Archive for the ‘mommy’ tag
I recently connected with Kat Gordon the founder and creative director of Maternal Instinct, an agency of creative problem solvers for marketing to moms. Kat is also the creator of The 3% Conference, an event that highlights the business importance of female Creative Directors — who comprise only 3% of their field – to succeeding in (her words) an estrogen-driven marketplace.
I asked her a few questions to help get her expert opinion on how women, specifically mothers, are influencing purchase decisions and using social media. I also wanted to get the scoop on why she feels the marketing and advertising industry needs an event such as her upcoming 3% Conference. Read on …
Q. You’ve spent the majority of your career focusing on helping brands market to female consumers with a focus on moms. Was this sparked due to your new perspective as a new mother or did you recognize a market that wasn’t being served by other marketers?
A. Shortly after my second son was born, I was asked to help launch a new brand for Gymboree called Janie & Jack. That one project set into motion a series of new clients that included BabyCenter, Pottery Barn Kids, Target, and Cord Blood Registry. Suddenly I was developing a reputation as the “mom whisperer.” It was partly because of my training as an advertising copywriter where you work hard to understand the consumer and partly it was because I had become that consumer myself. I was amazed at how heavy-handed and misguided the work in the mom marketplace was. Clearly companies were making assumptions about moms without walking a mile in her shoes.
Q. We’ve heard the term “mommy bloggers” and have seen women become very active in social media over the last few years. How have you seen this market change over the last decade? Give us a snapshot of where the market is now.
“There has never been a time when it’s easier, faster or less expensive to get a read on what the marketplace wants.”
A. First of all, the term “mommy bloggers” is out. I would say “Influencers” is the term du jour. Women are using their influence across so many platforms – beyond blogging into podcasts, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter and more. And more women are differentiating themselves by authoring multiple blogs to showcase different aspects of their life experience. I also see a movement where women are using their online influence for social good. I moderated a panel at the Mom 2.0 Summit called “Ten Ways Moms Can Change Media” in which we shared the many ways moms are mobilizing folks in their circles to do everything from signing petitions to supporting local businesses to calling BS on brands with unsavory marketing campaigns.
Q. Pinterest, more so than just about any of the other major social networks, has emerged to become a major driver of social discovery and social commerce. 6 months ago, Pinterest’s audience was said to be over 95% women. What do you make of this correlation?
A. I doubt the female skew is quite that large, but I’m not surprised that Pinterest has experienced such traction with women. I wrote a blog post this year called “5 Ways Pinterest is Like Catnip to Women” where I outlined its appeal. In a world where we’re bombarded with noise and disturbing images, the silent, beautiful presentation at Pinterest is a much-needed zen experience in a busy woman’s life. It also champions the underdog, lending the spotlight to lesser known artists and merchants, which women love. Plus, it’s an incredibly useful tool to enable collaborative decisions. Think how much easier it is to scroll through images with your husband rather than ask something open-ended like “Honey, what kind of drapes do you want in the family room?”
Q. In recent years we’ve seen mishaps in marketing towards mothers such as the infamous “Motrin Moms” campaign which now stands as a prime case study on how not to do it. How have brands been missing the mark when trying to market towards mothers? How can they do it better?
A. There has never been a time when it’s easier, faster or less expensive to get a read on what the marketplace wants. Twitter is a real-time focus group that’s open all day and totally free. Facebook makes polling customers monkey simple. Yet so many companies skip these important vetting steps and run campaigns they favor themselves from the comfort of their conference rooms. What’s more, many companies don’t verse themselves in the demographics of motherhood which have changed dramatically in recent years. 41% of babies are born in the U.S. to unmarried women and Caucasian babies no longer account for the majority of births. Yet you’d never know that if you crack open an issue of Parents magazine.
Q. How can agencies equip themselves to better serve this growing market? Is the key to simply hire more women or is the solution something deeper?
A. Agencies need to look at who’s creating the work. 97% of creative directors are men! Most men wouldn’t buy a $100 gift for their wife’s birthday without weighing in with a female perspective from a relative or salesclerk. Yet the same men, if they work as brand managers or VPs of Marketing, are entrusting multi-million dollar accounts to their ad agency. They’re asking other men what women want!
Don’t get me wrong: men can create brilliant campaigns for women. And vice versa. But a 97% skew results in groupthink that misses key insights about what matters to women. So yes, agencies need to recruit and retain more female creatives. And they need to rethink what qualifies as a “women’s account.” Women influence the majority of buying decisions across all categories, including automotive and financial services. The Atlantic just released research that women are now the lead adopters for every single kind of technology, yet VCs and technologists still operate under the assumption that young men are “the” target. Not so. Agencies need to wake up to these facts, too. When people refer to the women’s market as a niche, I set them straight: women aren’t the subset – they’re the superset.
BlogFrog, a self-described “social activation platform,” has raised $1.2 million in a Series A round of funding.
The company was first known as a community for “mommy bloggers”, allowing them to add social features to their sites. In the last year or so, however, BlogFrog has shifted direction, using its technology and audience for a new end — helping marketers reach an influential audience.
