Marketing to Moms BSM Media
Latest News and Trends in the Mom Market by BSM Media and Maria Bailey

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I Love Twitter. You Should, Too!

I love Twitter. Absolutely love it and as a marketer you should too. As the mother of four, I use Twitter much in the same way I used to use Google or Yahoo!. When I need a recipe for a quick kid-friendly snack, I tweet it. Looking for a great gift idea? I tweet it. Once I even tweeted my search for canned pumpkin and found it, thanks to Twitter.

For many moms, twitter has become a search engine on steroids because of its ability to return recommendations from a peer group you trust and who knows your preferences, lifestyle and lifestage. This personalized delivery of relevant content is a dream come true for both consumers and companies trying to connect with them.

Unfortunately, companies have entered the Twittersphere haphazardly and without any real thought to how best utilize this powerful marketing channel. It’s not enough to just set up a Twitter account and tweet out the promotion of the week or newest press release. In fact, there’s been much tweeting about this lately among moms on Twitter. “Why do companies flood my Twitter account with garbage I can’t use?”, tweeted one mom last week. Another tweeted, “I spent 4 hours blocking companies who send me only marketing messages.”

A marketer can do a very effective job in connecting with moms in 140 characters or less as long as they follow a couple key strategies in mind. So to support these points, I did what I do most when I want to gain the prospective of moms, I tweeted this question out to my 13,000 followers: “What would you tell marketers about using Twitter when marketing to moms?”

1) It’s called Social Media because it’s social. For a woman, this means speaking back. Moms will quit following you if the dialogue is not a two-way conversation. @Gomominc tweeted: “Companies shouldn’t ask your opinion and then just go off …..”

2) Twitter shouldn’t be a platform to only broadcast promotions and sales. @ameladramaticmommy tweeted: “Be a person first and a company second. I would follow more companies if they tweeted out something interesting about them first”. If you want to see how a company representative can support a brand AND allow their personality to shine through, follow @comcastcares or @babycenterPR.

3) Take part in Twitter events. If you are surprised that there are “events” on Twitter, you probably aren’t using Twitter to its greatest potential. There are lots of events in this virtual space ranging from #FF (Follow Friday) and Twitter Parties. @Resourcefulmom created the former which have proven successful in gathering thousands of moms. Just last week BSM Media and @Resourceful hosted a Twitter Party for Zhu Zhu Pets. The event attracted over 1,000 moms and generated almost 9,000 tweets with the hash tag #ZhuZhuPets.

4) Don’t wait for moms to find you. Timing is important in delivering relevant content. Pick a few key words that fit your brand and search for twitter conversations on, In maintaining a Twitter account for one of my toy clients, we search daily for tweets that contain the word, “birthday”, “gift” and “toy”. Often we will find tweets that say” Need a birthday gift idea for 5 yr old boy”, to which we reply, “have you seen the new (insert appropriate toy) which is on sale at (insert retailer)” Relevant content delivered when a moms needs it.

5) Fear not! The conversation will happen with or without you, so you might as well join in. Many companies tell me they fear setting up a Twitter account. “ What if moms have something negative to say and say it to me on Twitter?” Well, guess what? They are going to say it whether you are there or not, but at least if you are Twitter, you have the chance to engage in the conversation.

Think back to the 80’s before social media existed and moms used to talk about products on the physical playground. Marketers were often blindsided by guerilla consumer chatter and only had the opportunity to react after it had reached the masses. With Twitter, if you see a mom complain about your product, you have 140 strokes of the keyboard to rectify the situation almost immediately. Customer service at its best.

I invite you to follow me on Twitter. I’m @momtalkradio. You can DM me or List me and if you don’t know what I’m describing, it’s time to learn. Today’s moms are doing more than just talking about brands, they are tweeting them too.

