Digital & Social Media

Millennial Moms, Idiot Dads and More: Five Mom-Marketing Mantras for 2015


Raising a child today is much different than just one generation ago (look at the evolution of car seats for proof). Likewise, marketing to moms continues to change dramatically.

As we enter 2015, there are several questions communicators are asking when it comes to connecting with moms: Is dad the new mom? Do mom blogger relations have an impact? And who are these new millennial moms, anyway? If you want to resonate with moms in 2015, there are five mantras to adopt.

  1. Dad is not the new mom. The talk about “de-gendering” mom marketing continues to persist. But marketing to everyone is marketing to no one. I’ve heard major consumer packaged goods leaders and “boy toy” brand marketers explain why they maintain focus on moms (sales results), even though dads are quick to point out they care for the kids, too. Yes, there are more stay-at-home dads today, but there are still 37 times more stay-at-home moms. Today’s dad isn’t his father’s father and he’s more hands-on at home, but he doesn’t control the family’s purchase decisions. He leans on mom’s guidance for shopping lists. It’s not gender-biased – it’s data-based. Plus, mom is a brand’s co-marketer, telling other moms what they should buy. Dads don’t communicate in the same ways. That’s why mom is still the target.
  2. Dad also is not a bumbling idiot. Too often, advertisers depict dads as flakes who can’t make it through day-to-day activities without the help of the eye-rolling sarcastic mom. Thank goodness for her wherewithal to know how to properly clean his messes with paper towels! When did our dad persona become so dumb? Mom-focused communications can and should include a realistic picture of Dad in the scene, an approach that generated much buzz recently for Cheerios. Including him doesn’t suddenly direct that communication to dads. Moms need to see that brands understand their lifestyles, including the way they co-parent and interact with their partners, in order to see themselves reflected – and to believe the brand “gets” them.
  3. Mom blogger relations are critical – except when they’re not. Mom blogger relations are powerful, but they’re not the solution to every need. If you want to achieve mass reach and scale, put that budget elsewhere. Peer moms are the most trusted – and word of mouth is a mom’s No. 1 motivator – but blogger relations are a tactic, not a strategy. Facebook is where moms spend the most time, but they cite the blogosphere as more trusted. So when it is a smart move to engage mom bloggers, be sure to focus on the right bloggers and bring them the right opportunity at the right time. How will you know who’s right? Read them, follow them, meet them offline, engage with their content, build and use relationships to avoid costly mistakes.
  4. Word of Mom is (still) everything. And it doesn’t just happen online. Expect to see more brands attempt to integrate good-old grassroots efforts into their work. In-person is more trusted and lengthier than social conversation, though nearly one-fourth of moms say there is no difference between the two types. Have you considered the definition of influence lately? Moms are influenced by bloggers, offline peers and celebrity moms they admire. Divide your eggs among multiple influencers’ baskets for the greatest breakthrough – and to balance scale with trust.
  5. Millennial Mania. Who are these new young moms? Are they really as needy and entitled as the headlines claim? Stereotypes aside, they are the largest consumer segment of moms to date – and growing. They are more likely to accept help and see parenting as “taking a village.” They prefer to communicate more often digitally than in person, and they do more brand advocating in social media than other moms. With instant gratification in mind, their expectations of brands have never been higher. Millennial moms are like other moms before them – social media is especially key to engaging Gen Y moms of children aged 0 to 3. But they’re also unlike them – they don’t want to “have it all.” Conversation still will be very much focused on this mom, but it will be less on the fact that she’s a millennial and more on the unique ways in which she’s a millennial mom.


About the author

Liz Hawks

Liz Hawks is a brand marketing specialist who helps lead FleishmanHillard's moms marketing team. She works with organizations from diverse sectors to reach the "mom market," providing counsel in areas such as social media, word of mouth and influencer marketing, integrated communications, product launches and promotions, and celebrity seeding. Hawks, a mother of three and a regular presenter and author on the topic of marketing to moms, previously worked at Habitat for Humanity, AmericCorps VISTA and station KDFW-TV (FOX).

A FleishmanHillard employee.