Never before have cheers turned to jeers as quickly as it did following news that Yahoo! had hired Melissa Mayer as its CEO, making her the first pregnant woman to lead a Fortune 500 company. The progressive hiring move by Yahoo! made the fact that Mayer was nearly six months pregnant a non-issue in the company’s search for its fearless leader.
However less than one week after the announcement, moms everywhere cried foul when Mayer discussed her plans to take only a few weeks off for maternity leave. Upset parents nationwide took to mommy groups, blogs and the media to discuss possible repercussions the action might have on women and the future of paid maternity leave.
With the debate ranging from a lack of sufficient time for infant-parent bonding, to the need to keep up-to-date with professional development, and the basic ideal that mom should be happy with herself before taking care of baby, it remains clear that moms are not one predictable marketing body. They are a combination of diversity within a segment of the population with individual needs and opinions.
In fact, a recent Iconoculture report listed and described 5 different mom “archetypes” each representing a separate, but equally relevant segment of the mom market:
- The steady mom – She’s the most “traditional” of the mom segments – a real “mom’s mom” – who is typically a member of the Gen X demographic and has older kids.
- The connected mom – This mostly Millennial mom uses social media regularly, is a smart phone user and enjoys receiving and sharing information with friends and family.
- The solo mom – This segment of mom is single and has never been married. According to the report, 53 per cent of babies born to women under 30 in 2011 were born to unmarried woman, making this a growing segment to watch.
- The affluent-educated mom – The affluent and educated mom represents one of the smaller groups of the mom segment, but her spending power and propensity to spend is great.
- The Latina mom – This segment represents moms of Latino origin as well as the fastest growing (ethnic) segment of the mom market.
Understanding the commonalities and intersections between shared values such as family, honesty, courtesy, safety and authenticity and each mom segment is critical to creating campaigns that break through to this desired demographic.
Every day moms advocate for what they believe in and there is no reason why it shouldn’t be your brand, but make sure you’ve done your homework. Take the time to understand who mom is, what she likes and doesn’t like, and what she needs to make her life easier – at home or at the office – before determining how to reach her. Become her product or brand of choice and she’ll reward you with advocacy, engagement and purchase.
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