Over the last 11 years we have worked with many businesses, small, medium and large, who are looking to market to mums. And because we are mums with an interest in digital and social media marketing, we notice many campaigns aimed at mothers. Here are 9 massive mistakes brands are making when marketing to mums:
#1. They forget mothers are women too
Some brands seem to forget that mothers are women too. They like to go to the cinema to see something other than the latest animated family feature. They like to go away for weekend breaks with their partner or girlfriends or mother. They like to feel good about themselves with nice hair and makeup. They need excuses to buy themselves something new, as they have got totally in the habit of putting their child(ren) first.
Why oh why do so many brands seem to think that once a woman is a mother she’s only interested in things for her kids?
#2. They forget time is precious for mothers
They don’t get to spend much time on themselves so time is particularly precious for Mums. Therefore every touch point, every communication, everything you ask a Mum to look at, watch, read or engage with for your brand has to have meaning for them and make them feel like they didn’t waste their time.
#3. They know mothers are buying on behalf of other people but they don’t understand what that means
If you buy something for yourself and it doesn’t work out, then it’s only you that’s left feeling bad about it being the wrong product or the wrong fit or you changed your mind.
If you buy the wrong thing for your child, whoa! you’re in trouble.
- “None of the other kids wear those kinds of shoes”
- “I don’t like that flavour of …”
- “I hate those …”
- “Do I have to wear this..?”
#4. They forget word-of-mouth is key to Mums
A mum will trust another mum’s review of an attraction, a restaurant, a hotel, a holiday resort. They ask other mums if they’ve heard about a new product or if they can recommend something to solve a problem.
Many brands now work with “influencers” but why are they not working to make Mums their influencers?
You might also enjoy reading Why Word of Mouth Marketing Amongst Mums Can Be Powerful For Your Business
#5. They still assume the male in the household is the the main decision maker
A car brand marketing manager recently spoke to us and actually said “Well why do we need to market to Mums, it’s the Dads who are choosing the family cars.” (!)
We think he forgot that Mums do a lot, if not the most, of the driving of the family car and therefore want to be involved in deciding on a new car. Or that women are responsible for many of the key decisions on the family spend.
And our survey about Mums and Family Cars reveals exactly the opposite findings to his statement.
#6. They don’t show they are solving problems for Mums
Let me tell you a little story. We were talking to an agency in charge of marketing a family film and we said we can create content and show Mums that this movie will solve problems for them. The agency person said “But sorry, how does a movie solve a problem for Mums…?”
She didn’t get that a movie isn’t just a quick couple of hours of entertainment for the family.
- It’s potentially a way to stop “I’m bored” during the holidays or on a rainy weekend.
- It could be a birthday treat and a way to include their friends by making the birthday party going to the cinema followed by a bite to eat.
- Or you can use a movie to give ideas for a birthday party tied to that theme (cue many Frozen and Spiderman parties).
- It could be about creating quality family time together doing something fun together.
A movie is more than just entertainment, it solves problems for Mums.
#7. They forget Mums have different calendars
Yes Mums enjoy Valentine’s and Mother’s Day but they also have their own seasons. For example Back to School prep and then “Mum’s New Year” = when the kids are back at school and they have more time again.
Or Communion/Confirmation time which has to be planned well in advance if you want a bouncy castle or a certain place for your meal.
Or Exam time if you have a teen and you need to support them.
Mums have to plan ahead and getting your message out at the right time when they are doing that planning will give your brand or business a better chance of being heard by them.
You might also enjoy reading: Why Parents Have Their Own Seasons And How To Use Those for Your Marketing
#8. They just push out messages, they don’t try to have conversations
Many brands and businesses are still in the business of pushing messages out and hoping they’ll stick. Numbers are all that many big brands care about – how many thousands and millions could we get to see our message?
Never mind that a) those numbers might not be the right types of people to even reach out to, b) that even if you reach a million people there’s no conversation there.
Marketing has moved off push towards conversation and building trust. And you won’t build trust with one million people easily but you might build trust with 1,000 mums who really engage with what you are talking to them about and get them to take action – buy your product, review it, tell other mums about it.
#9. They aren’t “social enough”
Mums are social and digital. They use their smartphones as they wait to pick up their kids from school, as they wait outside ballet class and soccer practice. They use their smartphone to be social with their friends on Facebook, chat in Whatsapp groups to arrange their lives, or have a nosey on Instagram at gorgeous ideas for home, food, and better family living.
If you look at many brands and what they are doing on social media, it’s just not really that engaging. They’ve probably outsourced that to an agency and there’s no passion there. There’s no fun, they just aren’t “social” on their social.
You might also enjoy reading 21 Question to Ask Before You Try To Engage Mums Online
If brands really want to connect with mums then they need to shed some of those perceptions and push-message-marketing and move towards building trust and deep connection to enable mothers to become the best influencers ever for their brand.
Connecting with mothers through social and digital channels is possible, we do it all the time on Mykidstime. We help brands and businesses to engage with Mums by turning their marketing push messages into useful content and engaging messages that allow Mums to have conversation and build trust. Contact us today to have a chat about how to work with Mykidstime.