Maria Bailey is the author of “Marketing to Moms”, “Trillion Dollar Moms: Marketing to a New Generation of Mothers” and “Mom 3.0: Marketing With Today’s Mothers by Leveraging New Media and Technology”. She is CEO of BSM Media, the premier marketing to moms s firm connecting companies around the globe to mothers. Maria is also Co-Founder of,, and and host of Mom Talk Radio, the first Nationally syndicated radio show for moms. You can follow her on Twitter @MomTalkRadio or email her at

Monday, November 30, 2009

Capturing Mom's Holiday Shopping Dollars

This article appeared in MediaPost Publications:

Just in time for the holidays and mom's rush to cross gifts off her list, the Marketing to Moms Coalition, a nonprofit industry group, has released the results its "Moms Holiday Spending Trends 2009" report.

The group surveyed 1,225 moms with children under 18 living at home. Some might predict that in a recovering economy that moms would be condensing her gift list and tightening her budget. Just the contrary, most moms plan to spend the same amount this year compared to last year. In fact, moms with older children expect to spend more than last year. This is good news for marketers and brands with the right marketing plans in place to capture holiday sales.

Let me share some of the highlights:

Gifts Vary by Kids' Age Groups - Teens Top Spending

Overall, moms will spend $672 this year, consistent with last year's spending levels with the top hot gifts for young children being toys (51%), clothing (29%), books (26%), movies (23%) and video games (8%). Top gift choices for children aged 7 to 12 being video games (30%), toys (29%), books/clothing (tied at 28%), movies (25%) and music (20%). Popular gifts for teens being music/music electronics (28%), clothing (27%), gift cards (23%), beauty products/video games (21%), and movies (19%). Compared to the total sample of moms, moms of teens plan to spend the most on holiday gifts.

Big ticket electronics like computers and cell phones will likely see a decrease in holiday sales this year. Of moms who plan to buy a gift for 7-12 year olds, 15% fewer will by computers, while 5% fewer moms plan to buy computers for teenagers this year.

Where Mom Will Shop

The majority of Moms plan to shop at mass merchandisers/supercenters for the holidays (85%), although that is down 2% from 2008. Anticipated holiday shopping this year has increased significantly for department (up 10% to 47% in 2009) and electronics stores (up 13% to 41% in 2009). Of all retailers, shoe stores are taking the hit the most in 2009 -- down 8% versus last year.

Moms with higher household income ($75,000+) plan to shop at more places, including department, specialty clothing, club and sporting goods stores, while those with lower income skew to dollar stores. Compared to other ethnic groups, English-speaking Hispanic moms are more likely to shop at electronics stores, while African American moms are more likely to hit dollar and shoe stores.

Buying Online Still Part of the Plan

Consistent with last year, most moms will do a lot of their shopping online this year as 16% of Moms plan to do 50% or more of their holiday shopping online. Moms with higher education and higher household income are consistently planning to do more of their shopping online than other moms. Toys (41%), clothing/clothing accessories (38%) and music/movies (34%) are the top three items Moms plan to buy online for the 2009 holidays.

Capturing Mom's Holiday Dollars

Marketers who want to capture mom's holiday dollars need to remember a few of the key principals of marketing to moms.

Help moms simplify her life. Make it easy for her to purchase your product. This means offering her complimentary accessories for products, suggesting hot sellers and sending her sale emails between 10 p.m. and midnight when she's online shopping.

Nurture a relationship with her through social media. Seek out moms who are looking for product by searching for moms tweeting about your product and then respond with information or answers.

Multitask with the multi-minder. She's on the move so make sure she finds your marketing messages along the away. Social media is great but it's only one piece of an integrated marketing plan. Don't forget to utilize local mom mavens offline, radio, couponing and peer reviews.

Engage her in a relevant conversation. It's called social media because parties socialize. Join into holiday conversations with moms via interactive online videos on sites like, Twitter Parties such as GNO (Girls Night Out events) or Facebook groups such as 24/7 Moms or Circle of Moms.

