The Breadwinner PheMOMenon

As I sit in a theatre in Chicago with 300+ enthusiastic marketers at the annual M2Moms Conference, it’s clear that a great deal of attention and money is being spent on trying to court moms as a primary purchasing target. Brands ranging from Yahoo to Crowdtap and Kraft to the CAA are here to share and learn how to connect with this group of powerful and growing consumers.

This year’s conference is especially exciting for me and for Ketchum as we launched our new research – The Breadwinner PheMOMenon – a global study, done in conjunction with BlogHer, on the seismic shift of the earning power of moms and the ripple effects on their attitudes, relationships and health. Powerful trends uncovered in the study include…

In the US:

  • Nearly half of all moms are now the primary breadwinner or contribute as much as their significant others.
  • Moms with spouses report being more starved for time than single moms.
  • Half of moms no longer have expectations that they should keep a perfect home.


  • Working mothers in the United States and China report the highest levels of stress and envy of others, even while their partners are contributing more to parenting and household duties.
  • Despite their growing financial influence, women overwhelmingly say that they do not feel in control of their destiny nor has their career given them a greater sense of purpose.
  • Health, the most important factor in defining personal success, is one of the first to go when time gets tight.

What do marketers need to do?:

  • Help moms brings their personal vision of success to life, which includes good health and well-adjusted kids.
  • Streamline everything that is marketed to moms from healthcare to household goods.
  • Help moms share and delegate their overwhelming responsibilities with others around them.

Our research clearly indicates that The Breadwinner PheMOMenon is here to stay and will progress rapidly in the coming years. And, if the initial reception and social media coverage that the conference received is any indicator, the topic is of great interest to both marketers as well as moms.