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Commerce blog | Omnichannel

Mum's the Word

Image: a collage of mother marketing websites
When marketing to mothers, keep these 5 core values in mind

For an article I recently wrote for Chief Marketer magazine, I spoke with Maria Bailey, CEO of BSM Media, about marketing to mothers. One thing I couldn't fit into the article was what she said were five core values key to communicating with these consumers, regardless of their economic status, age, and employment status:


- a sense of accomplishment

- a desire to archive

- friendly competition

- simplification or "creating eco-systems of solutions"

- an inherent need to share


"If you can resonate in one of these five core values," Bailey said, "you hit a home run with Mom."


Some products easily lend themselves to these messages. If you're selling scrapbook materials, for instance, the appeal to mothers' desire to archive is a no-brainer. Messaging at least one of the above values when marketing other types of products, however, sometimes requires a bit more ingenuity. Nonetheless, a number of businesses have managed nicely.


Take Snowe, an online merchant of tableware, bedding, and other housewares. On the day I visited its site, the hero message on the home page read: "A Better Holiday Party. Someone has to throw it. We know you can." How's that for instilling confidence and a sense of accomplishment in a consumer?


Can we do it? Yes, we can!

Can we do it? Yes, we can!


On its "about us" page, Snowe reinforces the potential for accomplishment with a very subtle reference to archiving—or rather, to creating everyday moments special enough to be worthy of archiving: "Our products are thoughtfully designed to be used over and over, for every moment and milestone, so you can live with the exceptional every day."


Land of Nod, which sells furnishing for kids, also taps into the concept of creating memories in the opening spread of its holiday 2016 catalogue while also recognising how busy parents are, especially during the Christmas season: "Christmas is coming, along with a Yule-tidal wave of holiday chores. Lucky for you, Santa's not the only one with a bag of goodies. Our holiday collection is filled to the brim with gifts that'll create lifelong memories and decorations that'll create lasting memories...."


I'm wildly jealous of the Land of Nod copywriter who coined - 'Yule-tidal wave.'

I'm wildly jealous of the Land of Nod copywriter who coined "Yule-tidal wave."


With its #hannajams promotion, children's apparel brand Hanna Andersson hits a trifecta of mother-targeted messaging. It invites customers to upload photos (archiving) of their family wearing the company's pajamas to its Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook feed (sharing) for a chance to win money (friendly competition).


How many mothers see the Hanna Andersson gallery and think, - 'Sure, these families are cute—but mine is even cuter'?

How many mothers see the Hanna Andersson gallery and think, "Sure, these families are cute—but mine is even cuter"?


Hobbycraft does something similar with its #MakeItDontBuyIt competition: "We're on a mission to get everyone crafting for Christmas, as we think there's something special about making it and not buying it at Christmas." In fact, by awarding prizes for the best Christmas crafts submitted via photo to one of its social channels, Hobbycraft appeals to a sense of accomplishment as well as archiving, sharing, and friendly competition. The only one of the five core messages it fails to tap into is simplification.


General merchandiser Matalan, however, simplifies just fine, thank you. Its website includes "The New Mum Starter Kit," with an illustrated checklist of 20 essential items recommended by 1,000 mothers surveyed.





And many supermarkets use their websites to simplify the meal-planning process. Tesco, for one, devotes a section of its website to recipes. Each recipe includes a "Shop ingredients" button so that you can add whichever ingredients you don't already have to your shopping list; you can then reserve the items at your local store for you to collect, have them delivered, print out the list, or save the list to your app.


You can adapt at least one of the above tactics regardless of what you sell and how deep (or shallow) your pockets are. For instance, given that mums want to share, you needn't offer a prize to encourage them to post photos with your company's hashtag to Instagram, Facebook, and the like. Myriad product categories lend themselves to checklists aimed at simplification—if you sell housewares, you can put together a list of kitchen essentials; children's clothing, a checklist of back-to-school must-haves; personal-care products, lists of suggested skincare or haircare regimens. You can even go one better and bundle related products together, which also can help boost your average ticket size. Likewise, numerous products can be positioned as providing a sense of accomplishment: Organic-cotton bedding, say, can be touted as helping mums create the most comfortable environment for their family.


"Moms are changing, but so many companies are using the same old tactics and metrics that they always used," Bailey noted in our discussion. "Moms are such a fluid market. You have to be more flexible. Just like moms are flexible with their schedules, you have to be flexible with your campaigns."



author: Sherry Chiger

Sherry Chiger

The editorial director of Your Commerce, Sherry Chiger is an award-winning writer and editor. She was formerly editorial director of Multichannel Merchant and Catalogue e-business magazines.


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