Engaging with Mom Means Relationships
It’s no secret that Mom is the glue that holds the family project together. Mom drives the kids everywhere, juggles appointments with soccer games and often works outside the home. In today’s world of being the “multi-tasker extraordinaire”, it is more important than ever to understand what drives a Mom’s behavior and choices, and most importantly for businesses, which tactics appeal to Mom’s core values while helping to make her life easier.
Regardless of age, race, ethnicity, family size or geographical location, there are five core values that drive Mom’s decisions. Health and Safety, Family Enrichment, Value, Simplification and Time Management are the core values that should be the starting point for every program or engagement you create with or for a mother. The first core value – Health and Safety – is at the top of the list for a reason and the one we will focus on here.
Few things rank higher on Mom’s list of priorities than the health of her family. Mom is smart enough to know that she needs help, advice and support to keep her children safe and healthy. She wants to know that a company, doctor or service provider cares about her family’s health and well-being. To achieve this result, companies who design products or programs that tell mom they understand and care about her healthcare needs are demonstrating a shared core value through actions.
Moms also use relationship building and community, among other factors, to connect with the five core values mentioned earlier. They are the channels mom leverages to ensure her children grow up safe and healthy with the hope of having “more”, whether it’s food or education, in the most value minded, simplistic way possible within her limited amount of time.
Nurturing relationships speaks to the core of a mother’s existence. Mom inherently nurtures relationships with almost everyone and everything she comes in contact with throughout the day.
What does a healthy, satisfying relationship look like? Two important ingredients include knowledge and two-way communication. Information, knowledge and know-how are important currencies for a mom. In the world of moms, it all comes down to the fact that one mom may know something that Moms in her peer group may not know yet. Knowing the answer to a common (or not so common) children’s health question or concern gives Mom an elevated status as she spreads the news to friends and family.
Coupled with knowledge is the positive impact of relationship-building techniques. When Mom experiences quality service that exceeds expectations, she is empowered with knowledge that will enlighten her peers, with the added benefit of solidifying a healthy relationship. Mom will be a loyal customer and best of all, will spread the valuable “Word of Mom” to friends, family, even strangers on the playground.
However, knowledge is only a small part of the larger tool a mom will use to nurture relationships. Communication is the overriding means of a mom getting her message distributed and absorbed by the people around her. The strategy of utilizing new media speaks directly to her core definition of communication, if considered as a multi-channel delivery system. While Mom uses email and of course, her smartphone to communicate with the world around her, the same email or smartphone reminder about an appointment, a newsletter with industry news or local updates or the “old-fashioned” phone call (to the most convenient number) is a valuable tool when reaching a very busy Mom. It means that mom will engage with the situation by opening the email or picking up the phone or reading a web-based email with – and this a the critical point – an expectation of response, if requested.
Another important factor in communicating with Mom, especially using new media and technology, is that she can access the information on her own time. This on-demand access means Mom does not have to alter her routine and can keep the day moving at her own pace.
Mom is a part of multiple communities, from family and the workplace to children’s school and usually more than one social group (think book club or playgroup). In order to develop a meaningful relationship with mom, it’s important to be a part of her community. How does a company or product accomplish this task? Determine a touch point that is relevant to Mom (and her peers) and present it in a way that is neither too commercial nor patronizing. Giving Mom something of value and relevance, along with a sense of validation on her part will open the door to Mom’s community groups.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to engaging with today’s moms. These tactics are just the tip of the iceberg. Remember that Mom is a powerful consumer that, once a loyal customer, can be the best form of marketing for your business and brand.