TRENDWATCH: Highlights of the Marketing to Moms Conference

Boelter + LIncoln, blog, marketing to moms

Marketing to moms is big business. It’s so big that there was a three-day conference on it in New York City recently. Advertising agencies and top brands such as Hasbro, Unilever, Nickelodeon and NBC Universal gathered to share their latest research which reinforces why moms are the single largest purchasing group in the world.

While there were a wide range of strategies discussed and case studies presented throughout this jam-packed conference, three recurring “recipe for success” themes emerged.

  1. Be Authentic

Everyday brands like Honey-Maid, Hefty and Whirlpool are finding ways to reach moms in a genuine, authentic way. These mature brands have been around forever, but are constantly coming up with bold ways to show that they understand their audiences by showcasing the evolving definition of family. (The old mom/dad/ two kids model is no longer assumed.) They are also being daring in showing that everyday life may be messy and no one is perfect. Whirlpool ovens may work great, but sometimes cookies still get burned. That’s life.

Spend a few moments with these videos to see how these tried-and-true brands are breaking through:

Whirlpool Everyday Care

Honey Maid “This is Wholesome” Campaign

Honey Maid Response

  1. Influencer Marketing

As ad-blocking tools become more pervasive and sophisticated, brands need to find new ways to reach moms outside of traditional marketing. Influencer marketing programs are widely seen as a way to do that. Many experts predicted that influencer marketing revenue will surpass display banner revenue in 2016. The challenge with these types of programs is finding the right partners and having scale. Automation of influencer programs will help measure ROI, find influencers and distribute content. However, the price of entry for the software and automation may be a stumbling block for small-to-medium advertising budgets.

A large portion of influencer marketing programs will center on video content, which can be challenging to marketers who want to control every image and spoken word. Giving up some level of control to produce authentic content is uncomfortable, but important.

  1. Millennial Moms are the “It” Mom

Millennials are currently the largest generation demographic and they are now starting their own families. But, this demographic is also going to be the most challenging for advertisers. Not only are they less brand-loyal, their attention span is about seven seconds – so marketers must get to the point quickly. Again, transparency is crucial when communicating with them. Brands should also stick to their brand anthem for a period of time. Switching messages too often will cause you to lose credibility with this audience.

Not surprisingly, speakers at the NYC conference also suggested that 2016 would be “The Year of Mobile.” (Yes, that was said about 2015 and 2014 before that, but that doesn’t make it any less true…) The millennial generation is attached to their mobile phones and using them for every micro-moment. “I want to know,” “I want to go” and “I want to buy” moments are all researched on mobile devices. We have to find unobtrusive ways to communicate with them throughout their busy day.

Hefty found a way to talk to this group featuring moms a bit older than the millennial generation, but they are all speaking the same language. Check out their ad:

Hefty Party Hard Moms

So, as you are planning and executing your marketing plans for 2016, keep these themes in mind. Find ways to make connections with today’s mom by understanding her lifestyle and family needs. Moms aren’t perfect; they are busy and time starved. If you can find a way to make their life easier and improve the quality of life for their family, you will gain a friend… and likely a customer.

Trendwatch Addendum

As an addendum there was one more important trend that we learned in New York City: long boots are out and short boots are in. You heard it here first.



Shannon Novotny contributed to the research and content of this blog post.