Some call it the happiest place on earth; I call it the richest data mine on Earth, particularly when it comes to marketing to moms. I am poolside at Walt Disney World where there is more validation of mom trends, insights and research than one could find in a week of focus groups. Yes, it’s Saturday afternoon and some might say that I should take the day off but when I'm at Disney, I'm the happiest person on Earth for reasons beyond the thrill of Space Mountain or the excitement of meeting Buzz Lightyear. I am immersed in the greatest cross section of moms in the world and there's no shortage of things to learn. Maybe this is why my kids hate to wait in lines with me at Disney- I strategically position myself so we are sandwiched between moms in line. This way, if I can't get one engaged in a conversation, I can turn behind me and hopefully engage another. The questions are endless and I've been known to get an entire personal history along with buying behaviors, ages of children and online engagement habits in the time it takes to get on Peter Pan. The longer the line the better! No FASTPASS for this hardy researcher!
Today I've already observed a dozen things. First and foremost, I realized sitting here that I definitely do not fit into any mainstream mom segment. It didn't take long to realize that I was the only mom joyfully reading Brandweek, DM News and an old article on Brand Influencers. I can honestly say I'm a one-of-a-kind mom. After all I'm the only mom on Earth who takes such joy in writing about Mom Marketing. I only point out my self observation because it a confirmation to my loyal readers that I WILL NEVER base my mom insights on my own behaviors.
My next observation- 60 percent of moms want healthy food choices for their children according to the BSM Media Obesity Report. They may answer such on a poll but by the number of ice cream sundaes and buckets of French fries passing my chair, they aren't buying them. Disney actually does an amazing job offering healthy fare, and it’s in fact a company wide initiative, but apparently even Mickey can't talk a kid into the carrots and celery.
My next observation-Friendly competition is alive and well among moms. I've heard no fewer that 6 conversations on doing Disney right and "little known secrets" that only the lucky mom disclosing them knows. By the way, two out of six moms dished out inaccurate information in an attempt to look more knowledgeable than the others about shuffling kids through the park. Finally, word of mouth is by far the most effective means of marketing to moms. Today the Maria Bailey question of the day was, "how did you plan your trip to Disney?". Overwhelmingly, they garnered their recommendations and tips from another mom. It might have been a classmate’s mom, The Disney Moms Panel or a blog post but it still was another mom.
My legs are turning red and my sunscreen needs to be reapplied and my daughters are approaching my chair. It’s time for me to put away the Blackberry, grab my towel and get back to being a mom.