Now is the time to set your strategy for the holiday season. Moms will spend their money somewhere this year, shouldn't it be with you?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Beyond the Mommy Blogger

A lot has been written about "mommy bloggers" -- a term, by the way, that most moms who blog dislike. Marketers clamor to sites with trips, product samples and incentives by the thousands. Rightfully so, marketers recognize the powerful influence these women have on their peers. It is a 180-degree move in the right direction and a long way from where companies were when Marketing to Moms was published a decade ago.

However, there is risk involved in extremes, and focusing too narrowly on mom bloggers as your moms strategy can be dangerous. Before I go any further, I want to say that I believe wholeheartedly in the power of mom bloggers. In fact, I proudly count myself among the population of mom bloggers. But beyond being a blogger, I am a mom Vlogger, a Mom Tweeple, a Mom Webmaster, and a Mom Podcaster.

Successful marketing in any segment of consumers requires an integrated approach of delivering relevant messages through multiple channels of communication. It is no different in the mom market. Marketers solely focusing their efforts on mom bloggers not only execute a partial marketing plan, but also miss two-thirds of the overall U.S. mom market.

Consider the numbers. Respected social media groups estimate between 23 million and 26 million moms are in the blogosphere. Sounds like a huge group; however, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 83 million moms in our country. This means that only about one-third of all U.S. moms participate in blogging. If marketers are speaking to mothers only via bloggers, they are leaving two-thirds of their target audience untouched. To be successful, marketers must utilize a variety of channels to create a meaningful dialogue with mothers:

1. Video and Vlogging: According to BSM Media research, 90% of mothers have watched an online video in the past week. Yahoo says it's even higher. Moms visiting,, a YouTube for moms, view 11-15 videos per session and they currently have over 500 mom Vloggers. Video is fun, and a mom can watch a three-minute solution-based video while cooking chicken tenders. Brand videos don't have to be fancy. They can even be B roll. Simply upload it to one of many mom video sites, or while you are sending product to bloggers, look for mom bloggers who do video.

2. In-Home Parties: Moms love to socialize and share. In-home parties or mom mixers are a great way to put your brand in the conversation. Moms invite their peers to share in themed gatherings that include product samples and fun activities. We've found that 80% of the moms who attend will tell three to five other moms about the sponsor brand. Another 10% will tell five to ten other mothers. That's powerful word of mouth at work.

3. Radio and Podcasts: There is no other communication medium that keeps up with the pace of mothers better than radio. Moms spend up to 75 minutes a day in their cars with radio. Podcasting takes it even one step further because it allows moms to enjoy selected programs as they push strollers or shop for groceries. Producing a podcast allows a company to connect with moms on iTunes or other podcast directories. If you aren't into broadcasting your own branded show, there are plenty of great Mom shows out there to sponsor.

Today's mothers are carrying on hundreds of conversations a day and receiving information from numerous sources along the way. As a marketer, it's important to establish a meaningful dialogue with your consumer through multiple channels -- in blogs but also in their homes, in their cars and even face-to-face.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mom Vloggers Creating Powerful Online Presence

There is a rapid emergence of mom vloggers and it’s time for marketers who want to stay ahead of the game to take notice. Let me give you an example. Just three short weeks after launching MomTV, this online video destination for moms has over 30 live weekly shows booked on their 24/7 Mom TV online network. Moms, many of whom are popular bloggers, are creating shows on everything from cooking to fashion to travel. It’s amazing to watch these moms “broadcast” live from their laptop with the help of a HD Webcam to hundreds of mom viewers. The audience then has the ability to chat, submit questions or even appear via video and ask questions. It’s truly addictive.

