We’ve Moved!

Posted April 13, 2009 by Stephanie Azzarone, President, Child's Play Communications
Categories: 1


The Mom Market Trends blog has moved to a new address: www.mommarkettrends.com. Please visit us there for the latest updates!

Dirty Little Secrets

Posted April 6, 2009 by Stephanie Azzarone, President, Child's Play Communications
Categories: Social Trends

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This one’s for the moms.


Just caught Oprah’s segment on the dirty little secrets of motherhood – what nobody tells you, what moms don’t like about parenting, and what they do to cope. Moms talked about everything from barely getting a chance to shower to making full meals for their kids from snacks found in the car, to experiencing the trauma of buying their first minivan.  One of the speakers likened motherhood to a secret society whose details no one tells you because otherwise you wouldn’t join. Motherhood, they agreed, is overwhelming and 24/7 – no rest here for the weary.


Mothers admitted that they are hard on themselves, often because they are insecure about the choices they make. Despite the tremendous amount of advice on parenting offered by magazines and on the Internet, moms often feel totally on their own.


Said one, “I completely believed that I was the only woman in the history of time who did not have the maternal gene, and I thought I was completely alone.”


Said another, “I didn’t feel I had permission to talk about how hard motherhood really was.”


The conclusion of the show: Moms need to be honest and support each other.


Moms, agree/disagree? What has been your own experience? What did you not know? What would you tell other moms-to-be? 


Posted April 3, 2009 by Stephanie Azzarone, President, Child's Play Communications
Categories: Marketing to Mom, Mom Market Trends, Social Trends

Tags: , ,


An article in the online newsletter Engage: Moms recently defined the new American family as one that does not go out much – to shop or to entertain themselves. Because of the fragile state of the economy, moms, as gatekeepers to family purchasing, are being very, very careful fiscally. According to the author, Kyla Lange Hart:


  • Families are spending more time at home, less at malls or restaurants
  • The exception: Movies are doing well – it seems to be the one (relatively inexpensive) luxury we currently allow ourselves.
  • “Pride of purchase” now comes from not buying, rather than buying and boasting about it, or from choosing an inexpensive purchase (lipstick) over a pricier one (that dress).


The article posits that there is a sea change in progress, “defined by a new set of consumer values.”


For more, visit Engage: Moms


Marketers, this suggests a significant attitude shift. What are you doing to appeal to it? One approach may be to focus on the investment value of a product – positioning it as a long-lasting essential (e.g., wooden toys that endure over time and work for multiple ages, multi-purpose furniture or styles that “grow” with a child). Another is to introduce products designed to entertain families while they are “hibernating” at home.


Moms, is there a change in how and what you buy? What are you still buying and why? What have you backed away from entirely?

Mom Blogger Profile: Liz Thompson of This Full House

Posted April 1, 2009 by Stephanie Azzarone, President, Child's Play Communications
Categories: Marketing to Mom, Mom Bloggers

Tags: , , ,

liz-thompson-this-full-house-250jpgToday marks the launch of Mom Market Trends’ first in a series of monthly profiles of favorite mom bloggers. Liz Thompson of This Full House, welcome.


Liz Thompson

The big question: How do you manage to raise a family AND update your blog on a regular basis?

Good question. I try to get all of my writing done, while all 4 of my kids are in school, during the day.  Some days, this actually works.  Most times, I’m scrambling, to get things done, just like everyone else I know.

So, I now have a daily/weekly blogging schedule for each of my blogs. 

  • This Full House is my personal blog: I blog here 3 times per week, which includes  video blogging on Mondays, participating in Wordless Wednesdays and devoting Fridays to writing about, you know, just being a mom. 
  • This Full House Reviews is where I focus on products and the latest consumer issues:  I blog 5  times per week and run Open House Blog Tours on both blogs on Thursdays, where readers can leave links to their sites and events, every week.
  • This Full House Kids is our family blogging project:  I try and give my kids the chance to talk back, once a week.

My biggest trick is that I can schedule blog posts to publish at certain times and, this way, I can get a week’s worth of writing done ahead of time for the times when the kids are home sick, on spring break, etc…  Believe me, it works and helps keep the articles and stories I publish fresh and fun to write.      

How many years have you been a blogger? What’s changed since you started the blog?

I started blogging in 2003 – back before traffic counts and SEO’s ruled the earth – as another way to connect with other moms, share stories and feel a little less disconnected with life on the outside, beyond all the poop and diapers. 

 A lot has changed in 6 years. 

