeking parenting information and advice, but rather uses social media as a way to chat with others and learn about new products. As an active social network member, she is comfortable expressing her opinions and would be an excellent candidate for brands to tap in social marketing campaigns.

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