Whether she’s a super mum, a slummy mummy or just a good-enough-mum, almost every mother is online. She gathers information, gets advice, or buys baby and children’s products. What does she encounter there? What disappoints her? And, above all: how can the mum marketer best tap into this group?
What makes mothers so interesting?
Rik van Elk of the comparison platform Babyplaats points out: ‘Currently, 75% of expecting and young parents consider the internet one of the most important sources of information, and they are therefore online more frequently and longer. They purchase more online and spend more on average. The latter is in contrast with total internet spending.’
The marketer only has a limited time to reach this valuable target group. A pregnancy takes nine months and a multitude of pregnancy and baby products are purchased during this short period of time. After that, a first-time mum displays an active purchasing behaviour, particularly during the first two years of her child’s life.
These mothers are constantly seeking advice and information. They’re looking for reassurance and confirmation. If a marketer succeeds in earning the mother’s trust, he becomes her advisor, establishes a bond with her, and she becomes his ambassador. But to achieve this, insight into the online mother’s behaviour is essential.
Where is the online mother and what does she do?
Today’s mother is online. How so? Razorfish and CafeMom prepared profiles of digital mums similar to Forrester’s technographics. In particular, the self-expressors (40% of the CafeMom mothers), groupsters (12%) and hyperconnectors (9%) are socially very active. Let’s have a closer look at the behaviour of such a mother.
Pregnant and then?
As soon as this mother-to-be becomes pregnant, she downloads a widget onto her desktop or Hyves profile page. She subscribes to all sorts of alerts that inform her about the development of the baby in her stomach, e.g. from publishers, manufactures or Moeders voor Moeders (Mothers for Mothers). She chats on Hyves with other expecting mothers all due in the same month, or on a forum such as Babybytes.
As the pregnancy advances, she focuses on the layette that she will need. She prefers shopping with her friends on Kleertjes. She seeks advice on forums, reads product reviews and looks at demo videos on the sites of various manufacturers before buying a pram. She orders baby room furnishings online. Perhaps even on her mobile? During her maternity leave she visits all the neighbourhood cafés and becomes Foursquare mayor of at least one.
A mum, and then?
And then she is a mother. Of course, long before that she has bought a contraction counter app. Now she wants an app for keeping track of her baby’s food and growth. And, once again, she has a huge mountain of questions. About nutrition, care, parenting, herself… And she is 100% open to the purchase of all sorts of products that will make her life and that of her baby more pleasant.
Current situation in baby internet land
As a member of the jury of Baby & Kids website awards I have judged numerous webshops and infosites targeting pregnant women/couples and parents. What stood out positively in the baby webshops? I’ll provide a few examples:
Infosites still lagging quite behind
The infosites contain a great deal of information, but are often too superficial and too dull. Today’s mother has detailed questions. She is glad when a newsletter promises her an article that deals with all the ins & outs of choosing the right child’s seat. But she is disappointed if the article doesn’t offer a good comparison between brands and types. Unfortunately, videos are still rarely used.
Golden tips for mum marketing
It’s up to the mum marketer to take advantage of these opportunities. The most important tips:
- Be where your target group is: thus also in the social media. Facebook friends become ambassadors for your brand and products. And, social shopping has a demonstrable effect on conversion and the average order value.
- Capitalize on the growing use of mobile internet by mothers. Develop mobile-friendly websites and apps in line with their needs: growth curves that track the child’s development, charts that record sleeping and eating patterns, and useful tips and videos.
- Appeal to the mother’s emotions. Use visuals and videos, address the mother personally, connect with her world of perception. Think, for example, of the WeZooz videos and the children’s profiles on Kleertjes.com.
- Mothers like to give and receive advice. Take on an advisory role and facilitate the opportunity to share experiences with each other. This is a basis for trust, as a result of which mothers will be more receptive to your products.