“Are you listening to me?”
My mother uttered those words – or some variation of those words – to me no less than 1,000 times during my childhood years in complete exasperation.
I’ll be honest. Most of the time, I wasn’t. I had more pressing matters on my mind, like the next sleepover party or how I was going to get to the record store to get my hands on the latest Debbie Gibson tape.
Looking back, I probably missed out on some valuable pieces of advice or insight. And it seems I’m not the only one.
Recent research by Insights in Marketing i-on-women found that only about 9% of women think advertisers are marketing to them effectively. And a lot of that ineffectiveness comes down to failure to listen.
A recent MediaPost article discusses ways marketers should speak to moms, and – more importantly – listen. Here are the three main ways marketers are failing:
They don’t get to know the moms they’re targeting.
If you define your target audience as moms, you may as well say everyone who uses a computer. Or all Americans. It’s too general. Within the moms population, there are many niches – single moms, Millennial moms, Hispanic moms – and they all require different strategies and messaging. Get to know your mom niche. Talk to them and ask for their ideas, whether it’s on social media, via an e-survey, in a focus group or all of the above.
Doing so will also help ensure you don’t miss opportunities. Not every mom enjoys cooking or gardening. Often the primary breadwinners in their families, they are also interested in content around financial, workplace and health topics, among many others.
Their messages are complicated and not authentic.
Keep your message simple. If it’s too complicated, multi-tasking moms will go elsewhere. One reason Pinterest is so popular among women is the simple, yet pretty, visuals and relevant content – all able to be found and browsed quickly. Provide them with real, relatable, useful content that inspires, but also allows them to make informed choices. Testimonials, reviews, blog posts and authentic photos all help tell your story, and they help moms envision how your product or service will fit into their lives.
They don’t show that they are listening to moms.
Moms are busy. If they take the time out of their packed schedules to reach out to you, show your appreciation. On the most basic level, if she follows your brand on a social network, follow her back. And if she posts a question or comment about you, acknowledge it and respond, if necessary.
An Acuity Group study shows that 73% of customer tweets to top retail brands go unanswered. These brands are missing out on an important opportunity to build relationships and loyal ambassadors who will go on to tout your product or service to other moms. Moms still rely heavily on each other for recommendations. Three out of four moms who read blogs say their purchasing decisions are shaped by a blogger’s mention or promotion of a brand. Alienating one mom could be like alienating 100 – or more.