Why Brands Should Prioritize Understanding Working Moms

Filed Under: Parents, Shopper, Youth & Family, Retail, Tech, Media & Telecom


Lizzy Kinasz

Research Director, C+R Alum

Why Brands Should Prioritize Understanding Working Moms

Let’s start by saying something we all know…”Moms are superheroes!” I am allowed to say this as a working mom of three young kids! Let’s face it…moms wear a lot of hats and have many jobs. Moms can be caregivers, schedulers, meal planners and cooks, homework helpers, problem solvers, activity planners, emotional supporters, household managers, cleaners,  family shoppers, and so much more! And that’s just what a mom does at HOME. Let’s add on a career and somehow squeeze in time for health and fitness along with time for her passions and hobbies. It’s then that you understand why moms are often referred to as Supermom. Moms of all types play vital roles in our society; but today, I want to talk about working moms and why brands should prioritize understanding this very important audience.  

More Women Working = Greater Spending Power and More Opportunities

Over the years, the dynamics of the workforce and family structures have evolved. More women than ever are pursuing careers while balancing caregiving responsibilities at home. In fact, the labor force participation rate for mothers with children under 18 is now up to 72.9%. Considering that a significant percentage of women are currently working moms, companies need to adapt to remain competitive and relevant.

Working moms often have dual roles as caregivers and income earners. They contribute to household finances and have purchasing power not only for themselves but also for their families. Women are responsible for 85% of household income spending in the U.S., and 78% of women identify themselves as the primary household shopper.  Moms aren’t just buying for themselves. They are buying for their entire household including purchasing every gift for every birthday and holiday. I recently saw a meme that showed the list of Christmas presents a husband needs to buy compared to a wife. The husband’s list had one person on it—his wife. The wife’s list included the kids, husband, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, in-laws, cousins, neighbors, teachers, mail carriers, babysitters, co-workers, and everybody else!  In fact, women control $2.4 trillion of spending in the U.S. each year. That’s a lot of purchasing power and an ideal target audience for all types of brands.

Address Ways to Help with Working Moms’ Mental Workloads

Ok, so we’ve established working moms are important. Now, I think it’s important to understand what working moms want to hear because they have unique challenges and particular needs and preferences given what’s on their plates. Brands need to understand their shopping behaviors, product choices, and brand preferences, to tailor their offerings to meet their needs. Most working moms don’t want to hear how your product helps them as caregivers, housekeepers, cooks or other stereotypical women roles. Engaging with moms is important  so that your marketing matches who they are as people. Take the time to get to know them and be authentic so working moms feel seen by your brand.

I encourage you to think about real-life concerns working moms have and how your brand can help solve their problems. The mental and physical load of a mom is HUGE. The mental load (defined as the invisible work of running a household and managing a family) is something that I don’t think is talked about enough. There are physical tasks like grocery shopping, doing the dishes, taking the garbage out, doing laundry, making lunches, driving the kids to school, etc. But consider all the behind-the-scenes things going on like planning vacations, keeping track of the calendar, making endless decisions,  anticipating needs (making sure my daughter’s jersey is clean for her t-ball game, making sure the diaper bag is re-stocked before we leave), and reading and learning about parenting strategies, potty training, and managing tantrums. Also, more often than not, the mom is  following the parenting accounts, listening to the podcasts, remembering everything, and then relaying it to their partner. There is great potential for a brand that demonstrates empathy for these day-to-day struggles of motherhood and can offer something that helps lighten that mental load. This authenticity can show a brand’s commitment to improving their lives with its products. Truly understanding their struggles and needs can inform your marketing strategy, product development, messaging choices and so much more.

Tips for Marketing to Working Moms

Remember, we are B.U.S.Y. Make your content mobile-first. We have limited time in the day to sit down at a computer or even to scroll on our phones. Your content needs to provide value and be easy to comprehend. And don’t leave us hanging or assume we know everything about being a mom! Provide tutorials, training videos, pictures, examples, and testimonials. And not everything needs to be so serious… present us with something we can relate to and laugh about. And don’t forget about deals… moms love a good deal, and there is strong word of mouth in a mom’s network to share a good discount.

I can attest that being a mom is the hardest and most rewarding job on the planet. By really getting to know the working mom today and tailoring marketing efforts to this demographic with relevant products and experiences, I think companies can unlock growth opportunities, cultivate brand loyalty, and build long-term relationships with this very valuable group of superheroes. Because even superheroes need a little help sometimes.

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