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How to harness the power of mobile moms

How to harness the power of mobile moms Tina Sharkey

Moms have embraced mobile -- email, apps, SMS, voice, and the mobile web -- in a big way. This isn't a burgeoning trend. It's the reality right now. According to more than 5,000 moms surveyed for BabyCenter's recent Mobile Mom Report, moms are 18 percent more likely than the general public to have a smartphone. And they are using them all day, every day.

From researching family health questions to scheduling and documenting her kids' lives to diffusing her child's meltdown in the checkout line, mom's smartphone is her constant companion. It helps her save time, money, and her sense of humor.

For marketers, mobile represents fertile, new territory. But to reap the benefits of this new channel, you have to keep a few things in mind.

She L-O-V-E-S her smartphone
Mom has an emotional connection to her smartphone. It delivers a sense of confidence and accomplishment that decreases her stress. She is absolutely (and unabashedly) addicted, spending 37 percent of her media time on her smartphone, more than twice what she spends on TV. Mobile is the first thing she checks in the morning, the last thing she looks at before bed, and the media source she visits most frequently throughout her day. Mobile also enables her to easily fit guilty pleasures like music, entertainment, and gaming back into her media diet, by allowing her to "snack" on bits and pieces as she commutes to work, waits in the carpool line or relaxes after bedtime.
Marketing takeaway: The mobile media channel has a 24/7 prime time and mom is always tuned in. Creating multiple mobile touch points is not only viable, but advisable.

She demands utility
Utility is her new luxury. Motherhood adds 10.7 daily hours of parenting time into mom's already busy schedule. She needs to get more done in less time so she can spend more time with her family. Smart mobile solutions help her do both.
Marketing takeaway: Mom loves mobile because it helps her solve problems faster, better, and more efficiently than ever before. Help mom be better at her job and you win.

She knows what she's doing
Necessity is the mother of invention, and mobile is no exception. The demands of mom's fast-paced life have made her an accidental early adopter and a power user. The depth of her experience means she has high expectations. She knows about the latest technologies and expects solutions that integrate apps, ads, and browser tools in smart and effective ways.
Marketing takeaway: Mom's early adopter status means she's been there and seen that. If you want to impress her, you're going to have to bring out the big guns.

She's buying for two (or three, or four...)
Mom is the "pro-sumer" and her smartphone is her shopping tool of choice. Beyond entertainment, research, and staying connected, mom's smartphone delivers deals, retail access, on-the-spot comparison shopping, access to social opinions, and more -- at the exact moment she is looking for them. As the primary person shopping on behalf of her family, mom wields 1.7 trillion in purchasing power. She's spending more of those dollars via mobile than ever before.
Marketing takeaway: Mobile should not be an afterthought. It's central to how Mom buys; it needs to be central to how brands sell.

She's taking a new path to the register
Mobile has transformed the traditional sales funnel. Today it's more like a circular conveyor belt, moving around mom as she engages in research, point-of-sale activities, post-purchase advocacy, and her next round of research. Mobile tools impact her "moment of truth" choices at each stage. Even when she's standing in the store with the item in her hand, the sale isn't guaranteed. Mobile options let her purchase elsewhere with a few clicks. In addition, post-purchase engagement is more crucial than ever as social sharing tools amplify om's buying decisions. (A whopping 73 percent of moms talk to other moms as part of their pre-buying process.)
Marketing takeaway: Streamline Mom's path to purchase via mobile by creating connections between information and actions. Realize that you are no longer driving "just" to purchase. You are driving to a relationship. Think the experience all the way through.

Today is the mobile inflection point -- especially for mom. She's already out there -- smartphone in hand -- staying in-the-know, scanning barcodes, checking in, sharing news and information with friends. Brands that can give mom superpowers through useful, context-savvy, fun mobile tools will find their own value soaring. Mobile ensures brands never miss a mom ... no matter where she is or what she's doing.

Tina Sharkey is the chairman and global president for BabyCenter, the largest online resource for expectant and new parents around the world.

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Tina Sharkey, Chairman, BabyCenter, LLC, is a pioneer in the development of new media applications that bring value to consumers' lives, with more than 20 years of experience in the evolution of new media, ranging from the introduction of HDTV in...

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