Talking to Mum

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Sometimes successfully targeting consumers is like playing hide and seek with the invisible man. Finding them may have its challenges, but it’s far from impossible. A core consumer speciality here at Oakwood is talking to Mum. Never out of sight, their vast diversity and choice patterns make mums an incredible audience.

Talking to Mum

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 last change is that, rather than immeasurable, unsolicited one-way communication approaches, we finally have all the insights, mechanics and tools to leverage a true dialogue with Mum.

Take the Millennial Mum for instance: I know that 57 per cent of her daily 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 mums 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. ‘Fish where the fish are’ they say. Knowing where your audience is, what excites and piques their interest is the backbone of creative communications.

Expanding channel offerings 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 capturing 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 can pinpoint our audience more accurately than Frederick Forsyth’s Jackal.

We can identify where and when mums 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 now do this, so brands must use digital to support Mum’s choices.

While Google’s ZMOT is bang on the money in every sense, there are also opportunities for bricks and mortar retailers where online can’t compete. 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. Never underestimate the value of a well-stocked store with friendly, polite and informed staff.

Brands have to work across multiple channels at once, and avoid relying solely on traditional media to carry an entire campaign or brand message. In talking to Mum, we know word-of-mouth is more powerful than 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 with great effect, while 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.

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