As a kid, I wanted nearly every toy I saw on TV. I’d cry and beg my parents for the toys, reciting the commercials to them verbatim. Surely, they could see why I needed this toy—it was all there in the ad!
But I knew I couldn’t ask Dad. Or rather, I could—but he’d send me to Mom! Even as stone-faced as she was, I’d still plead my case. After all, whether or not I got the toy was up to her.
Turns out, this is just as true of millennial moms as it was for mine!
According to Forbes, moms control around 85% of their household’s income. They use this spending power to make 83% of their household’s purchasing decisions. Moms almost universally get the final say, whether it’s a toy, cereal, clothes, household appliances, or cars.
The message is clear: marketing to moms taps into an essential customer base, which can be critical to a business’s success.
So let’s look at how to market to moms, how to engage them, and why authenticity, value, and inclusivity are critical to your success.
Table of Contents
How to Advertise to Moms
When you choose to market to moms, it’s important to remember that no two moms are alike. We’re talking about humans from various backgrounds, income levels, and living situations, each with their own hopes and dreams.
Step one is always performing research to understand who they are as people. This can arm you with the knowledge you need to build a successful marketing campaign aimed at everyone’s favorite person: mom. In this way, marketing to moms is no different than advertising to any other target audience.
When marketing to moms, you should:
Look Beyond the "Working Mom"
Yes, it’s true that nearly 75% of mothers with children under 18 are in the labor force.
But the “modern mom” is defined by more than her job or her children. Like anyone else, moms have multifaceted and complex lives. They contain multitudes and want advertising geared toward them to reflect this!
Consider taking the time to learn more about the complexities of a modern mom’s daily life. Then, you can create a marketing strategy that reflects their unique needs and preferences. This can help you find new and interesting ways of marketing toward them.
For example, suppose you make phone charging cables. Whether she works or not, after her daily responsibilities, her phone is dying by the end of the day. Maybe all mom wants is a charging cable that reaches from the wall to the couch. That way, she can relax while she browses the internet. You can advertise your solution: a long cable for a long day.
Don’t sell; connect.
As mentioned above, moms are more than just people with children. They’re human beings—and like anyone else, this is how they want companies to market to them. Authentically appealing to their humanity can create a genuine connection and a trusting relationship.
Content marketing can help create that trust by offering valuable information, entertainment, or support that resonates with moms’ lives and experiences.
Free, informational content (such as blogs, educational videos, etc.) that helps solve problems and simplify their daily lives can help bring moms to your page. From there, they might discover your products and services and decide to make a purchase.
But remember to remain authentic! You’re not asking for their attention; you’re trying to help. The more genuine you are, the more trust you can build.
As a sidenote, this can also help increase word of mouth. I’ve personally started too many sentences with the phrase, “So, I read in this blog…”
Empower and Engage—Don't Scare!
Avoid scare tactics in your marketing, as they can backfire and alienate moms. Instead, focus on understanding their challenges and empowering them to address these issues with your product or service. Emphasize that they shouldn’t have to face their struggles alone.
For example, if you’re marketing a safety product for children, avoid playing on a mom’s fears and insecurities. Instead, position your product as a tool that empowers moms to protect their children effectively and confidently. They already do all they can to keep their children safe; all you’re doing is lending a helping hand. This approach could resonate more positively with moms and strengthen their connection to your brand.
Target Specific Segments
“Mom” is not a single customer segment. As such, your product is unlikely to appeal to all moms. Customer segmentation can continue to help you market toward individuals rather than tropes. One helpful tactic is to adapt your marketing to answer the question, “How would a mom in this segment use this product?”
Because she’s not just a mom! She’s an environmentally-minded individual who prefers spending her money on experiences for her family rather than creating waste—who also happens to be a mom.
Or, you know, whatever your chosen segment is!
Appeal to Hope
Marketing is always about your target audience’s hopes and dreams. Through research like surveys and polls, you can learn the hopes and dreams of your target moms. Then, you can use that knowledge to market directly to them.
For instance, suppose you discover your target moms feel responsible for shaping their child’s character and personality. Does your product help develop a child’s creativity or problem-solving skills? This could align with your target mom’s desire to raise a creative, self-sufficient adult!
Engage on Social Media
Of course, this comes as no surprise in 2023. Social media plays an important role in keeping most of us connected, informed, and entertained.
But this makes social media marketing imperative to reaching moms. Maybe they don’t have time to sit down and watch TV. But given a few free minutes, many moms turn to social media for entertainment and relaxation. And many of these moms visit social media sites several times a day. If you can create content that engages them while they do so, you can increase your brand awareness and reach your target moms.
Create content encouraging conversation and interaction, such as polls, questions, or user-generated content. Sharing relatable stories or experiences, featuring real moms, or hosting live Q&A sessions with experts can foster engagement.
But remember, engagement is a two-way street. When they engage with you, it’s important that you engage back. This makes offering prompt and thoughtful customer service and cultivating a community around social media accounts just as important as creating engaging content.
Meet Moms in Their Daily Lives
To truly resonate with moms, understand their daily routines, struggles, and aspirations. Offer solutions, products, or services that seamlessly integrate into their lives, making their days more manageable, enjoyable, or productive.
For example, some moms go straight from the gym to picking up the kids at school. Do you make fitness wear that’s just as comfortable while being active as it is sitting in the car? This could be a valuable marketing tool!
Inclusivity and Representation
Moms want to see diverse families, body types, and lifestyles represented in the brands they support. Inclusive marketing will appeal to moms personally and show that your brand understands the diversity of modern families.
In your marketing materials, showcase a variety of family structures, ethnicities, and body shapes to reflect the reality of today’s families. There is no “one-size-fits-all” to the concept of motherhood, so your approach to marketing to moms should reflect that!
Here’s a tip that might sound counter-intuitive, but it works: the more specific you get, the more universal your message becomes. So, don’t worry that being inclusive and representative in your messaging might necessarily exclude some mothers. The reality is that people are more likely to relate to a specific situation than a generic one. This is because they can connect to the emotions behind the scenario even if they can’t relate to the situation.
This inclusivity can extend to your product offerings. Creating products in a range of sizes, shapes, colors, etc., can help different moms with different tastes and needs find the version that fits them best.