Mother’s Day for Tech Moms

We’ve said it before…moms are a marketing powerhouse. Their influence on purchasing power is changing not only the way companies advertise, but also what they advertise. With that oh-so- special day devoted to mom coming up, what better opportunity to roll out the stuff moms really want? Aside from the winter holidays of Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza, Mother’s Day is the second largest U.S. consumer spending holiday according to The National Retail Foundation (NRF). What’s the must have this year for moms?
Traditionally, Mother’s Day is about flowers, brunch and an endearing craft made by a child. While moms still love a homemade macaroni necklace, the days of wanting pretty trinkets and fresh cut bouquets seem to be fading fast. Connected, multi-tasking and savvy, the evolving new breed of moms opts for practicality.
According to the study 21st Century Mom: Tech Mom conducted by BabyCenter.com, moms want gadgets. The study identified a wish list of 10 gadgets for 2010 that included a laptop, Nintendo Wii Fit, iPhone, camcorder, GPS and even an external hard drive/back up.
The study notes that tech purchase criteria changes for women with the onset of motherhood. Geared toward efficiency instead of entertainment, moms want what will help them organize, streamline and schedule their daily lives. They now not only embrace technology, they seek it because it helps them stay in control and master their tasks. In addition, gaming systems like the Wii Fit offer the opportunity to engage parents and children together as a family while digital camcorders allow for easy capture, upload and sharing of family memories via Facebook. So will Tech Moms have their wishes come true? Maybe, maybe not.
The NRF, in their 2010 Mother’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, reported that nearly two-thirds (65.2%) of 2010 Mother’s Day celebrants will buy flowers, totaling $1.9 billion. That top category is followed by dining out, jewelry, clothing and spa trips. Consumer electronics is at the bottom with shoppers estimated to spend about $906 million. That is not a small amount of money, but compared to what is being spent on flowers, it pales. Old habits die hard and everyone assumes flowers are the safe gift to give. In a few more years, I would expect to see consumer electronics gain a little ground on that list of ad categories.
The question for advertisers used to be how to target moms. But in today’s marketing world which is driven by social media, blogs and digital advertising, it’s no longer difficult, since we know moms are frequently online. The challenge has shifted to a new focus — giving moms what they want. Electronics and gadgets that used to be for that dad holiday in June have now made their way into ads and chatter for Mother’s Day shopping. It gives electronics retailers another opportunity to serve up more specific ads towards women in hopes of making their Mother’s Day want list. And while there is a presence of ads for cell phones, computers and the like, they are still being trumped by the efforts of the online florists who dominate. Maybe there will come a day when you will have the option of adding on a Blackberry instead of a balloon to your flower arrangement. Now that would be genius.

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