The digital difference between English and French moms

Digital Moms says translation as big a mistake online as in traditional media French and English moms are both entrenched in the digital world, but a recent survey by Mom Central Consulting found key differences in their online behaviours that could have ramifications for marketers. The consultancy, which has produced its Digital Mom Report since […]

Digital Moms says translation as big a mistake online as in traditional media

French and English moms are both entrenched in the digital world, but a recent survey by Mom Central Consulting found key differences in their online behaviours that could have ramifications for marketers.

The consultancy, which has produced its Digital Mom Report since 2012, decided to look at English and French moms because many marketers are guilty of overlooking the French market.

“If marketers aren’t looking at French and English Canadian moms differently in the online space, I think they could be making a big mistake and overlooking significant opportunities,” said Williamina Hendershot, director of client Services at Mom Central Consulting.

When it comes to overall media consumption, English-speaking moms spend more time online than they do any type of media. Forty-one per cent spend 4+ hours on the internet and 32% spend 4+ hours watching TV.

But French moms spend more time watching TV than on the internet: 41% spend 4+ hours each day watching TV and 35% spend 4+ hours online.

The most popular online activity in both French and English Canada is spending time on social networks updating information, commenting on friends’ posts or updating a status.

The Google Difference

Facebook dominates all other social networking sites, but when it comes to other platforms, Google Plus’ penetration in French Canada is double that of English Canada (30% versus 16% who visit the site regularly). English moms, on the other hand, prefer Twitter and Facebook.

“If you know that French Canadian moms like to spend time on Google+, stop trying to engage them through English Canadian campaigns that are only sending them to Twitter or Pinterest,” said Hendershot.

“Brands that are simply adapting or translating their English Canadian campaigns for French Canada [are making] a real mistake,” she added. “If they focused their efforts on those platforms, like Twitter and Pinterest, they stand to overlook a significant portion of French Canadian moms. They might not even be reaching them.”

When it comes to talking about products online, French-speaking moms are more vocal than English-speaking moms. “While French-speaking moms spend less time online than English moms, when they are on there, they definitely want to be heard,” said Hendershot. “They love sharing their opinion, whereas English Canadian moms prefer to be spectators. They prefer to read reviews, but not necessarily provide one.”

The results of this research are based on a sample of 399 French-speaking moms in Quebec and 611 English-speaking moms in the rest of Canada.

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