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Shireen Qudosi

Rise of the Mommy Market

May 23 2012, 07:46 PM by

About 10 years ago, there was a noticeable increase in the number of mom-based blogs. Dooce appeared around the time that blogging became a trend. Five years later we saw more of the same with Better Way Moms and even Brooke Burke’s Modern Mom. And while others scoffed that blogging was a waste of time and would eventually pass like other trends, there was something cathartic in blogging even if it was just a hobby - an online space where honesty and opinion were welcomed and where the two drew in others to create a trusted circle of confidants.

And perhaps if we were looking closely enough, it’s here that we could have witnessed the first traces of the beast that we’d soon come to know as social media - as well as the simply profound principle that feeds it: share what you know.

Share what you know, whether you love or hate it. It’s the classic line that’s offered as sacred advice to writers and yet now being the bedrock behind social success. And let’s face it, everyone has an opinion and we all want to be listened to, so it was only a matter of time before blogging paved the way for thousands more mom bloggers to get on board. Yet only the cream of the crop personalities made it to the top regardless of how atrocious their first blog design attempts were or continue to be to the graphic designer’s eye.

Many businesses ignored the trend, including otherwise successful rising small businesses (that were spearheaded by men). Their thoughts were that a Mom blog was a frivolous waste of time, just the jib jab of women who have nothing better to do. Slightly more enlightened businesses allowed marketing departments to flirt with the idea of running a very small online marketing campaign, perhaps link building, to a half dozen or so mom blogs. But to consider it a serious market worth of a serious campaign, especially for products needed in the home – never!

Some businesses are starting to change their tune though. In even more recent times, the Wall Street Journal’s headlining piece featuring the “Tiger Mom” stirred a lot of attention back to motherhood. The attention may have died down but the subject interest didn’t, and TIME’s last provocative cover of a mother breastfeeding a three-year-old with the subheading of “Mom Enough?” hurtled any hesitant mommy marketers out into the open. There is no denying the power of the mom consumer or the fact that it is now a recognized and viable market that deserves the utmost attention.

So why moms?

Because marketing to moms isn’t just about catering to women with makeup and clothes. In fact, that premise – in that that’s all women are interested in – is a complete misunderstanding of a demographic that controls 85% of the domestic purse strings. It’s an archaic mindset that unfortunately comes with mom markets. Just because we’re talking about moms and just because women are interested in being moms, doesn’t mean we’ve dwarfed women back to the 1950s.

Controlling domestic purse strings means moms don’t just control what they buy for themselves. Rather, they’re buying for any children including babies, toddlers, young children and even young adults. They’re buying for the home, often their husbands, and are now even controlling financial planning. To think that the “mommy market” is about cute useless mothers is not only an offense to motherhood, but also a rather offensive disregard of practical business sense. As a businessperson, you're trained to spot potential areas for business development and revenue growth. With that in mind, welcome to the motherhood.

Posted in Online Branding, Tech Editorial

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