Brands are failing to engage Mums

Brand agency

New research from the UK suggests that Brands who are marketing to mothers are generally failing to engage their audience.

Far from creating strong motherly bonds, brands are actually repelling their target audience. The research highlights that marketers are relying on out dated stereo types and lack real emotional insight into their audience. They appear to assume that once a women becomes a mum, she fits nicely into one homogeneous group. As a result, marketers are continuing to perpetuate ridiculous ideals that many women feel are judgemental and sexist.

The category seems to wide open for smart brands who want to create a truer, deeper brand connection.

Marketing Magazine recently worked with FanFinders – the owner of Your Baby Club, the UK’s fastest growing mum and baby community – to gain insight into what mums think of brands that target them.

After surveying 5,330 mothers, the results show marketers need to work much harder if they really want mothers to engage with their brand.

Overall, the survey shows that brands need to stop trying to pigeon hole mothers into one tribe. In particular, marketers need to invest in understanding the women, not focus on the role of motherhood.

The highlights of the research:

– 35% of mothers feel ‘pigeonholed’ by brands

– 46% feel marketing places pressure and presents unrealistic ideals

– 28% feel marketing to mothers is sexist

– 32% feel most marketing to mothers is patronising

– 87% feel brands should incorporate fathers more in marketing

The research was originally published in Marketing Magazine’s ‘Marketing to Mums is broken’. The article also features industry comment on what brands should be doing differently.

One of the obvious battlegrounds may be in the creative departments of the big agencies. Roisin Donnelly, brand director, Northern Europe, at Procter & Gamble, points out that that only 3% of creative directors are women. “There aren’t enough female creatives and there aren’t enough creatives that are mums. If we changed this, we would do a better job”, she says.

It is likely that this research focuses on mainstream brands who dominate the main marketing channels. It also perhaps reinforces why challenger brands, often started by frustrated mums themselves, realise the importance of targeting a niche audience. They truly get their ‘tribe’ of like-mined mothers, give them something they crave and as a result, will continue to get a larger slice of the pie as they can continue to build their presence in the market.

Michael Hughes
Managing Partner, Strategy

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