There is another example with, the sister site to MomTV, where over 500 moms are now vlogging their daily thoughts on parenthood. Think blogging on video. Moms who view the videos can comment back to the moms via video as well. It’s bringing the personality and passion of mothers to life for her readers. Yesterday in a webinar titled "The Emergence of the Mom Blogger" sponsored by BSM Media, Maria Bailey, author of Mom 3.0: Marketing WITH Today’s Mothers by Leveraging New Media and Technology, facilitated a virtual panel of mom vloggers. Panelists included Danielle Smith (, Jendi Pagano (, Stephanie Piche (co-founder of ) and Stacy Nerdin(

Here are some of the highlights and insights from these moms who are leading the way for other mom vloggers:

• Moms find creating videos easy with plug-in video cameras;
• Moms like to watch video because they enjoy seeing the passion of other mothers;
• Moms enjoy vlogging because it allows the authenticity of the mom come through;
• For marketers, it allows for the opportunity to demonstrate and educate the viewer;
• and are growing because it allows moms to interact during video shows.

For more information on video and moms, email or visit to see it live!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Marketing Muscle of Mom Bloggers

In over a decade of formally studying moms, I’ve never seen as much of a frenzy surrounding one type of marketing initiative as I’ve witnessed with mom bloggers. Blogging has taken everyone by storm including the moms themselves. Much to their own surprise, Mom Bloggers are accidental business women. They are mothers who simply started a blog to chronicle their journey as a mother or to find like-minded women with children and are suddenly receiving hundreds of product samples, special event invitations and free merchandise in their inbox every day.

With as much attention as the mom blogosphere receives, it still only represents about one-third of the general population of mothers. Today, according to BlogHer research, more than 45 million women participate in the blogosphere weekly. It is estimated that about half are women with children, bringing the total to about 23 million of the 83 million moms in the US. This is why I often warn marketers who are targeting mothers not to view blogs as a silver bullet. The majority of mom bloggers are Generation X and Millennial mothers who post about their experiences as moms. More than 40% of women consider blogs a reliable source of advice and information and over 50% admit that blogs influence their buying decisions. (1) Most mom bloggers have only been in the blogosphere for less than twenty four months.

Blogging is the perfect tool for the Generation Y and Generation X mothers. Its functionality aligns very closely with the character traits of these two cohorts. First, blogging provides immediate gratification. Second, blogging fits nicely with their desire for customized motherhood. Blogging allows moms to connect with like-minded moms. If you are a Christian mom, you might follow Lori Seaborg’s blog, Just Pure Lovely, and if you are a New York mom you may follow the posts on, where Anna Fader celebrates her New York upbringing by sharing the fun of raising a baby in Manhattan. Blogging also gives moms a platform for cause marketing and philanthropic support. Many moms use their blogs to connect with moms who share the same priorities or values. Finally, blogging as a tool allows moms to retain more of their own individualism. Yes, many of these moms blog on motherhood, but many use their blogs as a sounding board on life. Whether it’s not being satisfied in the bedroom or resenting housekeeping, moms have an outlet for their concerns or frustrations to be heard.

The use of mom blogs allows marketers to maximize the influence of mom mavens. This group, as we know, has long shared information about products, retailers and services with other mothers. Today with the help of the Internet, they can tell thousands, and in some cases millions, of other mothers. I hear more and more from moms that they have added mom blogs to their list of resources when researching a new product, travel destination or retailer. Marketers have quickly come to realize the power of mommy bloggers. Two great marketing initiatives rolled into one- viral online marketing and word of mouth influencers. However, it’s the “how to use mom bloggers” question that has created so much debate in the blogosphere and even more discussion in corporate America. The undefined rules of engagement with bloggers combined with the tidal wave of influence- both positive and negative- that can be generated by bloggers has forced many companies to make mistakes along the way.

