How Australian brands are failing mothers

63 per cent of Australian mums feel that advertisers don’t understand them. In fact, mums are the most misunderstood, misrepresented and undervalued consumer in Australia. With 6.2 million mothers in Australia, controlling an estimated $132 billion in spending every year, brands are missing out on a significant revenue and growth opportunity.

Since launching Marketing to Mums, I have had the opportunity to work with over 100 brands helping them drive their sales and profit amongst Australia’s most powerful consumer group, Mums. It doesn’t matter whether they are big or small brands, I see the same three mistakes being made.

There are three big mistakes made by brands when marketing to mums;

#1 Brands target too broadly

When brands treat mums like they are all the same, they alienate their most profitable consumer. So don’t try and appeal to the masses. Know who your audience is and then speak to them as opposed to thinking all mums think and worry about the same things.

Get insight into what being a mum means to me – morals, values – and where one is in the “mum cycle”. A clearly defined, niche approach is critical to a brand strategy success within this consumer group.

#2 Brands lack a deep understanding of Mums

By not keeping up with the fast pace of change amongst mums and the key trends within mum sub-segments, brands are missing out on significant opportunities. Worse still, they are starting to experience the impact of this oversight starting with the slow decline in sales.

Put time into getting to know them, their circumstances and their wants. Be more realistic in your portrayal of mums.

#3 Brands aren’t focusing on credibility and relationship building

As a result of broad targeting and a lack of deep understanding about their mums, brands fail to build a relationship and mums are not trusting the brand. This is typically characterised by poor relationships, a lack of loyalty and with this, the real threat of declining sales and brand decay. To put it simply, mums are fast developing trust issues with many well-known brands.

Be more honest and realistic about motherhood. Mothers don’t look like they’ve just come out of the hair salon at 1 am and mums with newborns certainly don’t look like supermodels. Brands need to focus on building relationships with their Mum segment before attempting to sell to them. They need to listen more attentively to their market and engage mothers. Third-party endorsement is also critical to a brand’s credibility and success.

What marketers need to do

Australian brands need to invest more in deeply understanding their customer. By clearly identifying who your most profitable mum segment is for your brand and building a strategy around this segment will result in significant improvements in the return on your marketing investments by selecting more niche marketing channels and better tailoring your communications and campaigns. Mums will reward you for your efforts with increased conversions. I strongly encourage you to invest in research, bring in a specialist to educate your marketing teams, communicate these learnings throughout your organisation and seize this enormous opportunity.

Katrina McCarter, Founder and CEO, Marketing to Mums

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