5 Things Brands Do Wrong When Marketing to Moms

We all know that moms are the retail juggernaut. According to Forbes, American moms control 85% of household purchases and wield an astounding $2.4 trillion in spending power. With those kinds of numbers, it is no surprise that moms are top of list for many, many marketing campaigns.

Despite how important the mom audience is, despite all of the dollars invested in research to try to understand them, marketers make the same mistakes over and over again when trying to reach us. Here are five:

Tug at the heartstrings but fail to deliver the message

Making an emotional connection with moms is a great way to connect, but you must tie that connection to your brand message in a way that is authentic and organic. Using emotion for emotion’s sake makes us feel exploited.

Forget how busy and tired moms are

Have something to say? Say it quickly and make it count. Have a product you’d like us to try? Make it easy. Moms are tired and we are busy. Moms are willing to give you some of their limited bandwidth but only if you make it worthwhile. Find a way to connect with quickly and deliver product samples to moms at the right time and in the right way. Hand sanitizer at the playground? Awesome.

Make us feel bad about ourselves

It used to be a tried and true marketing message: if you just use our product, your house will be cleaner, your kids will be happier, your girlfriends will be envious and you will be thinner with perfect hair. In short, you are not good enough, but if you use this product, you will get closer to being good enough.

Moms are tired of hearing it. Please don’t play to our insecurities, and stop encouraging us to chase some outdated vision of perfection. Get real.

But not too real

Conversely, ditch the stereotype of the miserable, frazzled overworked, out of control mom. Yup, we all have good days and bad days, but most of us do manage to brush our teeth most mornings.

Assume moms are all the same

Moms of toddlers and moms of teens. Moms who homeschool and moms who spend 40 minutes a day “in the pick up line.” Moms who work out of the home, moms who work from home, moms who work full-time, part time or in the middle of the night. Single moms, married moms or moms in the throes of divorce. Moms battling breast cancer or caring for a parent with Parkinson's. Rural moms, urban moms, suburban moms.

If you really take a moment to think about what her life is like, you will realize that you simply can’t market to all moms in the same way.