12 June 2014 - 4:34pm | by Oakwood

The changes facing brands communicating with mums

The changes facing brands communicating with mumsThe changes facing brands communicating with mums

Sometimes successfully targeting consumers is like playing a game of hide and seek with the invisible man. Finding them can have its challenges, but it’s far from impossible. A core consumer specialty for my agency is talking to Mum. Never out of sight, Mum’s vast diversity and choice patterns make them an incredible audience.

In 20+ years, we’ve seen a massive change when it comes to talking to Mum; from advertising law to product safety and development, new product categories, the retail landscape and the rise of new communication channels, technologies and techniques. The benefit of this change is that rather than immeasurable, unsolicited one way communication approaches, we have all the right mechanics, tools and insights to leverage a true dialogue with Mum.

Take the Millennial Mums: I know that 57 per cent of her day’s communications are now digital. Once Mum has given birth, her lifestyle changes; sleeping patterns can go out of the window and the way Mum engages with the world is very different to pre-natal time. Mums are comfortable switching devices and screen size depending on their need and timing. We know that 86 per cent of Mum’s own a smartphone and 70 per cent own a tablet, so Mums are some of the highest users of technology, spending eight hours a day engaging with media. It’s this kind of information which enables us to construct our strategy and approach, whilst examining trends that start to appear when targeting this consumer.

What comes next is just as important: delivery of the right information at the right time of day and through the right channel. I have a saying, it’s old but tried and tested: ‘Fish where the fishes are’. I live by this. Knowing where your audience is, what excites and piques their interest, is the backbone to communication and creative.

Channel offerings and technology are expanding at an alarming rate and give us exciting new creative platforms. We’re currently incorporating iBeacon, Face Recognition Ad Serving and Digital Out of Home as some of the most effective means of ensnaring and growing the basket spend. This ever changing ‘delivery’ landscape might seem hit and miss but we ensure that data drives our research and appropriate placements. Thanks to the likes of Geo Targeting we are able to pin point our audience more accurately than Frederick Forsyth’s Jackal.

We can identify where and when Mum’s are hungry for information and how they prefer to shop. Reaching Mum is one thing, but they have an expectation to instinctively keep searching. I see it more and more in-store where a product is being tested and scrutinized, but physically feeling it isn’t enough. Then out comes the smartphone for some in-depth research and qualification of prices, product comparisons and customer reviews. An incredible 28 per cent of people do this now so brands must use digital to support the Mum’s choice.

Google’s ZMOT is so bang on the money in every sense. However there are opportunities for the retailer that online can’t compete with. We must consistently talk to Mum to reach all of her relevant touch points. In-store is still the first moment of truth and by creating theatre and adding value (such as loyalty schemes) you can secure that sale and advocacy. Retailers should never forget the value of a well-stocked store with friendly, polite and informed staff.

Brands have to work Omni-channel and not rely solely on traditional media to carry the campaign or brand message. In talking to Mum, we know word of mouth is as (if not more) important as any technology and shouldn’t be ignored. Advocacy programmes are an integral part of the marketing mix; bloggers, peers and influencers all play their part and with great effect and social media tools enable this. Brands must be genuinely truthful, remarkable and transparent.

The better you know your consumer the better placed you are to be rewarded with their loyalty.

Phil Marshall
Co-Founding Partner – Executive Creative Director
Oakwood

Tel: 0117 983 6789
Email: phil.marshall@oakwoodagency.com
Web: www.oakwoodagency.com
Twitter: @Oakwood_Agency

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