Take the example of an egg company who sent out invitations to mom bloggers to distribute their Easter ideas to other moms. A great idea that, you’ll see, was spoiled by poor execution. The mistake that these eager marketers made was to send the Easter pitch to Jewish mom bloggers who were insulted that the marketer didn’t take the time to get to know them. The egg company received a great deal of negative reaction throughout the blogosphere. In traditional outreach, I’m sure that the egg company would not send the Easter ideas to the sports editor at the Washington Post but the appropriate features writer. The same rule applies with mom bloggers. Marketers and public relations professionals must take the time to get to know their target audience. Here are a few rules to remember in engaging Mom Bloggers:

1) Take the time to get to know the mom before contacting her.
I suggest reading the blog for a few days or follow the mom on Twitter;

2) Make sure the bloggers you are contacting are people you want representing your brand. Not all mom bloggers are created equal. If you have a problem with the “F” word being used in the same paragraph as your product’s name, it is in your best interest to identify the style of the mommy blogger;

3) Remember they are trying to build their brand just as you are trying to build yours. Create programs that allow the mom blogger to build her traffic via giveaways, sweepstakes, coupon codes and product exclusives;

4) The relationship should be a two way street. Don’t send a blogger a generic press kit with a lot of information about YOU and nothing in it for her. It’s not enough to say, “We think your audience will find this interesting. She doesn’t need your marketing messages, she’s got plenty others in her email inbox;

5) Personalize your communication to her;

6) When all else fails, just ask the mom for help.
Moms love to nurture relationships- not only with her children but also with brands. If you aren’t sure how to work with her, simply express your desire to collaborate and ask her for suggestions. Moms are innovative and creative and happy to help.

There are many ways to leverage your relationships with mom bloggers beyond basic product sampling. Some of the most effective programs include exclusive interviews with celebrity spokespeople, Twitter events, vlogging tours and meal planning kits. Recently, my team sent dinner kits to mom bloggers intended for their husbands. The dinner kits had everything the spouse needed to cook dinner and give mom the night off. As you can imagine, moms loved having dinner planned for them and expressed their appreciation through photos posted to Twitterpics, blog posts, videos posted to, Facebook mentions and of course lots and lots of tweets. The idea is to get creative and establish a meaningful dialogue with these influential moms.

One final word on engaging mom bloggers: don’t stop at blogging when trying to connect your brand to social media mom influencers. Technology is changing quickly and moms are changing with it. Today’s mothers are quickly introducing video into their blogs and onto their Facebook profiles. Sites such as now have over 50 mom-produced live shows that draw hundreds of mothers every day to videos and vlogs. boasts over 500 mom vloggers who are reviewing product and chronicling motherhood with their webcam. Moms are moving at the speed of technology and in order to truly engage them in a dialogue with your brand that allows them to share with their peers, you must communicate in a way that stays up with their multi-tasking, multi-media lives.

(1) -Wright, Susan. “BlogHer Statistics,” US National Census Data Projections, June 2007,

Maria Bailey is CEO of BSM Media, a marketing and media firm that engages moms with brands. She is the author of “Marketing to Moms”, “Trillion Dollar Moms” and “Mom 3.0: Marketing with Today’s Mothers by Leveraging New Media and Technology”. She blogs at and is the co-founder of, and Marketers can watch her on or follow her on Twitter (MomTalkRadio).

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hygiene Habits Among Moms

Add Chief Germ Buster to the many titles mother's hold. According to a recent survey by BSM Media with over 600 mothers, 85% of moms claim to make the hygiene product decisions in their family. But just as the economy has challenged her to do more with her family's dollars, she's taking a different approach to family hygiene.

Mothers are challenging generic brands to do more for less in the fight to keep her family healthy. Eighty three percent of mothers are likely to try a generic brand in order to save money. The products that moms are most likely to purchase generic are shampoo, conditioner, hand soap and toilet paper.

In the same survey, moms revealed that they are more likely to give up a name brand personal hygiene product for themselves before they give up a name brand for their child.

In order to remain loyal to a product, 87% of moms surveyed are using coupons or looking for Buy One Get One sales on their favorite products.

The survey also looked at mom's behaviors on purchasing products for her maturing children. Laying a good foundation of hygiene habits is important to moms which isn't always easy as their children grow into new stages and mature more quickly than prior generations.

