Is your marketing to moms missing the mark?

By Rieva Lesonsky

A new global study from Saatchi & Saatchi, Moms and Marketing: IRL (In Real Life), shows 51 percent of moms don’t believe marketers understand them. As Adweek notes, that’s about 1 billion women who don’t like how they’re being marketed to because they think businesses are “not speaking to them in authentic ways.”

Specifically, the moms surveyed think marketers misunderstand them and have outdated views about them. Adweek reports, “Moms dislike when marketers portray their role as ‘the toughest job in the world,’ an exhausting daily grind emphasized ‘by showing frazzled drudgery with the odd moment of saintly pride.’ ”

Mary Mills, worldwide director of strategic intelligence at Saatchi & Saatchi, says businesses should “stop treating motherhood as a job” in their marketing. She further notes marketers shouldn’t position their products and services as helping women excel at their “maternal careers.”

It’s not about helping Mom attain perfection or putting her on a pedestal. Mills says, “Avoid the ‘happy housewife,’ the one-dimensional caretaker, the striving perfectionist. Motherhood is about being, not doing. The aim of every mum is surely to be a good mother, not to do well at motherhood.”

Instead, says Adweek, “moms mainly see themselves as ‘carers,’ spending nearly half their time providing for their family’s emotional needs.” They also view themselves as “elders” (spreading cultural wisdom—13 percent), “coaches” (guiding kids on how to behave—11 percent), “playmates,” “heroes,” “friends” and “fans.”

Mills advises marketers who target moms to address the varied roles moms play, including letting “her be the goofy one for a change. Let Mom be fun.”