Today, the mom blog community has evolved and oftentimes is now approached as one rather large group of parenting experts.  It’s hard not to get caught up in it and then get frustrated when you start losing your voice, really.  Then again, I’m not a big fan of moms being lumped into one category, or over analyzing anything (or, anyone) anyway.

In fact, I just wrote a post about how competitive blogging has become, even among mom bloggers, to the point where in just using the term “mommy blogger” or “mom blogger” can make some people cringe. 

 I don’t have a problem with the term “mom blogger,” because I happen to be both.  Being a mom and a blogger are two distinctions that are very difficult to begin with, on their own. Put them together and, well, it amazes me when I can put two somewhat coherent sentences together without drooling all over my laptop.

People should try to remember that and perhaps I’ll respect myself better, in the morning. 

On your blog, you’ve discussed how companies successfully and unsuccessfully market to moms. Would you like to offer some dos and don’ts for this article? Switching gears, how do you market your blog? Do you think marketing your blog is important? 

Honestly, I don’t have a problem with companies marketing to moms (it’s pretty much the reason why I started my product review blog). I’m a mom and buy a lot of the stuff we use at our house, too.  I also spend a lot of my spare time on the internet looking for products or ways to make my family’s life a little easier.   

Then, I enjoy writing about them. 

Having said that, in marketing my blog, I have to be very careful with what I choose to write about.  Because, I’m sharing information with other families, that already have precious little time to spare, like mine.

The marketers that I work with understand this, already (if they don’t, I try to remind them) and, in turn, they know that I fully intend to share the insights I’ve gained from working with companies and their brands.  Hopefully, I can give my readers some relevant and practical information that they can take home and use, for themselves.

There are more than 7 million articles on proper blogger relations (I checked, according to Google) but it comes down to answering two simple questions.

You want people to trust your brand?

Do NOT waste a consumer’s time.

You want to market to moms?

Do NOT take a blogger for granted.

What’s your favorite thing about being a mom blogger?

Phew, an easy question.  I love meeting moms (and dads) from all walks of life, really and enjoy hearing from my readers — especially, when something I’ve written (or done) resonates really strongly with a fellow blogger.  

If you’ve visited with me (even once) then you know that I am clumsy, forgetful, easily distracted and just try too gosh-darned hard to be everything, to everyone and, more often than not, end up feeling like a horrible person/mother/blogger.

 Aaaand, I’m okay with that. 

 Because, at the end of the day, I know that there will be at least one person who will be able to relate and it makes me happy to know that a self-professed dork of a momblogger (like me) made anOTHER mother look AND feel good.

Visit Liz at This Full House.




Pink Slip (Baby) Blues

Posted March 30, 2009 by Stephanie Azzarone, President, Child's Play Communications
Categories: Social Trends

Tags: , , , , , ,

While the economy is slamming everyone without discrimination, there is one category of laid-off employee who may feel the pain more than others – the mother-to-be. While some women may view losing their jobs at this stage as a “blessing in disguise” – the unexpected opportunity to spend more time with their new baby – the last thing others want is to find themselves unemployed just as they are about to face major additional expenses in the form of hospital bills and a new mouth to feed – especially if their former company doesn’t allow them to carry over health insurance. If they’re single moms or if their spouses or significant others have also lost their positions, the scenario is even more dire.


Yesterday’s New York Times noted that there are no laws against dismissing a pregnant woman or a woman on maternity leave – as long as she is not being let go because she is pregnant or a new mom. Yet some laid-off women maintain that while “the economy” was cited as the reason for their departure, their pregnancy may have contributed.


For more, see “When the Stork Carries a Pink Slip.


Employers, have you had to let a pregnant staff member go? What issues did you face?


Moms – have any of you lost your job while pregnant? Did you feel there was any discrimination involved? Has your pregnancy made it more difficult to find another position?

Getting in the (Video) Game

Posted March 27, 2009 by Stephanie Azzarone, President, Child's Play Communications
Categories: Marketing to Mom, Mom Market Trends

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Once the domain of the hardcore gamer – men in their 20s and 30s–multiplayer online gaming has a new target audience: children and their parents. According to yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, the new games, from companies such as Sony and Gazillion Entertainment, are the industry’s most recent effort to expand the audience for online videogames, which permit thousands of people to play at the same time over the Internet. The goal is to more than double the currently $5.4 billion market over the next five years.  Moms as a target – once a startling concept for videogame makers – today is not such a surprise: Women make up 40% of gamers, according to a 2008 study by the Entertainment Software Association. There are even websites such as  Gamermomsclub.ning.com. “Girls who perfected their aim on Ataris have grown up to be gamer moms,” says Canada’s Globe & Mail.  “The majority of moms who play video games say they took up gaming to connect with their husbands and kids.”


