Marketing to American Moms Due to Change

Marketers who are trying reach this generation’s American mom might want to update some of their assumptions. According to a white paper jointly published by Advertising Age and JWT, today’s mom is not obsessed with having 1111651_mom_and_newborn_baby_boy_2it all.  Survey analysts note “the second wave of feminism has wrought not only opportunities but also increased challenges, complexity and unmet expectations.”

Today’s mom understands that she cannot be perfect in every category. She makes choices about the areas in which she excels. Some moms work outside of the home, others work from home and still others focus on their children and volunteer work. This change has led to marketing  “silos with different outlooks, different psychographics.”

While marketers are learning to adjust their messages to appeal to various types of American moms, the survey also revealed who has the biggest influence on their purchases by category. The age-​based differences are especially  intriguing. For example,  when it comes to entertainment purchases, women between the ages of 30–44 cite the following influences:

  • Themselves 38%
  • Spouse/​partner 34%
  • Friends 7%
  • Parents 6%
  • Other family 10%

By age 60, influence patterns shift significantly:

  • Themselves 51%
  • Spouse/​partner 24%
  • Friends 8%
  • Parents 2%
  • Other family 6%

Similarly, older women in this survey tended to rely more on their own opinions when they purchased items such as appliances or personal care products. This trend suggests that the influence of friends and family members is particularly important for Gen  X and Gen Y women shoppers. Marketers who direct their resources to social networking strategies may have their best outcomes from moms in younger age groups.

[Source: The Rise of the Real Mom, Advertising Age, Fall 2009] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.