When it comes to introducing new hygiene products to their tween or teen, 45% of moms will purchase a brand they already trust for their child.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Study Examines Moms By Race

African American and Caucasian Moms Differ on Battling a Down Economy, Aspirations for their Children and Parental Challenges

When it comes to motherhood, nothing is black and white. As we usher in the historic inauguration of our first African American President, BSM Media examines the behaviors, values and habits of mothers across racial lines. Our research shows that while all mothers are battling with the growing concerns facing our nation, such as education and saving for the future, some of a mother’s coping strategies and motivations are tied to her culture and ethnic background.

“Moms share universal concern for their children, community and family,” says Maria Bailey, CEO of BSM Media and author of the recently released book “Mom 3.0: Marketing With Today’s Mothers by Leveraging New Media and Technology. “It is clear, however, that the way she reacts to the economy, rising food costs and the dreams she has for her children is impacted by her personal experiences, upbringing and ethnic background.”

BSM Media partnered with several prominent African American mom bloggers to field this research: Jennifer James, editor of Mommy Too! Magazine (, Melanie Sheridan from Mel, A Dramatic Mommy (, Kimberly Coleman from Mom in the City (, and Michele Dortch, The Integrated Mother (

“Identifying the specific needs of African American Moms is timely,” said Melanie Sheridan from Mel, A Dramatic Mommy, “Companies and media need to be more culturally aware and prepared for the expanded audiences recent historic events may bring their way.”

Key Findings of the study include:

· Although the majority of all moms have made household adjustments to cope with the family crisis, African American moms are more likely to delay major purchases (57%) and avoid stores to reduce shopping (54%). Caucasian moms are coping by using coupons and discount codes (73%) and driving fewer places to conserve gas (62%).

“It takes a lot of time and concerted effort to use coupons effectively and save significant sums of money, and time is something that many African American moms don’t have”, says Jennifer James, editor of Mommy Too! Magazine (, “In addition, many of the manufacturer coupons found in the Sunday newspaper are not found in the retail locations in urban communities and if they are, many African American moms opt to purchase lower cost generic brands which usually don’t issue coupons.”

· African American moms are more likely to turn to clergy for support (60%) than Caucasian moms (41%). Other popular support outlets among both races included spouses, parents and other moms.

· Although moms across racial lines ranked education as their greatest dream for their children, African American moms are more likely to aspire for their children to have a deep religious commitment as adults than Caucasian moms.

“For many of us, our faith has sustained us.” says Kimberly Coleman of Mom in the City,, in response to the importance of religion in the African American community.

· Caucasian moms named managing the desires of their children for material things as a challenge (45%), while African American moms are battling with affordable housing (35%).

· While online, African American mothers are more likely to read articles (68%) and experience music (45%). Caucasian mothers are likely to frequent social networks (45%) and message boards (43%).

“The results of BSM’s research confirm one very important fact - we may share a common bond as mothers, but each of us brings a unique approach to motherhood that must be recognized,” says Michele Dortch of The Integrated Mother. “I’m excited that Maria has pioneered this research that addresses the diversity found among mothers.”

About the Survey

The survey was conducted in January 2009 via online invitation. An ending sample of over 1,400 Moms with children under 18 living at home completed the online questionnaire. For more information, or full research results, contact

The research explored other topics from personal indulgences to technology usage.

Technology Habits

· The majority of all respondents (85%) turn to the Internet first when looking for product recommendations and other mom-related parenting advice.

· The Internet was also the top answer among both races, when asked which piece of technology they couldn’t live without.

· While online, African American mothers are more likely to read articles (68%) and experience music (45%). Caucasian mothers are likely to frequent social networks (45%) and message boards (43%).

· Blogs are popular among all respondents, with 58% naming the media among their favorite forms of content online.

News and Current Events

· Moms of both races are more likely to tune into news that has a local or economic impact.

· African American moms are interested in political stories (54%) while Caucasian moms are more likely to follow celebrity and entertainment news (44%).

