Modern mums misunderstood by brands

10th Aug 2014

Mums have modernised – they’ve become multichannel. It appears that no one has told marketers yet though, as they still seem to be making out-dated assumptions about this key consumer segment.

New research from Saatchi & Saatchi X aimed to investigate mums’ shopping behaviour, and found that they are expecting more of brands than ever before. However, it is also apparent that many businesses have failed to adapt their services to suit them.

These new findings echo the results from another recent study that Saatchi & Saatchi commissioned and carried out with Mumsnet - ‘The Truth About Mums’.  In short, brands are misunderstanding the modern mother.

The study showed that although their expectations and shopping behaviours have changed, mums are still primary household shoppers, with 94% of married mothers still doing the family grocery shop. While this is hardly a shocker of a statistic, it shows how important it is that brands understand this consumer group and get the customer experience right, particularly those in the retail sector.

What may be more surprising new though, is that 40% of mums reported a preference for online shopping, saying that they like to get as much done over the internet as possible. This statistic is expected to continue growing, especially with the proliferation of click and collect services and the availability of customer support online. 

Dads get involved occasionally too – 60% of mums admit that their partner influences buying decisions, even causing them to spend more if they come along on the family shop. Also playing a part in mums' purchase decisions are their children, with half reporting that their trolley load differs depending on what their kids want.

Rachelle Headland, managing director at Saatchi & Saatchi X noted that mums represent a “very powerful segment of the population driving a totally new shopping culture.” She continued: “The pace of change is fast, and the industry is investing heavily in new technologies and formats, and yet we are positively lethargic towards truly understanding the needs of our number one shopper in almost every sector.”

Sue Macmillan is commercial director at Mumsnet. She agreed that brands need to make more of an effort to understand mums, and commented on how the findings put paid to their traditional assumptions. “By making the effort to truly understand the range of contemporary mums' concerns and aspirations – rather than, as has traditionally been the case, simply bundling the entire demographic into a one-size-fits-all image of motherhood rooted in the 1950s – brands are able to engage authentically with this influential consumer group. On Mumsnet, campaigns that identify the everyday experiences of being a mum – the humour and enjoyment, as well as the worry and frustration – see increased brand loyalty and advocacy, while those that rely on old-fashioned stereotypes fail to develop relationships." 

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