Pursuing the millennial parent: Three tips to reach today’s mom

By Kara Hamstra
Editor: Mackenzie Gorham

There are 2 billion moms in the world. Yet, a study from Saatchi & Saatchi finds that half of these women feel that marketing efforts geared towards today’s mamas are “outdated and inaccurate.” With billions of dollars and important brand awareness on the table, it’s time for marketers to put these antiquated ideas to bed and brush up on what a modern mom really wants.

As a new mom, and someone who has worked on consumer PR campaigns targeted to parents for the last 14+ years, including top juvenile products, food and CPG brands, here are a few home-grown tips:

  1. According to, 70 percent of moms with kids younger than age 18 are working moms. I have found this means the weekday shuffle is a finely choreographed dance to get everyone to daycare, school or work on time. Weekends are sacred and often spent with family, rather than running errands or standing in line. To cut through the clutter with moms, be a problem solver: communicate how your product or service saves time, solves an issue or reduces stress. For example, home-delivery, meal kits don’t just sell food delivered in a box. Instead, they bring “dinnertime” back to many time-starved families who want to gather round the table to a homemade meal each night. The proof is in the growth of companies like Blue Apron and HelloFresh. Before becoming a mom, I used to love shopping for new clothes. Now, my once beloved hobby has become another chore on my to-do list. Enter personal shopping sites like Stitch Fix and Trunk Club. Each of these ingenious sites allows users to fill out a profile, describing their clothing preferences, sizes and style. Then, a personal stylist selects clothes and ships them to your home. This allows busy moms to try on clothes during nap time, in the comfort (and good lighting) of their own home. Clothes that don’t work can be easily shipped back; no queuing required. This trend of online shopping, most likely to save time, is a big one: moms make 90% of their overall purchases online. To earn a place on her shopping list, brands should consider how they can make life easier for moms and make sure to flaunt these features.
  2. A former client received some criticism for a campaign that showed moms wearing high heels during her daily routine of chasing after her kids. Many moms were turned off by this well-manicured and perfectly groomed woman and thought the brand was a bit tone deaf. In contrast, a current client proudly uses “real” moms and dads instead of models to show its products and the feedback has been tremendous. Be authentic and be inclusive. As a PR-person, it’s easy to categorize moms in neat boxes and develop content accordingly. For me and many of my parent-friends, most of us don’t identify ourselves as a “tiger mom” or “helicopter mom” or even just a “working mom” or “SAHM (stay-at-home mom).” When brands cut through these stereotypes and serve up content that is honest, Chatbooks is a brand that instantly comes to mind, moms will repay them with loyalty. Marketers would also be remiss not to appeal to a wide range of demographics. Per research from Carat, more than 65 percent of millennial moms are multicultural; half are Hispanic and most are bilingual. While it seems disheartening that we still need to point this out in 2017, the fact remains: many marketers still miss this mark when it comes to diversity.
  3. I have a long-standing group text with three mom friends. We all have kids around the same age and unwittingly, this text chain has become my lifeline to 24-7 parenting advice. Our conversations are equal parts support group and focus group; I seek out the advice of these three women more often than my pediatrician. Parenting is tough and I’m thankful for this mom tribe. I believe that most moms crave this type of support and judgment-free advice from other moms. Brands could learn from this. Provide an outlet for moms to talk to each other and ask questions and you will win their hearts and dollars. In fact, a report from Crowdtap finds that millennials are twice as likely to rely on the internet than to ask advice from a relative or friend and 37 percent of moms surveyed say they use social media once a day to help them parent.

If you’re a brand that caters to parents, don’t forget those stats as you carve out your social media budget.

What other advice would you offer on how to reach this powerful group?

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