Marketing to Mums

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As Mother’s Day is approaching we thought we’d take a look into how mums are marketed to online.

All you baby mamas out there – Google has their eye on you – you are the ‘Digital Moms’ – as Google puts it –

“The gap between trendy women and caring mothers is bridged effortlessly – these are the Digital Moms.”


(Yes, we know. It does warrant the side eye.)

According to Google:

  • Over 40% of Digital Moms comment on or like someone else’s social network post every day: 1 in 4 update their own status.
  • 1 in 4 participate in a blog or forum at least monthly.
  • 1 in 5 share photos of desired products during the research process and 1 in 10 go on to write a product review post-purchase.

Because of this consistent online interaction, Digital Moms are viewed by Google as excellent brand ambassadors.

Google isn’t the only advertiser with plans for mothers – marketers of all kinds are searching for the latest insight into the mind of a shopping mother.

Senior vice-president and global group publisher of  parenting club Bounty, Mike Fogarty says:

“There are key inflection points in a woman’s life that drive a shift in priorities and therefore brand choice and purchasing habits. Parenting triggers a reconsideration of everything, not just what to buy for your nursery but what to buy for your life.”

Now. And there you were thinking that googling “Is there arsenic in rice cakes?” was going totally unnoticed by the wider world.

Social Shoppers

While Google’s global research states that over 75% of Digital Moms create or curate content online monthly, Danish company Userneeds market research on Irish mothers specifically revealed that they actually spend less time on social media than women who are not mothers:

  • Irish mothers spend less time on social media than non-mums, with only 31% of mums using Twitter compared to 48% non-mums.
  • On Facebook 70% of mums are logging on every day compared to 75% of non-mums

But it does appear that the time Irish mothers do spend online is spent more productively:

  • 66% of Irish mothers make payment via mobile every day, compared to only 51% of non-mums.
  • Irish mothers are much more likely to buy tickets to events (60% vs 35%). Mothers are also more likely to complete other purchases such as grocery shopping, travel tickets and hotel bookings.

A Smartphone as ‘Back Up Brain’ and Research Tool

The Userneeds research also pointed to the outcome that content and usability is of most interest to mothers. Parenting tips and ‘hacks’ perform well as do emotionally engaging ‘mothering’ content.

Google states that 83% of moms search for answers to their questions online, and of those, three in five turn to online video in particular. Babycentre research found that over 50% of Millennial Mums would call their phone their ‘back up brain’.

Tying back into Bounty’s Paul Fogarty’s statement above that ‘Parenting triggers a reconsideration of everything’ – the Google stats show that Mums will research a product online in detail before making a purchase.

“55% of Digital Moms did online research before making a recent purchase, and this research was more intensive than that of other online users, with 4 in 10 spending at least a few days on research.”

58% of YouTube-watching mums Google surveyed agreed they’re likely to search for videos about a certain product before making a purchase. researched what inspires mums’ purchase decisions in 2016 and reported that:

“Online content remains king with 87% being influenced on stocking filler and present choices after reading in-depth product reviews, 79% by personal stories or testimonials, 74% by articles about the products and 67% by published lists or guides.”

This propensity for research doesn’t seem to be really being capitalised on as yet in terms of AdWords search ads. Especially considering 46% of Digital Moms turn to search engines during their purchase journey.

Typically if you do a google search for any kids product in a question format – you won’t see ads. If you search just the product name you will see ads i.e. ‘is lego good’ versus ‘lego’. See below.


is lego good Google Search

Product name only:

lego Google Search

There may be an AdWords opportunity for those targeting mums to get a jump on competitors by targeting questions as keywords and answering questions on landing pages that provide easy click through to sales, or alternatively to build an audience list to remarket to at a later stage in the sales funnel.

Know Your Mums

And finally the latest revelation on marketing to mums is that not all mums are the same.

At Mumstock 2016 – (an entire annual conference dedicated to marketing to mothers) this stat was thrown out –

“Only 19% of British mothers say they have seen advertising that depicted them in a way they could relate to.”

For example, the target UK groups identified and researched for the 2016 Mumstock marketing conference were:

  • lone parents (2.3 million mums),
  • mums of children with special needs (1.4 million women),
  • mums of teenagers (almost 6 million women)
  • self-employed mums (1.7 million women)
  • rural mums (2.2 million women)
  • mums with one child (2.5 million women)

These were just 6 main groups chosen out of 66 identified mum groups taken from research of live mum forums – varying from ‘natural birth mums’ to ‘stay at home mums’ to ‘mums with diabetes’.

Suffice to say advertisers need to move on from the Bisto mum approach to gain real attention from millennial mums.

Less like this –

bisto mum

And potentially more of this –

Ad targeted to Mum with interest in science / engineering.


Mobile YouTube Ad targeted to Mum who is into home fitness –



Provide How Tos, Be Mobile Friendly and Use Videos

So in summary you can say that mums are a prime mobile shopper target and potential brand ambassadors when it comes to sharing usable helpful content and product research, but that to properly engage with them and earn their brand loyalty, you need to research the particular kind of mum you want to reach.

On a basic level, one main takeaway would be to up your ‘Question and Answer’ content if you are considering marketing to mums.

And secondly, if your product is targeted towards mothers, ensure your YouTube content on the product is up to scratch and enables clear click through to sales.

Give us a call at Search Scientist to find out more about YouTube advertising, remarketing and content planning.

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