Gone are the days of handwritten grocery lists and family calendars hanging on the fridge. Moms today have gone high-tech. From cell phones to blogs, more and more mothers are using technology to organize their busy lives. According to Maria T. Bailey, author of Mom 3.0: Marketing with Today’s Mothers by Leveraging New Media & Technology and CEO of BSM Media, in 2009, moms will continue to leverage growing technologies and combine multiple high-tech devices to simplify their daily schedules.
BSM Media, Bailey’s mom-centric marketing firm, surveyed 3,000 mothers and found that 65% of them use five or more forms of technology everyday. As Bailey explains, "Moms today actually act in a 3.0 fashion using Web 2.0 technology." From using cell phones to stay in contact with their families to using blogs to converse and connect with other mothers, moms are finding new ways to leverage existing technology to make their hectic lives easier. "Moms are driven by certain key emotional motivators," says Bailey, "They want to feel connected to family, feel validated, and have a sense of accomplishment. Moms have discovered technology can help satisfy these emotional triggers."
According to Bailey, cell phones are the most popular technology with these women. Her research found that most commonly, mothers use them to stay connected with their families through texting and to stay in touch with childcare providers. The next most popular technology moms use is social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. "Moms like using those sites because they can stay connected with family and friends, and 37% are using it to reconnect with old friends," says Bailey. Research also showed that working moms are more likely to text using a cell phone than in-home moms, while in-home moms are more likely to use blogs and social networking sites. "The similarity between traditional working mothers and in-home mothers is that the majority are using some form of technology to gain specific purchasing information on products," says Bailey.
While more than a third of moms had read blogs in the previous week, watching videos seems to be more popular, as 80%–90% of moms watch videos online. "I think the reason is because it is quick and easy. A mom can get everything she needs out of that 3-minute video," Bailey explains. As vlogging (video blogging) gains momentum in the internet realm, moms are looking to this rich media for fast answers that can aid them in daily tasks.
As the face of media changes, however, strategies for marketing to moms will have to be altered. Bailey says, "The big change in 2009 is that companies need to realize that they are no longer pushing their message on moms. They are not marketing to them, they are marketing with them." Companies will need to "get in the conversation," says Bailey. To do that, they will have to start employing the new technologies moms are using, e.g., by setting up a Facebook page, to start a dialogue with moms and to "step out from behind the brands and start developing relationships with women." Some companies have already started to figure this out.
Websites such as Disney.com have seen the potential for marketing to mothers and have capitalized with features such as Moms Panel. This feature allows moms to post questions and get answers from other mothers in a quick and timely fashion. Other popular mom sites include Twitter.com, where mothers can Tweet with others for immediate response. Moms aren’t the only ones using sites like Twitter. Savvy companies can monitor activities and sentiment among users and respond appropriately. As Bailey recalls, in one instant, a fellow Tweeter posted about having a cold, and when the product Zicam was suggested for relief, the cold sufferer received a Tweet from Zicam with a coupon for the product. "Now that’s good marketing," says Bailey.
In total, research found that 42% of technology purchasing is done by women. According to Bailey, mothers are seeing more and more that these new technologies can help them consolidate and manage their families’ hectic schedules, can save them time in buying products, can help them get recommendations from other mothers, and can help them plan events and travel. In essence, these technologies are helping mothers by "saving them time and delivering convenience," says Bailey. As the saying goes, it’s all in a day’s work. But with new technology growing daily, 2009 looks to provide new ways for mothers to handle their daily lives with less stress and more ease.
(www.bsmmedia.com, www.disney.com, www.twitter.com, www.facebook.com,