Yet many moms and dads alike remain skeptical about their children’s safety when it comes to online games that let players talk with each other. The WSJ article notes that game developers are taking precautions to protect children by limiting chat sessions to predetermined phrases and other steps.


Videogame marketers, what are you doing to pursue the family audience? Moms, how do you feel about your children playing these games? Do you play videogames as well? Why?

Are You a Momshell?

Posted March 25, 2009 by Stephanie Azzarone, President, Child's Play Communications
Categories: Marketing to Mom, Social Trends

Tags: , , , , ,

Gone are the days when moms felt at home in spit-up-stained sweat pants.  Today it’s all about being a “momshell”—the new term for the growing post-natal herd of hot mamas.

 “It’s tough to pin down the exact origins of momshell, which began turning up on blogs, Facebook and Twitter with more frequency last fall,” according to last week’s Associated Press article. “The term and ‘yummy mummy,’ its equivalent in the UK and Australia, are meant as compliments, nods to moms who find time to take care of themselves while caring for their kids.”

“Now moms are expected to be gorgeous on top of everything else? It’s too much,” says Elayne Rapping, a professor of American Studies at the University at Buffalo, who specializes in media and pop culture. Not that long ago, just juggling work and family was difficult enough; now real moms need to look like the expensively maintained celebrity versions.

How do momshells do it?

“I’m not saying put yourself on top of the ‘to do’ list,” says Jessica Denay, mom, author of “The Hot Moms Handbook,” and founder of  the Hot Moms Club, which began as a small group of mom friends eight years ago and has now expanded to an Internet-based social network of  110,000-plus. “I’m saying put yourself on the list.”

This trend presents marketers with an opportunity to reach out to moms with products and services to help them look and feel their best. What have you done to help them achieve that? Moms, what would make you feel like a momshell—or do you already?


More Babies, Fewer Husbands

Posted March 23, 2009 by Stephanie Azzarone, President, Child's Play Communications
Categories: Marketing to Mom, Mom Market Trends, Social Trends

Tags: , , , , , , ,

A record 4.3 million new babies were born in 2007, more than at any other time in history — including the post World War II Baby Boom, according to data released last week by the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That year also produced a record number of births to unwed mothers–nearly 40 percent.

More than three-quarters of those unmarried mothers were over age 20, a change compared to previous decades. In 1975, teenage mothers made up more than half of all nonmarital births.

For more details, visit this USA Today story.

Marketers, what products or services can you offer to help all those moms who are now raising kids on their own? Moms, what would you like companies to do to help make your lives a little easier?

Toy Ploy

Posted March 20, 2009 by Stephanie Azzarone, President, Child's Play Communications
Categories: Marketing to Mom, Social Trends

Tags: , , , , ,


While many marketers believed that parents would continue to splurge on children during the recession, that may not be the case, at least when it comes to toys. According to yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, families appear to be significantly reducing toy buying—especially when it comes to pricier playthings. They are doing so primarily because they need to but also, in some cases, on principle – to teach children about excessive spending. In the process, parents have been taking steps that range from shielding their kids from toy advertising to shifting focus to family outings over material things. The article points out that toy manufacturers such as Mattel and Hasbro are offering less expensive alternatives this year.


Retailers and manufacturers—what impact are you seeing and what are you doing about it? Parents, have you changed how you buy toys for your children? If so, in what way?


For more information, see “Pricey Toys Are Going the Way of Dinosaurs.


Children and Climate Change

Posted March 18, 2009 by Stephanie Azzarone, President, Child's Play Communications
Categories: Marketing to Mom, Social Trends

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


We are in the midst of organizing 40,000 children at Goddard Schools nationwide in support of World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour 2009.  A global call to action on climate change, Earth Hour takes place on Saturday, March 28th at 8:30 p.m., when hundreds of millions of people around the world will turn off their lights for one hour in a vote for action on the climate crisis.


So you can imagine the recent blog post from Wired.com Math Meets Meteorology: New TV Show for Kids on Climate Change sparked our interest. PBS Kids Go is set to debut an animated series that will teach children about climate issues. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) just launched a website, www.EarthHourKids.org, which provides content to schools and children. This site features lesson-plans, games and songs that children can download.  Goddard has also developed tips parents can use to teach kids about the environment (email me @ sa@childsplaypr.com for a copy).


As parents, are you teaching your children about climate change? As marketers, how are you helping parents convey the message?