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Why Mobile Moms Matter

I recently attended the annual variety show at my daughters’ elementary school. While I was watching the performances, I couldn’t help but take note of how many smartphones were in the audience.   Being used for photos, videos and downtime between acts they were out in full force with the moms. Afterward, my Facebook newsfeed was full of pictures from the event.

The next day, waiting my turn in a long checkout line, I noticed that every single one of the seven women in line around me had a smartphone in hand. They were ready to pull up a coupon, check social media or get that all important text. Different scenarios but the same message: smartphones are always in play. In the 2015 edition of Moms and Media, we saw that 84% of moms own a smartphone.

If you are a mom, your smartphone is an extension of you. The smartphone is not only your portal of communication, but it also serves up media, entertainment and all the infinite information that the online world brings. In fact, smartphones are probably the only thing that can rival mom when it comes to multi-tasking! For these reasons, mom relies on her smartphone to keep her busy life on track. Here are some reminders about why it matters that mom is mobile.

Mobile devices allow moms to:

  • Be online everywhere
  • Regularly interact with brands and retailers
  • Engage with other consumers
  • Leverage social media passion and usage
  • Be constantly accessible
  • Immediately share photos and videos

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21051 - Share of Ear - Fall with YouTube Location 13+

More than half of all audio usage is in-home

There’s a longstanding argument from the AM/FM Radio industry that “half of all radio listening is in the car.”  And even that might be a bit of an exaggeration, as our study shows it to be a little less than half  of AM/FM usage among all consumers but about half among younger consumers.  But when one expands the perspective to all audio consumption, the picture is quite different.

As the graph below shows, when one looks at the totality of the audio space, including owned music, streamed audio, podcasts, TV music channels like Music Choice, and YouTube for music among other things, more than half of all listening is done in the home.  In-car is a healthy 30%.

21051 - Share of Ear - Fall with YouTube Location 13+

Edison’s Share of Ear™ study is the only study measuring all audio usage, both music and speech based content and using a fully representative national sample reflecting the entire population (using both online and offline data collection).

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“All Research Is Local” — Market Research in Africa

Note: This post was written by Edison’s Senior Vice President Rob Farbman, who recently returned from a research project covering multiple countries in Africa.

Dakar 9Edison’s expansion in Africa includes recent research projects in Mauritania, Mali, Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Senegal. As our business in Africa grows, we continue to live by the rule that “all research is local.”. Even within the confines of French speaking West Africa, a methodology that works in Nouakchott may not work in Kinshasa. And a question wording that makes sense to a 25 year old in Bamako may mean something different to a person of the same age in Abidjan.

Edison has built its success conducting research in the Middle East and Africa through our strong relationships with the best local research teams. Finding a fieldwork partner that knows the local customs, has access to quality field staff, and that shares Edison’s obsession with data quality is essential. This search starts with a thorough vetting of potential local partners, then continues with in-depth training and supervision by Edison staff.

Dakar 11In West Africa, the challenge of conducting research is exacerbated by the fact that some countries have an extremely limited research infrastructure. To address this, we established three levels of quality control and supervision in each country we do research. We first identified a research firm in Senegal with capabilities to coordinate local research teams in a number of different countries in the region. We then added to the team Mohamed Kamal, the Managing Director of MOI, a respected research firm in Egypt. Having worked with Edison for ten years, Mohamed knew how precise we demand field work and was the perfect “man on the ground” to personally supervise each of our projects. Finally, Edison engaged in thorough training of management staff and supervisors.

Bamako Mali Music Test 3I recently spent time in Dakar, Senegal managing a media research project. This particular study is quite extensive. It can last two hours and the interviews involves some multi-media aspects. We determined that administering the survey in our research office rather than in people’s homes was the ideal methodology. When conducting a similar study in Bamako, Mali, we had encountered a strong reluctance by respondents to come to our office and our sampling and production stalled. In the Mali study, we adjusted our plan and used only in-home interviews. In Dakar, we decided to test out the in-office methodology again. We were happy to not find the same reluctance to come to a central location. However because the lower income groups were harder to sample in areas convenient to the research facility, we decided to go with a hybrid method. By conducting some of the interviews in the field office with street recruits and the remainder in people’s homes, we were able to produce a more representative cross section of respondents.

Dakar 7Also backing the “all research is local” mantra was the confusion we encountered during our pre-testing of the questionnaire. When asking about a certain kind of music we asked how much they liked the music, and also whether or not they were tired of the music. In the United States people can relate to the concept of becoming “tired” of something they actually really like. But in Dakar, we found that at least based on our question wording, the Senegalese didn’t make the same distinction – if you love something, how can you be tired of it? During pre-testing we encountered some other minor issues with respondents understanding questions and they were adjusted as needed and the fielding proceeded successfully.

