Moms Say Online Engagement Impacts Purchases

December 12, 2011

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Fleishman-Hillard Releases Findings of New National Marketing-to-Moms Study

ST. LOUIS, Dec. 12, 2011 — Moms today believe social media marketing impacts their retail purchasing, according to the results of a national survey of nearly 700 mothers. The study, executed by Fleishman-Hillard in partnership with ModernMom.com, took place September 2011. The results were debuted by Fleishman-Hillard's marketing-to-moms practice, FH Moms, in partnership with ModernMom.com, at the 7th Annual M2Moms – The Marketing to Moms Conference, Oct. 19, 2011, in Chicago. The study uncovered ways marketers should modernize their communications to bridge the gaps that exist between their brands and today's mom consumers.

Most moms surveyed said social media is changing the in-store customer experience, and the top-ranked reason is because they use social media to get information about sales and coupons. Additionally, 63 percent of moms surveyed said blogger reviews are influential to their purchase decisions, whereas 56 percent of moms said they tend to avoid online ads because they are not viewed as trustworthy. Facebook was noted by moms as the most trusted space online to receive brand communication.

“Moms indicated they are being communicated with via a lot of digital means, and their digital communications are coming from a lot of brands in each online space,” noted Liz Hawks, senior vice president and co-chair of Fleishman-Hillard's marketing-to-moms practice. “In fact, one-third of moms using Facebook and Twitter to receive branded communications are following more than 20 brands in each of those spaces.” Facebook was ranked as the space moms use most for brand engagement (84 percent), followed by blogs (69 percent) and online communities (63 percent). About half (48 percent) of moms surveyed said they are following a brand on Twitter.

When asked to select all categories of branded products or services they interact with most online, clear category leaders included 1) food/recipes (88 percent); 2) health and beauty (86 percent); 3) children's products (84 percent); and 4) clothing/fashion (73 percent).

The study went beyond the channels moms use to uncover what captures their attention and keeps them engaged in these spaces. Moms said the dialogue with brands in these spaces should allow them to give feedback to the brand, read articles with tips and advice or get a sneak peek behind the brand. These social activities provide more value to them beyond learning about a product or service.

“The study results show the extent to which social media is changing moms' expectations of brands and even retail purchasing behaviors,” said Hawks. “They also reveal variances based on moms' employment status and generational demographics, and overall paint a picture for marketers and communicators of how to break through to today's mom in the modern ways she expects.”

Analysis of the findings will be presented in a free webinar Thursday, Dec. 15, at noon EST.

Fleishman-Hillard's marketing-to-moms practice combines the scope of the firm's global network with a deep understanding of moms' consumer behaviors, where and how they interact with brands, and how they increasingly lead the conversation, both as advocates and critics. Coordinating across the firm’s global network of 80 offices, FH Moms provides strategic counsel on engaging moms through an integrated range of touch points that includes both traditional and online media, as well as influencer and word-of-mouth marketing.

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