What Is Generation Mom?
We all know the established generations of Mom: the Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y. But are all Moms equal, or do the generations dictate their parenting values and core marketing preferences? My colleague Stacy DeBroff, founder and CEO of MomCentral Consulting, recently conducted a survey to find out how ages and stages impact Moms.
In looking at generational differences, the survey originally assumed that a Mom’s generational characteristics would deeply influence her parenting style, attitudes about brand messaging, and use of social and traditional media. Surprisingly enough, however, the survey showed that regardless of Boomer, Gen X or Gen Y status, certain universal truths for all Moms emerged in four key areas:
- Moms would rather stay at home instead of forging ahead on their career path
- Moms would forgo a bigger paycheck to spend more time with their kids
- Moms say contentment in kids trumps future success
- Moms put parenting ahead of their marriage
When Moms surveyed were asked “What Makes a Great Mom?” and given 25 choices, these Top 3 emerged:
- Spending quality time with her children
- Raising children with good manners
- Setting boundaries and keeping them
When asked about their perceived inadequacies, the Top 3 responses were:
- Moms feel guilty for being short-tempered with their family
- Moms feel guilty because they don’t play with their children enough
- Moms feel guilt for not spending enough time with their kids
All Moms Yearn to Connect
The study also revealed that Moms are feeling more isolated than ever before – due primarily to today’s mobile society and their own attempts to achieve “Super Mom” status. This isolation, coupled with the feelings of guilt, has resulted in Moms seeking alternative ways to reach out and connect. Social media has become the conduit between Moms and their trusted connections to other Moms and brands. Much like Moms want relationships with fellow Moms, they also want relationships with the brands they love – and when they feel engaged, they are more likely to make a purchase, or recommend a brand to their friends.
What’s Important to Generation Mom?
What’s important to Generation Mom? Her family, her passions, her relationships, her children. Generation Mom feels a deep need to connect with the world around her – and social media has become the way in which that happens. Twitter and Facebook now mimic the neighborhood friends of previous decades. They help women expand beyond their immediate worlds and make new friends, while reconnecting with old friends. The Internet also provides Moms with access to ready-made communities that provide support for those who knit, do yoga, need help with potty training, or other issues.
As social media becomes the new “picket fence” for Mom conversations, the age of those Moms appears to be proving irrelevant. Regardless of age, brands will find her online. There may be some slight media preferences by age – Gen X Moms read more magazine articles than Gen Y Moms for example – but all generations surveyed embrace social media. And whether a Mom is 25, 35 or 45 – shared parenting values bring them all together as Generation Mom.
When marketing to moms, is your brand participating in the emergent platforms where Moms are congregating online? Does your messaging map to a Mom’s core values?