Free Time and Indulgences

· When an African American mom catches a rare free moment, she is most likely to read (77%), while Caucasian moms are most likely to surf the Internet (77%).

· Reading and Internet time scored higher than spending time with spouses for the majority of respondents.

· When asked about their ultimate indulgences, Caucasian moms listed a rich dessert (48%) and a fine bottle of wine (40%) among their top treats. African American moms would rather indulge by sleeping late (60%) or getting away for the weekend (35%).

Advertising and Marketing

  • When viewing advertisements, the majority of all respondents notice the product first, rather than the ad’s message.
  • Overall, Caucasian moms think marketers are doing a better job in speaking to them than African American mothers.

Are trying to reach Multicultural Moms? BSM Media can help. Contact Natalie at and watch out for more information on our Spring Multicultural Mommy Blogger Monologues!

Great article from Marketing to Moms! Read it below or check it out here.

How To Market To The Modern Mom

Melanie Lindner and Lisa LaMotta 01.08.09, 5:00 PM ET

U.S. moms control the purse strings at home--to the tune of $2.1 trillion per year, roughly equivalent to the gross domestic product of Italy, the seventh largest economy in the world.

But for all their efforts, marketers could do a better job reaching this audience. According to a recent survey of 3,500 American moms by BSM Media, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.,-based marketing firm that targets the mother demographic, 65% feel that they are "underserved" by advertisers--either because the mom-focused ads don't resonate or because the ads aren't aimed at moms at all.

Strike the right nerve, though, and there's a pile of money to be made, even in a rough economy.

Successfully targeting the mom segment means communicating with them in their lingo, according to Nancy Lowman LaBadie, an executive vice president at Marina Maher Communications, a public relations agency that has handled many of Procter & Gamble's female-focused products, like Secret deodorant, Dawn dish soap and Clairol hair color. "I think companies who learn [that language], understand it and connect with it will reap the rewards," she says.

How to connect? Start by knowing where moms mingle--and, increasingly, that means online. According to the recent BSM Media survey, 71% of moms use the Internet to get product information.

By contrast, only about 20% of mothers comb newspaper ads. The action happens at social networks like Maya's Mom and Café Mom and at blogging sites like BlogHer.

Hint: Don't just rely on banner ads; moms want to engage in a conversation. Better to blog--and do it with a sense of purpose. "Don't just blast as many bloggers as you can find with press releases," says Maria Bailey, founder of BSM Media. "Moms are all about relationships, so if you want to approach them, make sure to start with a personal note."

Video blogs, like, let you upload videos featuring mothers using your product free of charge, similar to YouTube; the site boasts 500,000 views per month and 10 to 15 videos watched per visit, according to Bailey's research.

While they've taken awhile to gain traction, podcasts have become an increasingly effective way to push products to more moms.

According to BSM Media, 85% of American moms now have mp3 players. And moms ride in their cars (a convenient place for listening to podcasts) far more than any other demographic.

The key to making hay with moms in any marketing medium, especially when it comes to high-tech items like cameras and computers, is clearly communicating the benefit of the device. "Making that technology understandable and approachable is beneficial to the consumer," says Karen Cage, a spokeswoman for Hewlett-Packard.

To boost sales, the company recently launched 10 videos on how to take digital pictures of, say, darting children. Another reason you want hammer home your product's value proposition: Two out of three moms plan to eliminate purchases that are not absolutely necessary in 2009, according to a recent study by Allen & Gerritsen, a Watertown, Mass.-based advertising agency.

But then, product specs will only get you so far with moms. What they really want is an experience. "In order to convince the modern mom to try a new product or service, marketers need to work with them, not just throw ads at them," says Bailey.

Example: Rather than inundate moms with horsepower figures, last year General Motors chauffeured some 75 moms in its cars for a weekend in Newport, R.I., in conjunction with a weekly podcast called Manic Mommies (produced by two moms).

