Ketchum was an associate sponsor of the recent M2Moms - The Marketing-to-Moms Conference held at the Chicago Cultural Center. Attended by approximately 200 marketers representing well-known brands, M2Moms is the premier conference in the U.S. for business and marketing professionals looking to engage their brand with the lucrative mom market.
This year's program featured a pre-conference workshop, networking receptions, break-out sessions and more than 40 speakers who delivered insights, trends and research about reaching today's moms. Here are some key highlights from the conference:
Moms account for 85 percent of household buying, making them most families' Chief Purchasing Officers. (Seventy-five percent of moms are the family accountant.)
As of next year, the male/female split in the workforce will be 50/50.
Women own one-third of all U.S. businesses.
Twenty percent of online Americans are women with at least one child.
Moms see 2.7 branded messages every minute of every day, and marketers have 6.5 seconds for them to decide if they are in or out.
First-Time Moms (Very different from Second-Time Moms):
There are 4.3 million births in the U.S. each year, and 1.7 million of these are to first-time moms.
First-time moms are stressed - they want help, but they don't know what they need.
They are also younger (in their 20s or early 30s, or "Gen Y"), have been married for less time and are more affluent.
They feel more empowered, and their identities are tied to their communities and social networks.
They have higher discretionary income than ever and plan to maintain this income level by returning to work.
Since first-time moms are starting from scratch, they need to buy more, making them excellent consumer targets. Their communities (e.g., friends, family, etc.) also spend for them. All told, Americans spend $27 billion on newborns each year.
For these new moms, over-programming and perfection are out. It's all about a more relaxed parenting style, favoring balance, compromise and integration.
They are highly brand indifferent and more open to brand suggestions.
They take more time to research and are therefore more engaged, motivated and proactive.
A Few Select Trends:
Co-Parenting: It takes a village to raise kids. Sharing the burden is not looked down upon but rather considered a smart move.Gen-Yers especially don't want to do things alone, leading them to embrace activities such as co-op babysitting and pooling resources among multiple families.
Implication: Programs that play into this sharing mentality will be well received.
Younger Grandparents: The average age of a first-time grandparent is 48! Especially in these times, grandparents are doing a lot of the buying.
Implication: Consider incorporating programs targeted at these young grandparents.
Grateful Dads: Dads are embracing parenting too. Gen Y dads are hands on and proud of their fatherhood.
Implication: Include dads in programming too!
Slow Parenting: Parents want to remove themselves from the traditional social pressures of parenting. One method of doing this is "unschooling" - keeping kids out of school until kindergarten so parents can teach them social skills, manners, etc. on their own.
Implication: Marketers need to say why their products will help moms simplify their lives.
Hyper Safety: People will pay more for a product that's safer and want to be reassured about its safety qualities.
Implication: Put a safety message on a product, even if it's obvious: BPA-free, lead-free, "Made in USA," etc. Moms might not buy "organic" but would buy "pesticide-free" because it sounds safer.
The Lean Green Family: It's about being economical and saving money, not necessarily about being organic and eco-conscious.
Implication: Products need to be durable so that moms can pass them down or resell on eBay.
Not only did Ketchum attendees learn from top marketers at the conference, we were also able to highlight our agency's marketing-to-moms expertise. Kristen Laney, SVP and group manager, and Susanne Norwitz, director, Brand PR, Kellogg Company, presented highlights of the company's successful corporate giving campaign, which involved consumers in the client's charitable partnership with Feeding America. As a follow-up to the presentation, audience members were given Kellogg's coupon booklets and encouraged to donate to Feeding America. The response from conference attendees helped raise an additional $450 on the spot for Feeding America.
The Global Brand Marketing Practice awarded four scholarships to account managers and their clients to attend the conference and meet key influencers in the marketing-to-moms arena. Scholarship recipients included Sara Garibaldi, vice president, and her Libby's client; and Wendy Joong, account supervisor, and her IKEA client. What's more, after the first day of the conference Ketchum once again hosted a dinner for scholarship recipients, industry thought leaders, bloggers, agency friends and new business prospects. The annual dinner has become a signature gesture to show clients and friends Ketchum's appreciation, offering the opportunity to get together with others in a casual atmosphere.
Compiled by Maegen Noble