Understanding the Australian mum market will pay dividends post COVID

Mums are the powerhouse of the Australian economy yet they remain the most misunderstood, misrepresented and undervalued consumer segment in the country. With more than 6.2 million mums in Australia, responsible for spending $132 billion every year, marketers who ignore mums, do so at their peril. 

 Research from Marketing to Mums reveals that brands are failing to connect with mums, that figure of 63% represents the percentage of Australian mums who believe that advertisers don’t understand them. There is growing dissatisfaction from mothers around the country who are fed up with the lame, irrelevant marketing efforts being directed at them.

 This growing disconnect between advertising and mums’ reality is, in part, explained by the AdNation research which revealed the people working advertising agencies are young, tech savvy and less likely to have children than the average Australian. How can these people manage to relate to the day to day life of a mum, create campaigns that appeal to her, communicate with her and maintain a good brand relationship with her?

It is of vital importance for the success of small businesses that they invest now in gaining a better understanding of the social media habits and communication style and preferences of Australian mothers.

 I’ve been studying mums for two decades.  I have eighteen years’ sales and marketing experience working across diverse industries including grocery, hardware and online – always targeting mums as the purchaser. I also have a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) and an MBA (International Business). However, my real learning happened when I became a mother myself. I left my corporate role to enjoy a five-year career break to raise my three children. As a stay-at-home mum I spent hours in the park listening to the frustrations and challenges facing mothers. 

 Nine years ago, I launched an online shopping platform for mums called Bubbler.com.au. I grew this to a community of 150,000 mums before selling in 2016. During this time, my insight into Australian mums really accelerated and I gained a deeper understanding of mums’ lives. I learned how to engage mums to build a community, communicate effectively with them through social media and convert them into a sale. 

 Working with closely with business owners I saw the struggles they had in managing to genuinely connect and sell to mums.  I kept seeing the same problem over and over again, prospective clients needed customers fast but didn’t have the expertise to sell to mums. Their poor ROI’s proved that they didn’t have a clear understanding of the type of mum they were targeting. 

 In late 2015, I launched Marketing to Mums, a marketing and research consultancy specialising in helping small businesses drive sales within the mum market.  I work with businesses as their resident mum expert, using my expertise and information from my research to guide their plans. I review proposed marketing strategies, facilitate strategy workshops and speak at conferences.  

 Having identified and tested eight critical foundations any business which targets mums needs to have in place I implemented these into the direct online sales channel of a global beverage company, they experienced a 655% sales increase on the same period last year.

My book; Marketing to Mums, is based on these eight critical foundations.  Quickly, the book was #1 on Booktopia’s Business bestseller list outselling Simon Sinek, Timothy Ferris and Sophia Amoruso. As a result, I was invited to lead speak at the M2Moms® – The Marketing to Moms Conference in New York, the industry’s leading learning event, attended by Google, Twitter and leading research organisations. In 2018 I gave the closing keynote address at this conference and was the voted winner of the ‘Take the Cake’ Best Speaker Award. It was the first time an international speaker has received this award.

I passionately believe there is a new way to communicate and sell to mums, delivering massive opportunities for businesses who get this right. In an Australian first, I surveyed over 1800 mums asking them how they wanted to be marketed to. The respondents were from different age, stage, work status and household income brackets, and all eager to share their views. I wanted to hear directly from Australian mums to better understand their social media habits, but more importantly, as no one had asked them before, how they wanted to be communicated with. 

 I delved deeply into the thoughts and opinions of mums. The report is so valuable as it hasn’t been done before here in Australia and features ground breaking learnings for businesses wanting to target mums. We found that mums were eager to give advice to the marketing community.  They identified nine mistakes that brands make with advertising and communications. 

The report also identified that 91% of Australian mums access their social media accounts daily with a staggering 30% of mums checking their social media accounts more than 10 times each day. Facebook is their favourite platform, representing an incredible opportunity for brands to connect with mums via Facebook advertising, building brand communities and developing a Facebook Live strategy.

 Sourcing genuine testimonials via print or video is essential, it is important to turn on ratings and reviews on Facebook pages. It is also necessary to be able to generate ongoing new testimonials for mums to view, as these were the number one influence of their buying decisions. 

Mums in Australia are fed up with the way they are being communicated with by brands and increasingly taking action thanks to social media. Ignoring this growing dissatisfaction is commercially disastrous for brands. Astute marketers who take the time to gather deep insights about mums and work to earn her attention can deliver a significant commercial advantage in an increasingly crowded marketplace. 

Katrina McCarter is the Founder and CEO of Marketing to Mums, a research and marketing consultancy. She is a marketing strategist, author, speaker and business advisor. She works with small business owners to help them sell more effectively to mothers to drive their sales and profit. She is well known for her 8 Pillars of Success program, her podcast and best-selling books