That doesn’t mean it’s another ad network, says co-founder and CEO Rustin Banks: “We’re basically anti-banner ads.” Instead, it currently offers two products. One creates online communities where fans of a given brand, like this site for KOA campgrounds. The other recruits influential bloggers (Banks says BlogFrog has a database of 65,000) to post on topics related to a campaign, and then include an ad unit at the end with a call to join the conversation. See, for example, this post on the Buried With Children blog for a LEGO campaign.
The round was led by Grotech Ventures, with participation from existing investors, including TechStars founder David Cohen. Banks says the big plan for the money is to “get the word out” — he estimates that the company is only selling 5 percent of the campaigns that it could with the bloggers in its database. Among other things, that means doubling the head count this year and opening an office in New York City.
There’s a new TV commercial with a mom and dad having a spell-talk discussion about whether it’s okay for their child to use their Pantech Element tablet. Dad’s concerned, but mom assures him that it’s okay, because it’s w-a-t-e-rproof.
Then there’s the new Kindle commercial with the sexy woman at the beach. She’s reading on a Kindle and she gets approached by a man who tries to prove his prowess by telling her about his expensive tablet. She instantly cuts him in half stating that her Kindle makes reading easier in the sunlight, and for less than he paid, she also bought a Kindle Fire so her KIDS can watch movies at the beach. Take that, fella.
As these commercials aptly illustrate, tablets aren’t just for grownups anymore.
Nielsen surveyed tablet owners with kids under 12 and found that 7 out of 10 kids were allowed to use the tablet. This was a 9% increase over the previous quarter.
The majority of the kids, 77%, used the tablet to play games. 57% said their kids were using it for educational purposes (and we believe them, don’t we?)
The tablet also makes an excellent babysitter, with 55% of parents saying they keep their kids entertained while traveling. 41% use them to quiet the toddlers in a restaurant.
Only 15% of kids use tablets for social media and there’s no word on how many six-year-olds use it to shop.
Don’t laugh. It’s coming soon. Imagine age appropriate catalog apps. Kids touch what they want and it goes on their holiday wish list. How about virtual dress-up dolls that wear the clothes from a specific store. Maybe a kid-themed grocery app where they select what they want for dinner. Sounds like a market that’s ripe with possibilities.
But, statistics aside, I want to make one thing perfectly clear – in my household nobody touches mommy’s iPad but mommy.
Join the Marketing Pilgrim Facebook Community
So, it’s been a while since I have blogged… but it’s not due to lack of marketing love! I’ve been a busy wild web woman – what a year! I became a mommy on Halloween (friend me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter to see all the baby pics) and right before I started my new job as mom, I was working with the great team at lynda.com to produce an Online Marketing Fundamentals course!! I wanted to share the intro video with you – this is a great course that covers everything you need to know to start to optimize your online marketing. Whether you are new to web marketing or an experienced pro looking for some strategic guidance, you can get a LOT of ideas in this power-packed 2 hour course (it is broken into mini segments per section so you can self-serve and watch what you want, when you want! The full online marketing video course can be found on www.lynda.com. Let me know what you think!
Web Marketing Related Posts:
Web Marketing Related Posts:
Subtitled: You Gotta Have Friends! A few months ago I was chatting with Jeff Hillire, president of the Atlanta hot, interactive, agency Enguage, about, you guessed it .. social media marketing. I mused (do you like that word? I rather do.) that it might have been fun to work with a brand or large agency. He smiled his too wise smile and said something that went like this, “The innovative work you’ve done in social might not have been possible within the politics of a large company.” Hmm .. never thought of that. So with no one to tell me No! on Valentine’s Day I launched another innovative social media initiative. All The Single Girlfriends, or as we fondly call it — atsGf. I am excited to tell you about this adventure and to get your feedback. The back-story. Unlike Diva Marketing and the eBook Social Media Marketing GPS atsGf is a run for the roses. Our goals are to monetize and capture the niche of single girlfriends 40+. In doing so we hope to provide a platform for women to tell their stories and voice their opinons in ways that reinforce there is no one right way to be single. Oh and by the way, brands and advertisers we have more disposable income than our mommy sisters. You’re missing a huge opportunity .. pay attention to us too. Okay, you might be thinking, but Toby there are hundreds of women communities on the web what makes All The Single…
What would you guess is the average age someone first has an online presence?
In North America, Australia and Europe it's 6 months.
This probably isn't a surprise to the 30-somethings reading here. Our friends' and colleagues' blogs, profiles and Twitter feeds are clogged with icky anecdotes, cute photos and other artifcacts of parenting life. What may be a surprise is just how ubiqutous it is. We're not talking "mommy bloggers" here – we're talking parents. Almost all of them.
By 2 years old, 80% of kids can be found online.
Almost 1/4 of parents don't even wait for the birth day – they upload ultrasounds and other scans – creating an online life that predates the real world one.
Baby photos are definitely the addiction point. 70% of moms post them to share with friends and family.
But, some parents are a lot more planful about it. Just under 10% are actually creating email accounts for their babies.
It's an interesting trend because it's about a lot more than just an online baby book. It's the start of a digital dossier – one created for another human.
(Source: Internet Security company AVG, 2010)
(Love to Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics for the find)