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Study: Motherhood Changes Rules for Marketing

  |  April 20, 2012   |  Comments

BabyCenter-Nielsen research reveals how women - once they become moms - change their media consumption and shopping behaviors.

Motherhood results in dramatic shifts in media consumption and shopping behaviors, a BabyCenter-Nielsen study found.

"Marketers need to understand this is a dramatic transformation - when a woman becomes a mom," Mike Fogarty, global publisher, BabyCenter, said in an interview Friday. "That transformation affects virtually every aspect of her life, from the criteria for all the products she buys to the brands she prefers."

The study found that the more devices that a mother owns, the more media she consumes. On average, moms spend 10.9 hours daily with media. Moms who own a smartphone, tablet, and Internet TV device spend a total of 17 hours consuming media.

"How do you fit in 17 hours? She's doing a lot of it all at the same time. [Moms] are leading the charge in terms of the variety of devices they use to consume media - all types of media," Fogarty said. That means a mother may be simultaneously watching TV and texting with a friend on a tablet or smartphone.

Consider these other factoids:

-American moms spend an average of 66 hours a month online, which is twice as much as the general public. American moms also spend an average of 16 hours a month on Facebook versus eight hours for the general public, according to Nielsen NetView data for October 2011.

-The American mom is 38 percent more likely than the general population to own an Internet TV device (e.g., Apple TV, Roku), 28 percent more likely to use a tablet, and 38 percent more likely to own a smartphone.

-Women, once they've become moms, spend three hours a day feeding their children, 1.5 hours a day putting their children to bed, and a little more than an hour a day on kids' activities. They also said they spend less time exercising, participating in hobbies, and sleeping.

-Moms feel more rushed, overwhelmed, and deal-driven than the general population.

Takeaways for marketers? Products and messaging must address the new mindset, such as emphasizing good value (e.g., free shipping) and products that simplify their life.

Moms also expect more from advertising than the general population.

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The findings were the result of in-home interviews with moms, survey research among over 2,500 moms and other online adults, and a three-screen behavior analysis with Nielsen.

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Anna Maria Virzi, ClickZ's executive editor from 2007 until 2012, covered Internet business and technology since 1996. She was on the launch team for Ziff Davis Media's Baseline and also worked at Forbes.com, Web Week, Internet World, and the Connecticut Post.

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