Working and stay-at-home moms more alike than marketers may think; study

July 13, 2012  |  Chris Powell  |  Comments

Moms don’t seek out recognition for the chef, chauffeur, accountant and gardener and myriad other hats they wear in the household, but a new study shows they’d be elated to see those contributions reflected in marketing.

This is one of the findings of the first wave of “Citizen Mom,” a year-long research study into Canada’s “most desired consumer” commissioned by Toronto PR firm Citizen Optimum.

The preliminary findings are based on online surveys of 300 mothers whose children are 18 and under, conducted by the research firm AskingCanadians and its French-language counterpart, Qu’en pensez vous. The study will also include online focus groups.

The findings have implications for advertisers said Citizen Optimum vice-president and general manager Nick Cowling. “If you want to touch a consumer in an average Canadian household, mom is influencing that,” he said.

“There’s a big opportunity for brands there,” he said. “I think [moms] would react well to marketing that leverages the insight that they like to be recognized for all they do.”

The study also found that working and stay-at-home moms are much more alike than marketers may believe. The study found that, if given the opportunity, 20% of working moms would leave work and half of stay-at-home moms would rejoin the workforce.

Among the reasons moms choose to work, 70% say it’s the best choice for family finances, while 35% say it’s the most logical choice and 24% say it suits their personal interests. Sixty-six percent of stay-at-home moms say it’s the best choice for the well-being of their children, while 29% say it’s more personally gratifying and 26% say it’s the best choice in terms of family finances.

While some products or services may be perceived as more valuable to one type of mom than another – a product touting convenience would likely have more appeal for a working mom, for example – Cowling suggests that marketers find an approach that makes their brand relatable to both groups.

Cowling said Procter & Gamble’s current Olympic-themed “Best Job” campaign – which chronicles the role moms around the world play in the development of future Olympic athletes – is a perfect example of a campaign that appeals to both types of mom.

“Mom wants nothing more than for her children to succeed, and she will do whatever it takes to help,” said Cowling.

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