Motherhood in the 21st Century is evolving to include not only mothers who work, but are moving into management, the C-suite, or ownership positions. All while raising families. More than ever, direct marketers need to know who they are dealing with if they expect to reach working mothers.
To begin, 72% of all mothers work. Working mothers are the primary breadwinners in 40% of U.S. households. Mothers – from stay at home Moms to CEOs – influence 85% of household purchase decisions. Mothers control spending of approximately $2.4 Trillion. (Source: https://www.m2moms.com/fast-facts/)
Again, women are not simply participating in the workplace, but owning it. Here are some revealing statistics on women owned businesses from the U.S. Census Bureau:
- Approximately 20% (1,118,863) of all employer businesses (5,601,758) nationwide are women owned.
- About one-quarter (289,326 or 25.9%) of all women-owned employer firms were minority owned.
- More than half (approximately 153,177 or 52.9%) of these firms were Asian -owned.
Working, professional women are not treating the work versus family question as an either/or. A Pew Research Center report indicated that fewer well-educated women are remaining childless. Many but certainly not all may start families later in the child bearing years. Completing advanced degrees and establishing careers come first. The result is that while 35% of career women were childless in 1994, only 20% were as of 2014, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Further, these older, well-educated (Master’s and Ph.D holding) mothers are having more children, with broods of 3 or more increasing by 6% over that same time span.
Working mothers advancing their careers while doing their absolute best for their new and growing families is a demanding high wire act. Direct marketers inundate them with offers, options and advice. Scratching out an iota of attention from these time pressed mothers makes earning response all the more difficult.
Every Decision Is Important
As business leaders, these women make complex, far-ranging decisions that may affect many people. As consumers, they face the gamut of nuclear-family needs. They expect good choices that represent verifiable quality and value, plus friction-free purchase and delivery. Offers must be timely and relevant. Contact information must be accurate, since their assessment of how well marketers “know” them tends to be unforgiving. Marketers would do well to craft detailed personas of these prospects as business persons and mothers, then fill in the blanks with pristine data.
For this reason, mailing lists tailored to targeting this audience may well require combining data points from both B2C and B2B lists. They may reflect past product purchase or decision making propensities in order to predict future behavior. Segment by title, company name, family size, income, education, age, ethnicity, and more to hone targeting.
A sample record might specify age 35+, well-educated (Bachelor’s, Masters, Ph.D), C-suite in specific UCC categories, own their home (in certain zip codes), plus mothers of 2+ children including a newborn with a history of “green” catalog purchase (print and online). Turning such a tall order into an effective mailing list requires knowledge of available data, patience and insight.
To reach working women, relationship building is important. Establishing trust means delivering information and opening pathways to conversations. This suggests deploying outreach via multiple channels like social media marketing, phone calls, package inserts, email coupons, etc. Whether making enterprise-wide decisions or purchasing baby apparel, working women want relevant, timely offers of the things they want and need.
Things to Keep in Mind When Trying to Reach Working Mothers:
- 83% of new mothers are millennials, about one-third of whom work.
- They spend hours per day online, browsing, searching for advice and purchasing.
- Most use social media to share their discoveries with friends and associates.
- They are influenced by peers and recommendations.
- They continue to use email, requiring judicious list building and use.
- All consumers have more e-choices, so competition is fierce.
- Selling requires better offers, clearer options, and easier purchasing.
Targeting both the traditional and emerging audiences of 21st Century working mothers is an omnichannel, nuanced task that demands focus and diligence. An immersive partnership with a qualified data professional is valuable. Obtaining direct marketing data that is attuned to the real world in which the prospects live and work will enhance campaign response and return on investment.