How One Conversation Has Taught Me A Lot About Marketing to New Parents

Sep 19th, 2016 // Permalink

Seven months ago, I became a new mom and everything they say about the experience is true – it has been the best, but also one of the hardest times of my life. Perhaps hardest is navigating all the information that is out there to make the right decision for your baby. I’ve thought a lot about this now that I am back to work and sitting in brainstorms. As someone who has worked with major brands who have marketed to new moms, I feel like I can finally put on both my mom and my marketer hats at the same time.

Let’s look at a recent conversation between me and my husband to shed light on this topic:

Me: “I think he prefers this formula; it does not upset his stomach.”

My Husband: “It’s not milk based. I don’t want him to get too used to it. What if he ends up lactose intolerant?”

Me: “Jenny told me it has milk protein in it, so it should be fine. I think we should stick with this one.”

My Husband: “Ok, but let’s not rule out the other.”

Multiply this times 50 for every baby product out there and you have a good sense of what my husband and I talk about these days.

What can we glean from this conversation?

Sometimes less is more

So often around the marketing table, we become obsessed with coming up with a big idea that taps into our audience’s emotional state. And while there is a time and place for this, sometimes, less is more. As a busy working new mom, I just want a little ammunition to help me “win” the latest discussion with my husband. If I could quickly share what milk protein is and what pediatricians say about it, I might get that victory. Simple and short messages with credibility and meat behind them go a really long way. Edit the fluff.

Decisions (or lack of decisions for that matter) are being made in tandem

Whether it’s a mom and dad talking about what formula to use, two dads testing out different diaper ointments or a mom polling her friends on Facebook, the reality is there is no longer one decision maker when it comes to choosing a product for your child. Families are changing and we are in an age of input. Knowing that many parents are taking a “partner” or “team” approach means campaigns and messaging will need to adjust, perhaps becoming more neutral so it speaks to mom and dad at the same time or taps into that moment when they are deciding together.

Word-of-mouth is really, really powerful

These days my biggest influencers are my friends who have recently become new moms or dads who are a couple of months ahead of me in the baby discovery process. Marketers need to understand that before new moms or dads come to your website, they are talking to their friends and their colleagues who have been there and done that. And social media is responding to this trend – just look at platforms like Scary Mommy where moms are given the chance to share their tips in real-time. Seeding messaging in these platforms and with social media influencers remains critically important.

So, the next time you get ready to plan a campaign for new parents hopefully these tips come in handy. I’m looking forward to continuing to share along the way.


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