Mother’s Day in the United States is coming up and the scramble for retailers is on. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), $19.9bn was spent by consumers for the 2014 holiday, with an average of $162 per person. As digital continues its upward momentum, the opportunity to hone in and get a larger piece of the pie is evident. To that end, The Trade Desk recently dug in to the data to see how brands could take advantage of reaching the most important people this time of year, those shopping for mom — especially younger consumers.
“We notice that a lot of Mother's Day shoppers tend to be a little bit younger, possibly skewing more towards video gamers, and concert goers, and people that we would generally bucket as a younger demographic,” said Mark Davenport, senior analytics director at The Trade Desk.
Using lookalike modeling, third-party and location data, The Trade Desk built profiles of Mother’s Day shoppers in four regions of the United States: the midwest, northeast, south and west. From there, insights were gleaned — and some of the results, if not earth-shatteringly surprising, were interesting. Desserts, for example, showed up in the top five for each region. But flowers, usually a staple of Mother’s Day shopping, only appeared as a top five choice in two regions. Other subtle, but important learnings could also provide an opportunity for brands.
“It seemed like when (people in the south) were going online to shop for Mother's Day presents, they were looking for gardening accessories and things like that,” noted Davenport. “If the marketer is trying to convince with their product, they probably should be looking at a little bit of a younger demographic when they're looking towards the south.”
There were a few other anomalies, including the love of gardening in the northeast, which topped the list.
“Thinking about myself, I grew up in the south and spent a lot of time in the midwest, and so you'd have big lawns and a lot of space typically to be outdoors, versus in the northeast, where blocks tend to be a little bit smaller, they tend to be more in urban areas, so I expected it to be almost a little bit of a reverse in terms of northeast versus the midwest,” said Davenport.
Politics also played a role in the data, with the election at the front of most people’s minds, informing data that could prove useful for brands and marketers.
“It's interesting given that it is an election year — and so knowing how people are going to be consuming media and what news sources they're going to be on is vital. I think (it’s important) if you know that people skew towards more particular political affiliation versus another. Then, as you're thinking about marketing efforts leading up to the election, you need to have a sense of which way your demographics skew so that you know whether you need to be marketing on The Washington Post or you need to be on Drudge Report.”
Being in the thick of the data, Davenport offered up some useful advice for brands and marketers looking to capitalize on the yearly celebration of moms in the U.S.
“Any brand that wants to understand their audience online and make their marketing efforts better online, should start by having a rich source of first party data. Then it's a matter of finding technology partners that can help you understand who that first party audience is, what they look like, what characteristics they have, and then helping you target those profiles well.”