"We recognize that we don't always do a really good job via advertising or providing a comfortable dealer experience [to women and moms]," says Christopher Barger, director of global communications technology for General Motors. "We have been looking at how we can use [online] social media to improve our efforts there."

If you're lucky enough to have a few extra marketing bucks lying around, work the celebrity mom angle. Finding a familiar face to pitch your product is an expensive but effective strategy.

Last year, talk show host Kelly Ripa, a mother of three, became the face of Electrolux kitchen appliances by demonstrating how fast-heating ovens and microwaves help modern moms stay on top of their family, work and social lives. Desperate Housewife Marcia Cross, mother of twin daughters, is slated to become the new face of Mott's apple sauce in March.

Finally, recognize that moms engage in a lot of groupthink--about everything from dining and relationships to finance and careers. About 55% of those surveyed by BSM Media said they relied on recommendations from friends and family when making purchases for the home; 64% do it when they buy things for the children.

Your best bet: Identify the key influencers in the community (through the PTA, social networks and blogs) and get them to host a party to promote your product. Videogame maker Nintendo recently did just this when it selected eight "ambassador moms" to hold parties promoting its Wii gaming system.

Just because a market is massive doesn't mean you don't need a smart approach to attack it.

Friday, January 9, 2009


Great information just released from the Marketing to Moms Coalition!

Moms use the Internet Three Hours a Day and Report

Spending More Time Online than their Kids

Move over, Junior, Mom needs to check her email. In a study released on the eve of the annual International Consumer Electronics Show, American mothers revealed some surprising technology habits, including the fact that moms of school-age kids use the Internet more than their children do.

These moms report that they’re on the Internet for three hours a day, while their children are logged on for two.

“Mothers, now more than ever, are using technology like video, blogs and wireless devices to multi-task through their busy days,” says Maria Bailey, industry exert and author of the book, Mom 3.0: Marketing with Today's Mothers by Leveraging New Media & Technology. “2009 stands to produce a record number of tech-savvy mothers bridging devices together to create everyday solutions.”

The new report from the Marketing to Moms Coalition, a not-for-profit industry association that studies the habits and purchasing patterns of mothers, provides a glimpse into the relationship between the most powerful consumer-spending group in America, and the consumer electronics industry.

The study includes findings such as:

  • The cell phone is the technology used most often by moms to communicate with their kids – 80% say it is the direct line to their child and babysitter.
  • 60% of moms use text messaging. African-American moms and Hispanic moms text more than Caucasian moms.
  • MySpace is the most common personal networking site used by all moms (42%).
  • Best Buy is the leading electronic retailer for moms of all income groups, and particularly moms in high-income households.
  • Full-time working moms use technology at the highest rates.

The top 10 activities for moms online are as follows:

1. Checking/sending email (85%)

2. Paying bills/online banking (64%)

3. Reading news (57%)

4. Checking weather (56%)

5. Researching other products/price comparisons (49%)

6. Playing games (46%)

7. Shopping for her children (45%)

8. Shopping for herself (44%)

9. Planning travel (39%)

10. Researching health-care information (38%)

About the Survey

The survey was comprised of a nationally representative sample of American Moms contacted between June and July 2008, via an online invitation. The sample was balanced on region, household size, population density, income and ethnicity. An ending sample of 1,033 Moms with children under 18 living at home completed the online questionnaire. The research firm Insight to Action analyzed results.

About The Marketing to Moms Coalition

The Marketing to Moms Coalition is the only industry group dedicated to furthering an understanding of America’s most powerful consumers. A not-for-profit organization, the group’s goal is to share knowledge and insights about moms to help marketers create programs that engage and empower this driving force of the American economy. More information about the coalition can be found at The founders of the coalition are Maria Bailey, CEO of BSM Media; Bridget Brennan, CEO of Female Factor; Michal Clements, Managing Partner, Insight to Action; Amy Colton, Senior Vice President, Current Marketing; and Teri Lucie Thompson, Chief Marketing Officer, Purdue University.