Marketing to The Family CEO

Highlights of the M2Moms Conference


I had the pleasure of attending the sixth annual Marketing to Moms (M2Moms) Conference in Chicago last month. This is the third time I’ve attended the conference, and, as in past years, I did not come away disappointed. Over two and half days, there were 21 sessions with presenters from some of the top consumer brands: Kodak, Disney, Clorox, Hallmark, Xbox, and Wal-Mart, to name a few. While each presenter had a unique topic, there were some overarching themes shared in multiple sessions: social media (of course!), cause marketing, engagement strategies (on- and offline) and future trends. Here are some of the highlights:

Moms are in charge. The US Census estimates that there are 82.5 million mothers of all ages in the US, from Baby Boomer “soccer moms” to the Gen X and Echo Boom “iMom.” So, just in sheer numbers, Moms are a force. Their real power comes not from scale but from sphere of influence. The presenters had different names to represent this phenomenon, but all were derivatives of the C-Suite: Chief Purchasing Officer, Chief Mom Officer, The Family CEO.

According to research from Disney, Moms see themselves playing four main roles and on any given day, they are actively playing three of these roles.

  1. Caregiver: chef, chauffer, nose wiper
  2. Entertainer: vacation planner, activity designer
  3. Household CEO: family finances, purchase decision-maker
  4. Family Historian: family memories, photos, scrapbooks

This idea of Mom wearing multiple hats was repeated when the folks from Fleishman-Hillard shared the research they conducted on behalf of Hallmark. According to “Women, Power & Money” (Fleishman-Hillard and The Harrison Group), Moms identify with multiple roles:

  1. 79% Chef Executive Officer
  2. 74% Chief Purchasing Officer
  3. 55% Chief Financial Officer
  4. 91% Chief Operating Officer

Respect the Mom sphere of influence and don’t dumb down the message-remember, you’re talking to a member of the C-suite.

kodak-4kodak-1Solve a problem for me. Kodak was a major sponsor of the conference, so, as you might expect, we heard a lot about the importance Moms place on serving as the “Chief Memory Officer.” But there were many other interesting takeaways from the Kodak presentation.

Before it was cool to target women/moms, Kodak recognized the importance of focusing on this key consumer, whom they dubbed the “Kodak Girl.” Check out how prominently she is featured in their ads as far back the early 20th century. More than 100 years ago, Kodak knew how important it would be to design a product that moms were comfortable using-this remains true today. 84% of women believe that tech can help them, yet less than 1% of women feel that manufacturers design products with them in mind. Still today, Kodak products are designed to live up to the promise of “You press the button, we do the rest.”

The folks from Mullen/Frank About Women focused on the powerful problem-solving functions of Mobile Apps for Moms. According to their research, 85% of Moms use the mobile internet every day.

What do Moms want in an app?

  • Save Me Money
  • Save Me Time
  • Make Me Smarter
  • Help Me Connect
  • Help Me Organize
  • Entertain Me

From product design to “gee-whiz” apps, make sure your innovation has purpose.

Sharing is the new social currency. Let’s face it, Moms can be a competitive group. We want to “share” our moments and the life we are working so hard to live – with our friends, family and anyone else lurking about our online profiles. We want to share our opinions, our insider tips, and our user ratings. As marketers, we should not only make this easy to do, we should encourage sharing. This opens up opportunities for dialogue-not just one-to-one between your brand and Mom, but between your brand and her entire social network.

Mobile comes to play here as well. No one wants to wait three hours after a fun event, productive shopping excursion or incredible meal to go back to their laptop, upload pictures or posts; they want to be able to share immediately.

As marketers we need to keep up with Mom and make it easy for her to share her experiences as they happen.

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    One thought on “Marketing to The Family CEO

    1. Thanks for the nice summary, it was great to have you at M2Moms again. Save the date for next year’s 7th Annual M2Moms: Oct. 19 & 20, 2011, Chicago. See you there!

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