Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Safety First: Marketing To Moms

by Mark Vance, chief marketing officer, Rainsoft Water Treatment Systems

For veterans in the juvenile market, the concept of mom-centric marketing is nothing new. Moms are a key demographic in marketing plans for products from diapers and juice boxes to vacuum cleaners and laundry detergent. But now, there’s an added twist – after digging deeper into the mind of the mom to determine what really drives her purchase decisions, researchers are finding that it all boils down to moms’ basic drive to keep their families safe from harm.

More than anything, moms want to have more control over their home environments. There’s always something to worry about on the outside, from swine flu, to sex and violence on TV, or the economy. Mothers know they can’t control what goes on outside the home, but they take every possible step to make sure their families’ immediate environments are safe and secure.

I call this psychographic profile the “Protector Mom.”

Some of her traits:
- Young children (ages 0-7) in the home
- Concerned about keeping a clean, comfortable, germ-free home, but dislike housework
- Want to protect their families from harm both in and outside the home
- Busy schedules, looking for convenience and stress-free solutions
- Search for information about potential purchases online

Companies like Dodge, General Motors, Evenflo and Johnson & Johnson all have recently embarked upon marketing campaigns designed to woo moms who want to protect their families from harm both in and outside the home.

What does this mean for the juvenile market?

There’s more to it than just complying with increasingly stringent laws and regulations. This is great, but there’s also a market out there for products that actively help moms protect their families – e.g. child GPS tracking devices. You also have products that allow parents to filter what comes into their homes – like the V-Chip, which allows parents to block certain content from cable TV, or the product my company sells, which filters the water that families use to eat, drink and bathe.

Think about ways you can reach out to the Protector Mom.

Maybe it’s modifying your existing product to incorporate a helpful safety feature.

Or, tailoring your marketing plan to incorporate more of the channels the Protector Mom uses.

Most important, don’t forget to listen to her – you might be surprised at what she says. At RainSoft, conducting focus groups with Protector Moms helped us focus on new initiatives, refine our marketing strategy and implement new marketing tactics. In future posts, I hope to write about some things we’ve tried, and share some tips for marketing to moms.

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