Posted tagged ‘Marketing to Mom’

Hiber-nation

April 3, 2009

 

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

April 1, 2009

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.

 

 

 

Getting in the (Video) Game

March 27, 2009

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?

March 25, 2009

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

March 23, 2009

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

March 20, 2009

 

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

March 18, 2009

 

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?

Kids Today Conference

February 27, 2009

 

On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of speaking at the Kids Today conference in San Antonio, on how companies in the children’s home furnishings industry can – and should – work with mommy bloggers to market products. There was, happily, clear interest in the topic, meaning these manufacturers and retailers alike understand the influence bloggers have on the community of moms. Thank you to Kids Today magazine for the invitation and to members of the audience for your feedback.

 

Marketers, what have you learned in your dealings with mom bloggers – what experiences would you like to share?

 

Mom bloggers, what would you like marketers to know about the dos and don’ts of working with you most effectively?

Wonder Woman!

February 19, 2009
Stephanie Azzarone (left) with Women In Toys president, Patti Becker

Stephanie Azzarone (left) with Women In Toys president, Patti Becker

 

Earlier this week, I was honored to be named the winner of the Wonder Women of Toys Award, in the Consultant category – and I’d like to share the good news along with a big thank you to all the judges. The awards are sponsored by Women in Toys, a professional networking organization for women working within the toy, entertainment and licensing industries. The award was presented at the organization’s 5th Annual Wonder Women of Toys Dinner this week at the Penn Club in New York City. I was delighted to be in the company of other women who are recognized leaders in their fields, including Sharon John, Hasbro (Manufacturer), Laura Phillips, Wal-Mart (Retailer), Leigh Anne Brodsky, Nick and Viacom Consumer Products (Licensor) and Carlin West, 4Kids Entertainment (Licensing Agent).

 

Child’s Play Communications, which specializes in publicity and marketing communications for products targeted to moms, has represented dozens of toy manufacturers and licensing and entertainment companies, including Hasbro, Gund, K’NEX, Spinmaster, Play Along, a division of JAKKS-Pacific, Elmer’s Products, Warner Bros. Consumer Products, National Geographic Kids Entertainment and Kidz Bop.

 

For more information, please visit: http://childsplaypr.com/news/news_details.cfm?ID=15

 

Martyr Mom

November 29, 2008

Who’s getting the coal in her Christmas stocking this year?

 

You guessed it – Mom.

  

An article in this week’s New York Times stated that “for millions of mothers across the nation, this holiday season is turning into a time of sacrifice. Weathering the first severe economic downturn of their adult lives, these women are discovering that a practice they once indulged without thinking about it, shopping a bit for themselves at the holidays, has to give way to their children’s wish lists.”

According to a survey by the NPD Group, 61% of mothers said they would shop less for themselves this year, vs. 56% of all women — and 45% of men.

Analysts say the decline in what women will spend on themselves this holiday is among the most drastic ever. Yet the general economic crunch could still mean fewer gifts for kids – and lower sales for retailers of kids’ products. While sacrificing their own holiday wishes may help moms save toward a toy or two their child really wants, they are also cutting costs by swapping children’s clothing, toys, video games and books with other mothers, rather than buying new versions. In some scenarios, moms are buying DVDs and videogames in bulk from warehouse stores, then separating them to create multiple gifts – not a good sign for manufacturers in those categories. Retailers targeting the mom market are acknowledging that families’ total holiday budgets are shrinking. While the toy business has typically been less affected by economic crises than other industries, this Black Friday Toys “R” Us offered the deepest discounts in its history, with 50% more “doorbusters” – extraordinary deals — than last year.