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Sep 4, 2018    Good Company

What to Expect When You’re Expecting to Market to Mothers


Birth is glorious triumph––a life-affirming, world-altering event that also happens to require parents to buy a lot of stuff. Diapers, cradles, car seats, bottles, and usually a case or two of wine each month. New and expectant mothers are in charge of some serious spending at this point in their lives, which is why big brands and advertising agencies drop a lot of coin marketing to them.

Since the demand is so high, moms and expectant moms are some of the most expensive people to advertise to, so it’ll cost you if you screw up. Follow our do’s and dont’s or just hire us (we are an Austin ad agency) to stay in the clear.

Don’t momsplain.

Moms get a lot of advice. From books, TV personalities, other moms, and a slew of unqualified individuals who read an article one time. When running your marketing campaign, don’t tell moms how to live their life or raise their children. They hear it enough. If you want to give them helpful content, maybe develop an app that conveniently tells other people to shut up.

Don’t assume moms are all the same.

Moms are people who used to just be called women. They had interests and identities that extended beyond their child rearing duties. Guess what, that’s still the case. A mom who graduated Ivy League and has a passion for baking bread has more in common with a childless woman with the same interests and background than a mom on the other side of the country who delivers pizza and cooks meth.

There are a lot of moms. Pick the right ones.

Related to that last point, most women over the age of 15 are mothers. Moms are young and old (your grandma is a mother), rich and poor, married, single, divorced, polyamorous… They can’t all be in your target demographic.

Motherhood isn’t all and everything to them.

Not only is being a mom hard work, it is also filled with complex emotions and intense expectations. Depictions of motherhood in advertising tend to focus on the more delightful aspects. But life has trained mothers to detect bullshit, including a hacky ad involving two gorgeous and fresh-faces parents clapping and cheering to a baby’s first steps. In real life they are reaching for their phones to capture the fleeting moment, and then rushing to stop the kid from grabbing a pair of scissors off the table it can now reach. Life can be beautiful, but it can also be funny, weird, or harsh. Being real with your audience is a way to show you respect who they are and the challenges that come with it.

Know moms, professionally and personally.

You don’t have to know who you are marketing to on an individual level to do a good job, but it helps. Moms are not difficult to encounter. In fact, our Austin, Texas marketing agency was founded by a mom. If nobody where you work has a kid, there’s something weird about that.

Now when you are coming up with the creative or strategy for your ad campaign, think about the moms you actually know. More than likely, they do not all line up with the platonic ideal stereotype of a mom. Talk to them about their experience. A real life anecdote might not have the same statistical significance of a bigger market research study, but it can instill a sense of humanity into your advertising.

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