It can be tempting but dangerous to lump all Mom’s in one category for marketing purposes. Check out this from an email I received from Mediapost:
It’s with good reason anyone would try to get a handle on the estimated 82.5 million women in the U.S. with children. According to the independent industry organization The Marketing to Moms Coalition, Moms represent the most powerful consumer group in the U.S., controlling 85% of household spending and estimated to be worth $2.1 trillion. The more marketers can understand these buyers and influencers, the better they can build and nurture a long-lasting (read: profitable) relationship with them.
However, it’s not so easy to put a label on this group. There are at least 100 ways to carve up the Mom market. You could do it by location (D.C. or Silicon Valley), by their age or by their lifestyle. But what all Moms have in common is kids. What better way to slice up a multi-faceted, wide-ranging demographic than to create a Mom Timeline tracking the course of motherhood through the ages of their children?
Most Web sites and research groups focus on the early stages of a Mom’s experience. Babycentersolutions.com identifies the Moms in their various age groups (“Millennial Moms,” “Boomer Moms,” etc.) but focuses on the first eight years of their children’s lives, noting that it’s during this period that Moms make more purchasing decisions.
I’d argue that, like the old adage, “a woman’s work is never done,” so is the timeline of a Mom. Once a Mom, always a Mom – you don’t stop being a Mom when your kids turn 18. Instead, your relationships morph until the grandchildren come and the Mom Timeline cycles around again in various degrees.
Like Mamasource, an online community of Moms that advise each other, I’d prefer to dissect the Mom Timeline into small time periods based on age ranges. While Mamasource begins its timeline with the pre-birth stages of trying to conceive and pregnancy, as well as a special nod to adoption, I propose starting here:
- •Infant (0-12 months): That first year of life with a baby can be tough, whether it’s the first (I started with twins) or fifth. These mothers are dealing with a whole new world and are just trying to get some sleep. They’ve had nine months of baby product research and now have little time to really put them to any test but trial and error.
- Toddler (1-2 years): Moms at this stage have some experience behind them and have usually bonded with several groups of similar-stage Moms. Many are still grappling with sleep issues, starting potty training, toys, and the possibilities of more siblings.
- Preschooler (3-4 years): Several studies indicate that this is when mothers begin to consider the education options for their children. By the time their child is four, Moms have pretty much chosen private versus public and are often dealing with little brother or sister(s).
- Child (5-6 years): Kindergarten looms large over the early part of this phase; this is also when life shifts to a September-to-June calendar year.
- Older child (6-10 years): By now, most Moms are in the groove of raising their children. These are the good years! It’s pre-hormone, pre-scary teenage years. Moms in this phase are concerned with homework, nutrition, extracurricular activities and starting to see that maybe, just maybe, they can start regaining a life of their own.
- Tween (11-14 years): Thus begins the hormonal, scary years, including junior high, high school and the expenses that entails. I ask you, how much technology does a 14-year-old need?
- Teen (15-19 years): While we tend to categorize the baby years as the most physically challenging, the teen years are the most emotionally challenging. Teens are taking those first steps into adulthood, trying to push away from parents. College (and the stressful process of choosing and applying) looms large for families now, as well as the painful evolution of an emptying nest.
- Adult Child: Yes, a Mom’s role is never done, it just changes. Today’s Moms remain in close contact with their adult children, offering support in ways the previous generation didn’t.
- Grandchildren: Here, the timeline recycles starting with infants all over again. Many grandmoms participate in the raising of their grandchildren directly and indirectly. Some might not babysit, but many provide input.
Of course, Moms can be at multiple stages simultaneously. What is important for marketers to understand with the Mom Timeline are the needs of Moms at each stage of their children’s lives. The days are long and the years are short, but the Mom Timeline is evergreen – it just keeps spinning around.
|Mary Lee Shalvoy is a writer and marketing consultant. For more than 25 years, she has covered education and technology as a journalist and helped small and large companies market business-to-business. Her column, “Mom Mom Mom,” explores the challenges and joys of mothering her three daughters, 14-year-old twins and a 12-year-old. For more information, visit www.maryleeshalvoy.com, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @mommommom.|
Last year I designed a direct mail piece and the printer told me he would have his designer do a professional design based on my idea.
Now Seth says, I can do it myself?
Maybe. But I like working with the pros too. Either way, check out the link from Seth:
Ten years ago, you had a wide range of excuses for being a lousy visuals person. Starting with no talent, leading to no skill and going from there.
But now, in a world where you it is expected that professionals will be able to make beautiful powerpoint slides, handsome business cards, clever bio photos and a decent website, it’s as important as driving. And easier to learn and do, and requiring less talent.
No, you and I will never be gifted designers or breakthrough designers. But there’s really no reason not to be really good.
