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What Mother’s Really Wanted for Mother’s Day

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What Mother’s Really Wanted for Mother’s Day

Australians are estimated to have spent around $2 billion showing their love for their mums for Mother’s Day. Open any catalogue, walk into any store or flick through your phone over the past couple of weeks and you were likely to see gift ideas that led you to believe mums wanted fluffy slippers, dressing gowns, candles and cleaning appliances. This couldn’t have been more further from the truth.

Our recent Marketing to Mums research which surveyed more than 1800 Australian mums reports that 63% of Australian mums believe that marketers don’t understand them. There is a growing dissatisfaction from mothers around the country who are sick of the lame, irrelevant marketing efforts being directed towards them. With mums in Australia responsible for $132 billion in spending every year, marketers who ignore this do so at their peril.

For Mother’s Day, what mums really wanted is for marketers to take the time to really understand them.

Dearest advertisers, if you want us to buy your wares, please don’t make assumptions about us, our marriages and our families in 2016 based on those of 1950. Show us you understand the diverse spectrum of ways of doing motherhood. Avoid simplistic and patronizing stereotypes at all costs. Represent women as complex and interesting. And men too, for that matter. Entertain us. Use humour. Make us laugh at ourselves and the whole catastrophe. Sincerely, mums of 2016

Marketing to Mums Survey Report, 2017

The research I mentioned above tells us that the number one thing mums want is for marketers to stop using outdated stereotypes. Mums made it clear that brands which are seen to pigeonhole mothers are considered unrelatable. A one-dimensional portrayal of mums will, at the very least, make it difficult to retain mums as customers, and at worst, drive this huge market segment away.

Mums also voiced in the research that they want marketers to realise that they are not one homogeneous consumer group, and to understand that they want you to understand that they are a diverse group of women with different interests. They are screaming out for more diversity in your marketing campaigns.

The survey report also reveals that mums feel a disconnect between advertising and their reality. They want marketers to stop portraying perfect lives with mothers who have got it all together because it is just not the life they are leading. They feel like their lives are being trivialised and, as a result, they dismiss the marketing messages.  Marketers will not build trust or loyalty by continuing to advertise to mums in the way that they do.

Mums want marketers to respect their intelligence and understand that they are capable of processing technical information. They hate it when advertisements are dumbed down. Worse still, not addressing them in the sales conversation and speaking or directing your marketing messages to their male partners really gets mums offside. So, if mums are the primary decision makers for grocery items, health care providers, cars, phones, holidays, marketers must talk to mums and not to their partners.

Mothers really want to be heard, and understood, and respected for who they are as people.

If you are a marketer, and you do this, mums will reward the brands that understand this with glowing testimonials, word of mouth referrals and by buying their products and services. If you should be marketing to mums, or if you do, taking the time to gather deep insights about mums can deliver a significant commercial advantage in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

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