When it comes to back-to-school or back-to-college, social media motivates today’s parents’ shopping decisions. We’re looking for information, promotions and recommendations, because let’s face it, back-to-school expenses can add up.
Parents in the U.S. getting kids prepared and ready for school will spend $72.5 billion on everything from clothing and backpacks to books and electronic gear. Some overachiever parents will start shopping in July. (They’re the ones some of us look at and envy.)
According to Deloitte’s 2013 Back-to-School survey, many parents begin in July, but others straggle into September making back-to-school a long marketing period. But if you’re like me, you’re a procrastinator parent and wait 3-4 weeks before school/college starts to do your shopping. I actually do the bulk of my daughter’s shopping once we hit campus to drop her off.
So what is the best way for marketers to reach parents?
Fortunately, moms today are using social media and according to a survey executed by Experian Marketing Services last year, 64.8% of these moms are social media users and log on at least once a day. We are multiple device users so marketers must ensure their content is optimized for mobile and tablets, 40 to 50% of moms made a purchase from a tablet. Deloitte predicted last year that almost eight in 10 parents would use their smartphones for back-to-school shopping. Moms like to check things off their to-do lists and will do whatever it takes to get the list completed by making purchases while at the game or while watching TV…she is the consummate multi-tasker.
And how do you reach today’s millennial mom?
Millennial moms grew up when giving back was a requirement in high school. And like most, moms are more apt to purchase a product from a company that is giving back to an issue they are passionate about.
• They like short form content. It fits their busy lives. They read blogs as a replacement for the lack of time to read traditional print sources like newspapers and magazines.
• They watch video. It’s a hands-free way to obtain information visually and instantly.
• They crowd source decisions. They want to make sure they’re making sound decisions. They want advice from peers who have gone there before them. They trust the information obtained from peers over traditional media sources.
• They are opinionated and over-sharers. You can almost guarantee moms will be up on the latest tech gadget their child wants and will share it along with their opinion once purchased.
• They build tribes to help with life transitions. Whether on social sites like Facebook, moms like to talk to other moms (and dads).
• They are channel-agnostic. You will find today’s moms on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, blogs, surfing sites on the web and anywhere they can find information. It will be important to have findable content to reach her.
But ultimately the best way to reach moms is to talk to them and work with them. Remember they are solutions-oriented and brands that help them solve problems are brands that will get their share of wallet.