I put together a page with some blogs, books and sites you can check out. An hour a day for a month and you won’t have to hide your face in shame. Sure, hire the very best in the world when you need a breakthrough. But you don’t have to pay for better-than-mediocre design. You can do it yourself.
Over the next few days I’m going to give you the 3-step
formula to carrying on a conversation with your prospects,
that leads you to a sale.
And the nice thing about this formula is that it’s not
confined to copywriting and to print. If you sell in
person or even over the phone, and you use these three
strategies as the framework for your sales pitch, your
prospects will find you compelling and provocative.
Add a good offer to this, and you’re well on your way to
So here goes. The three things you have to do to keep
your prospects engaged and interested, and to establish
Educate, entertain, and inform.
If you are educating, entertaining and informing your
prospects, you’ve got the entire package complete.
Today let’s talk about the most mundane of these three
The way to educate your prospects is to give them a list
of features and benefits about what you’re selling them.
Features are what your product is… and benefits of
course, are what your product does for your prospect.
So for instance, if you’re selling a sofa, you might say
how the sofa’s constructed of high-tech materials and how
it’s been tested for durability in a lab, and that it’s
guaranteed to last no less than 10 years from the day you
sell it. See, that’s a feature (high-tech construction)
and a benefit (lasts 10 years).
If you’re selling artwork, you might talk about the
uniqueness and limited availability of these pieces, and
how they’ve proven to appreciate in value over time and how
they always get recognized for their unique design
There you have the feature (unique design, limited
availability) and the benefit (appreciation in value and
See, it’s easy.
Good. Tomorrow we’re going to talk about informing, so
tune in then — same Bat Time… same Bat Channel.
Now go sell something, Craig Garber
P.S.: “WHAT NOW?!?! – Seductive Selling System!” Gabriel
Anderson from Santa Clara, California recently ordered my
Seductive Selling System and sent in this note less than
two weeks later!:
“Craig, I ordered your The Seductive Selling System and
there is certainly no shortage of content! You definitely
under-promised and over-delivered on that.
The issue I’m having right now, is I’ve spent the last 3
days going through your complete system, and I feel like I
just took a sip of water from a fire-hydrant. I have all
these ideas running through my head, and I somehow need to
sort through all my notes so I can start taking ACTION NOW!
I’m suffering from anxiety like a runner at the start of a
race, and I want to run already!!!!
I wanted to see if you have a system you use from
start-to-finish, in putting together a sales campaign? I’m
sitting here trying to create this on my own, and it seems
that if you have something you routinely use, that would be
Much thanks and appreciation. I’m excited to get this
going, and realize a ROI on my investment in your course.
I love all the content, and I’ll definitely let you know my
success. If I can see a return on my investment in this
course, it seems that it would only make sense to make an
additional investment in your Marketing Mavericks program.
Looking forward to it. Sincerely, Gabriel”
To find out what Gabriel’s talking about and to find out
how to make YOUR prospects say “Yes!” go to
Check out ALL the King’s products at
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The first mistake marketers make is that they want more. More customers, more noise, more ads, more shelf space, more customers, more customers.
Almost all of their actions are driven by the search for more customers.
The reason this is a mistake is simple: it’s expensive. Attracting a new customer costs far more than keeping an old one happy. Not only that, but an old customer is far more likely to bring you new people via word of mouth than someone who isn’t even a customer yet.
Which is why share of wallet makes so much more sense than share of market. How much does each of your existing customers buy from you? Do they count on you for all the things they buy in this market, or just some? Does Toyota sell me every car my family drives? Does Chubb get to insure every single thing I own? Usually not. Because marketers are so focused on more that they forget to take great care of what they’ve got.
Hugh Macleod, gifted cartoonist and profane marketing blogger is now making his living selling limited edition art work based on his cartoons. His a brilliant marketer, of course, so he’s not focused on more. He’s focused on share of wallet. On selling his dedicated fans a remarkable souvenir that they can keep and display.
So, what’s the problem? Share of wall. Unlike records or shoes, it’s hard to buy a lot of art. Pretty soon, you’ve got no place left to put it, do you? Share of wallet turns into share of wall and you can’t grow any more.
That’s why you need to be realistic about how much share of wallet you can honestly expect, and why job one is delighting existing customers so much that they can’t help but tell their friends. Preferably friends with very big houses.
From Laura Ries
Line-extensions gone wild. White, Bright, Five, 2 & True.
In tough economic times, many companies launch new brands to keep the attention of consumers and stimulate demand at distribution channels. Nothing is wrong with launching new brands. As a matter of fact, now is a very good time to do that.
But to hedge their bets, top management at most companies have chosen to launch line-extensions instead of launching products with new brand names.
