Male Marketers: Not Listening to Moms, is Not Good for Business

Moms Marketing

All moms are not the same anymore than all women are the same. Yet, marketers not only continue to lump them all together as one segment, they tend to forget that moms are still women and have needs in addition to being a mom.

Nicola Kemp puts it best in an article she authored in Marketing Magazine appropriately titled, “Marketing to Mums is Broken”,

“In brands’ persistent, misguided belief that they can market to mothers as a homogeneous group, their characterization of women ranges from the idealized to the absurd.”

The article also reveals the disappointing findings shown below from research conducted by FanFinders, the owner and operator of Your Baby Club which is the fastest growing mum and baby community in the UK.

  • 35% of mothers feel ‘pigeonholed’ by brands
  • 46% of mothers feel marketing places pressure and presents unrealistic ideals
  • 28% of mothers feel marketing to mothers is sexist
  • 32% of mothers feel most marketing to mothers is patronizing
  • 87% of mothers feel brands should incorporate fathers more in marketing
    Source: FanFinder survey of 5330 mothers, March 2015

Marketing to moms is simply not enough. And in some cases as the numbers above show, it can be dangerous if done incorrectly. Brands and marketers must take the time to get to know moms better, to better understand their needs and build trust will be the winners.

With the annual U.S. mom buying power estimated to be at $2.1 trillion, the investment is well worth the effort.

For example, the article mentions four differing maternal styles, or the four P’s of motherhood, from Jane Cunningham and Phillipa Roberts, founders of Pretty Little Head.

  • PERMISSIVE  – Her attitude is largely “live and let live – everything’s really just a phase” and the most emotionally entwined in her children’s lives.
  • PROFESSIONAL – She has a high charged career with time, money and intelligence. She is very proud of her children and all their successes.
  • PURPOSEFUL – The organized planner. She is more authoritative, meeting the emotional needs of her children, but setting limits.
  • PALLY – She wants to be friends with her children. There are few boundaries and more common interests such as sharing clothes or knowing all of her children’s friends on a more juvenile level.

You can see from this one example of differences among moms how developing content to reach the Permissive mom would fall on deaf ears when trying to reach the Purposeful mom.

To read the complete article, including more details on how to best connect with the four differing maternal styles noted above, click here.


Stephanie Holland is President and Executive Creative Director for Holland + Holland Advertising,Birmingham, AL. Working in an industry that is dominated by men, she is one of only 3% of the female creative directors in the country. Stephanie works mostly with male advertisers, helping them successfully market to women. Subscribe to She-conomy by Email

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