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4 Key Takeaways from Mums Marketing 2017

4 Key Takeaways from Mums Marketing 2017

This week we had the pleasure of sponsoring the inaugural Mums Marketing Conference 2017 here in Melbourne. We love supporting these types of events as the content is built to support one particular theme, allowing your mind to get dug in and explore all of the opportunities and challenges raised.

So for those of you that couldn't make it, what were our key takeaways from the event?

1. Mums are a truly massive market

When it comes to massive markets with economic buying power this one cannot be overlooked. 

There are 6.2 million mums in Australia alone and they control $132 billion in spending power. As a buying group that makes them the largest contributor to GDP. Looking outside of the Australian market mums are worth $28 trillion as a global economy. 

However what's most surprising is how little research has been done on this market segment. 

2. The majority of mum advertising is missing the mark

63% of Australian mums don't think advertisers understand them, and when you step back and review the majority of ads targeted at mums you quickly see why. 'Mum stereotyping' is rife, with an expectation that all mothers care and worry about the same things, have the same interests, and the same buying patterns. 

But that's absolute rubbish.

"Mums want to be treated as women first, mums second" states Katrina McCarter, Author of Marketing to Mums. They want brands to put the time in to get to know them, understand them, and market to them accordingly.

A great example of a brand doing this well is Chatbooks, their video ad campaign targets mums who don't have the time or inclination to create photo books themselves but who still want to have physical photobooks of their children. This is certainly not all mums. They've made the call to focus on their specific segment of the mums market and it's proving it's worth with over 16 million views on YouTube. 

3. Women react to advertising differently than men

We all know that women and men are fundamentally different (and no we're not talking physicality here). The way we react to images, emotions, events and other stimuli have been scientifically proven to generate different reactions from the male brain vs. the female brain. 

So why do we expect men and women to react to a single advertisement in the same way?

Here's a great example from Barbie. Barbie ran an ad campaign featuring dads playing Barbie with their daughters. The reaction from the male audience was highly negative, with men feeling patronised in respect to how they interact with their daughters. However, on the flip side women loved the ad campaign as it created an emotional reaction seeing dads play with their daughters in such a fashion.

4. Get emotional

Women seek emotion and connection from the brands they interact with.

As Bec Brideson put it "Women marry a brand" - starting by dating a few different brands, flirting a little as they start to get your attention, then choosing to commit to a long-term relationship with that brand. If the brand disappoints or fails in the experience then the relationship is over, and she won't be afraid to be vocal about her disappointment.

When marketing to mums the best brands seek out the emotion first - looking to create a bond strong enough to rationalise away any objections.

A spot on example of how marketing to mums has become more emotive is looking at nappies.  

In the 90's Pampers commercials focused on features (as we can see in the flashback commercial below).

Whereas when we compare that to a recent campaign by Pampers, focusing on premature babies we can see how the filter used has moved from focusing on the product to creating a strong emotional connection.

In Summary

The main takeaway I found was that brands need to be careful not to stereotype their audience, whoever they are, as that almost always leads to miscommunication and a poor experience. 

The ways that brands market to women are changing slowly, with more recognition that men and women need to be approached in completely different ways. This change needs to happen faster for brands to stay ahead of the competition - as those that make the leap into creating content built for the 'female lens' are seeing high success rates.

This filter is relevant no matter what type of content you are creating - be it a blog post or a tv commercial.

Respect your audience, listen to them, and represent them in your marketing. 

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