Why does this happen? Because line extensions sound so logical to top management that they can’t resist them, especially when budgets are tight.
“We already have a great brand that people trust. Let’s just leverage our powerful brand equity,” goes the thinking of management. “We’ll use our well-known and trusted brand name on this new product which will give our line extension instant credibility. And a line-extension will also be easier to get retail stores to stock the product on their shelves. And our advertising will be more effective because we can put all our money behind one name. Why waste our money on launching a totally new brand, it makes no sense.”
Trying to convince management otherwise is a very difficult job for marketing. The truth is that in the short term, line extensions usually do rack up some sales. Management loves that; they are more interested in saving their quarter than saving the brand.
With sales of $159 million, G2 from Gatorade was the top new food product of 2008. Hard to believe isn’t it? Since it is really one of the worst line-extensions ever, right up there with C2 from Coca-Cola.
But even dumb ideas can sell initially. Crystal Pepsi got a 5 percent share in test markets (unheard of, but one of the best test results ever) but the clear cola product quickly fizzled.
Why does that happen? Silly line-extensions, well supported and discounted at retail, receive the “oh I’ll try it once” effect.
But rarely do they get repeat business especially at full price and in the end any remaining sales just cannibalize the core brand and even worse will undermine the core brand’s position and identity in the mind.
Today, G2 is a product without any buzz. G2 is a product most people tried once because it was part of a huge display and on-sale. G2 is a product is usually only bought by accident, since the package looks exactly like G.
Gatorade is a mess. Put Gatorade on your husband’s grocery list and you are guaranteed a panic call. “Honey is that G or G2 or G3 (probably coming soon and he is clueless.) Is that G with or without Tiger? Is that the powder or the liquid? Or do you want this chocolate Gatorade protein bar?” Forget it sweetheart, just get some Red Bull. (Of course he’ll probably come home with Red Bull cola by accident.)
Despite marketing’s advice to the contrary, management just can’t seem to get enough of line-extensions. The store shelves are loaded with them.
But what to name the line extension can be tricky. Besides the “diet,” “light” and “2” extensions, companies have to get a little more creative when it comes to other line extensions. But not too creative. Management likes simple descriptive names. The thinking goes “consumers don’t have the time and we don’t have the money to educate them. So to make it easy for everybody we’ll just add a generic to describe exactly what our line-extension is.”
It sounds so simple and logical, how could it not work? Well it doesn’t. Because marketing is not simple or logical.
Here are three new products that management confidently signed off on, but marketing minds cringe at.
Spray ‘n Wash
Spray ‘n Wash is the leading pre-wash stain spray. But this new line extension is not sprayed on or used before you wash. Instead Spray ‘n Wash Bright & White is an bleach-alternative stain remover that you add by the cup into the washing machine. I kid you not.
Even the marketing director for fabric care at Reckitt Benckiser (owner of Spray n’ Wash) admitted that the “Spray ‘n Wash name sounds weird for an in-wash product.” No kidding. Yet she still said that it made sense “to extend an existing brand name.” No it doesn’t.
The product even has a differentiating benefit: It helps to extend the life of your clothes. But stain removers have the image of damaging your clothes it doesn’t make sense that they help save them too. About as logical as Woolite Rug Cleaner, oh yeah Reckitt used to have the dumb extension too.
Haagen-Dazs is the leading super premium ice cream. To take advantage of the trend toward more natural and whole foods they wanted to launch an ice cream composed of just five natural ingredient. (Which begs the question how many unnatural and natural ingredients does regular Haagen-Dazs have?)
So Haagen-Dazs is launching a new line-extension called Five. Haagen-Dazs brand manager Ching-Yee Hu explained that “part of the reason we called it Five is that we have modest marketing dollars and wouldn’t have a lot of money to explain what it was.” Most people still won’t get it and will have a hard time getting over all the junk ingredients in their regular Haagen-Dazs.
Besides, “I think I’ll have vanilla Haagen-Dazs Five tonight?” People just don’t talk like that. When will management listen to marketing? The truly scary thing is that regular Vanilla Haagen-Dazs only has 6 ingredients, so what is the point of Five anyway?
Quaker True Delights
Quaker is the leading oatmeal. Everybody knows oatmeal is good for you. But the glop isn’t necessarily appealing and messy to cook. On the other hand, bars are easy. But most are highly processed and many are high in calories.
Well Quaker has the whole dilemma solved with a new line extension. It has the Quaker name which stands for goodness. It has the name “True Delights” which tells you it tastes good. It has wholesome qualities with ingredients like raspberries, rich dark chocolate, and whole almonds. And the best part is it only has 140 calories! Wow! What more could you want?
Try this over the weekend “Hunny, how about a True Delight tonight?” His face will probably beam, until you throw the Quaker bar at him.