Recently, I spoke at the 11th Annual M2Moms Conference in New York, which has become the premier conference on marketing to Moms, attended by both agencies and leading national consumer brands.
Moms are a critical target market that so many business marketing teams tend to overlook when developing a strategy for consumer products.
During my presentation, I shared my trend-spotting on some key emergent trends that will really matter to marketers across the coming year.
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Trend #1: Moms Resent Intrusive Marketing
Who resents when someone actually calls your cell phone?
Lots of us! We want people to text us instead. It’s because doing things on our time has become a huge value to us, and we deeply resent intrusions on it. We prefer texting on mobile devices or sending messages on social media platforms, as we can answer back or seek information on our time.
Similarly, when brands intrusively grab for our attention, we find it as irritating as telemarketing calls at home during dinner. If we want to make a donation or purchase, we want to do it thoughtfully and on our own time – not when someone calls us and pushes an ask.
The same thing has extended to the way Moms view intrusive marketing – pop-ups, banner ads, brand messages in social feeds, disruptions, and more. We don’t want brands popping up in our social media feeds whether on Facebook, through promoted Pins or Tweets, or paid-for Snapchat stories. Hence our love of Netflix – no more interruptive commercials to wait out or skip over.
Moms want to learn about new brands or deals or product features on our own time when it makes sense for us, and when it fits within our purchase decision-making process. This has lead to a new trend in content marketing.
Trend #2: Content Marketing Is In; Native Advertising Is Out
Last year, when brand marketers realized advertising proved increasingly intrusive to consumers, native advertising (which was brand-generated content, visuals, or video embedded in influencer or online website content) was all the rage. Now that’s hardly mentioned, and content marketing is hot -- in particular, brand content (which has generally come to mean content that a brand owns but has not necessarily created in-house or via their agency partners).
A huge factor leading to this latest iteration in content marketing is the Facebook change-up, where brands now see only about 2 percent organic reach to their consumers. This came after millions had been spent, and huge agency and brand resources had been dedicated to build and engage Facebook page fans. This left companies and brands understandably wary of building an audience on essentially rented social media platform space. Instead they want to own their audience, build their own email lists, and own consumer storytelling content on the land on which they build it.
Next, dozens of content aggregator platforms and agencies have started popping up where brands can recruit and pay outside writers, journalists, photographers, and videographers to create brand-owned content and where brands tell the content creators exactly what they want. As a result, brands then put this third-party content on their own platforms, advertisements, or amplify it through their own social channels.
In 2016, the way brands view content marketing will continue to morph and shift as we all try to figure this space out.
Trend #3: First-Person E-Commerce Reviews Prove a Tipping Point in Mom Consumer Behavior
Today, we’ve seen widespread growth and rising influence of e-commerce reviews – on everything from social media platforms to personal blogs to online sites – and their overall impact on proving a tipping point in a Moms’ decision to make a purchase or not.
Moms have become highly discerning consumers. We seek out first person reviews from people we trust and respect — both influencers and peers — and we even put high value on anonymous reviews (such as Amazon and TripAdvisor). We don’t know these people, but we can quickly discern by their voice whether they sound like us and would seek out the same product qualities that we would. We look at Amazon review ratings and already have our own thoughts – just based on the stars alone.
We conducted a study recently with Mom consumers and looked at how e-commerce reviews factor into consumers’ shopping habits, whether they trust online reviews, and how recommendations from others factor into their buying habits. I’ll share a few highlights:
- Today, 87 percent of Moms say they check e-commerce reviews for both online and brick-and-mortar purchases.
- 97 percent of Moms feel confident they can tell the credibility of a posted review:
- 90 percent say they can always/most often tell if a reviewer is exaggerating.
- 88 percent of Moms feel confident in detecting bias in online reviews.
- 88 percent of consumers consider online reviews very influential when purchasing a new product from an unfamiliar brand.
- Once Moms read a review and decide to make a purchase:
- 77 percent buy the product online.
- 23 percent go to a brick-and-mortar store for their purchase.
- With Moms’ ever-present smartphones, we can tap into online reviews – even while in a retail store.
- 59 percent of Moms check online reviews from their Smartphones while shopping offline.
In the coming weeks, I’ll offer up additional trend-spotting on issues that matter in the Mom space.
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