On top of multi-level quality check, completing a quality research project in Africa takes a lot of trial and error and a willingness to shift course when needed. I’m sure Edison will learn something new wherever the next project takes us!

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For many moms, every day feels like judgment day

When you become a mom, you set out to do everything exactly right. You read all the books, do all your research and get the ‘must have’ items in preparation for a new life that you will be responsible for. The incredibly awesome (yet completely daunting) role of mother is one you continuously strive to perfect. Some days you score a hat trick and other days…not so much. While I think each of us is our own biggest critic, moms do feel like they are judged by other moms.

According to new data from The Research Moms, 64% of moms feel that their parenting decisions are judged at least sometimes by other moms. Breaking it down one step further, 24% feel their decisions are always judged by other moms.

Moms already feel the pressure to perform at their best all day, every day, but social media has taken that to new heights. For moms on social media, they feel scrutiny even a bit more.  About 68% of moms who use Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram feel their parenting decisions are judged at least sometimes by other moms.

In a world now where life is captured and shared immediately, acceptance or rejection is often measured in followers, likes and posts. The open forum of social media makes passing judgment easy and provides a certain level of anonymity. The role of social media is double edged for moms, since the openness that makes it authentic and real is the same pathway that allows for unwanted mom vs. mom critique.

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Looking at moms in different stages of the parenting cycle, new moms live under a perceived microscope the most.   For first time moms, almost three quarters (72%) feel their parenting decisions are judged at least sometimes by other moms.   New residents to the motherhood, these women are still figuring out how to adapt to their new parenting role and they don’t want to fail, especially in the eyes of others.

With experience comes comfort. Moms of children who are age 18+ don’t feel as criticized.   The number drops to 58% for those who feel their parenting decisions are judged at least some of the time. Moms of young adult children have already been there and done that, they don’t feel the pressure from other moms to have a perfect score.

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How the study was conducted:

The Research Moms conducted a national online survey of 540 mothers with children age 21 and under in February 2015.

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Moms And Media 2015

It’s May, and that means it’s time for Moms and Media. In the 2015 edition of the report, which is drawn from the Infinite Dial series, we see strong reinforcement of mobile behavior and social networking. While mom continues to power on with her smartphone and tablet, she is consuming media in ways she hasn’t before, thus creating new media patterns and ramping up her already high usage of the Internet.

The data shows that moms are now averaging more than three hours per day online, with 30% logging in four hours or more.   Rewind back to 2000 and moms were not even spending thirty minutes with the Internet.

mom daily time with internet 2015

The draw of moms to the Internet is clear when we asked about which medium is the most essential. Moms spoke and they spoke loudly, with 59% stating the Internet. Television is a very distant runner up, being said by 30% of moms. Tracked to 2010, the Internet shows a clear upward trend, the only medium to show an increase. In 2015 the Internet has become the one place for a busy mom to go, she can get TV shows, music and news so she doesn’t need these other media as much anymore. She now has the Internet as her one stop media shop.

mom Internet most essential 2015

Internet usage will trend up and maintain its hold as long as mobile continues its march forward into the mom market, and that doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.  Moms and Media 2015 shows us that 94% of moms own a cell phone, with 84% owning a smartphone. As they have been in the past, moms are out ahead of the total respondents 12+ from The Infinite Dial who came in with 71% smartphone ownership this year.

mom smartphone own 2015

Tablets are another device that moms are finding fancy with. In our report, 64% of moms own some kind of tablet. This is a significant increase from the 47% that we saw last year. Tablets continue to find favor with mom for their portability and functionality. Bigger than a smartphone but not a burden to tote, tablets offer the same mobile friendly experience while on the go and even more so while at home.

mom tablet own 2015

One of the biggest spin offs from moms being mobile is the ability to use more media simultaneously or while doing other activities. Online radio is one example of how moms are taking traditional media and transferring it to their mobile lifestyle. In this year’s study, 78% of moms have ever listened to online radio and almost half, 48% have cited listening in the last week. Compared to the total respondents 12+, moms are again showing more affection for new media.

mom online radio 2015

While moms have a pretty full schedule, they manage to find new time to listen to online radio.   Almost a third, 32% of moms said the time spent with online radio is new time, and not taken from other audio sources. This is a clear indicator that moms are listening in new patterns, while doing other things. The Internet and mobile devices are making it possible to consume media at any time and in any place.

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To download the entire Moms and Media 2015 report, click here: Moms and Media 2015 Presentation