In the race to understand mobile and break away from banner ads, it is exciting to see new developments begin to unfold as this market matures. One recent trend is marketing to moms.
Let's take a look at three companies taking different approaches to shake up traditional ways of reaching this powerful demographic.
Women's publishing giant, Meredith Corporation, is no stranger to reaching moms with such national magazines as Better Homes and Gardens, Ladies' Home Journal, and many more. Meredith's brands are household (pun intended) names, but the company is not just a master of traditional media -- its mobile properties provide a dynamic, indispensable, resource for women.
Moms are the fastest growing segment to purchase smartphones, and to sweeten the experience for their audience, Meredith recently started offering consumer rewards on its mobile apps. Now, in terms of what it's already doing -- AllRecipes Dinner Spinner and Better Homes and Gardens' Must-Have Recipes, such as bookmarking a recipe or completing a shopping list -- moms can receive in-store coupons, product samples, and more. By taking a human approach, Meredith is making existing mobile moments in moms' daily lives more meaningful.
Marissa Mayer's reign as Yahoo CEO has been marked by the overhaul of several of the company's web and mobile products. Even the Yahoo logo hasn't been immune from her innovation path. Now she too has her sights set on moms. In February, she announced that the company's beautifully redesigned apps would be phasing out banner ads in favor of native ads.
About half of Yahoo's 800 million users are consuming its content on mobile, and these new ads place a greater focus on context. For example, within the recently launched digital magazine Yahoo Food, Unilever has been able to seamlessly reach culinary-minded moms with its food brands. Take a look at an example below:
This vote of non-confidence for traditional banner advertising was welcome news to hear. When big names like Yahoo bid adieu to these legacy solutions, and prioritize the user experience above all, it's a win for everyone in the industry -- users, developers, and brands alike.
When you look at the mission statements of most consumer-facing brands, there is usually one constant -- there's talks about how their products improve customers' lives. For all the care spent crafting a product that does that, it's puzzling that brands opt for banner ads, which fail to align with that experience. Yahoo's bold move is a fresh approach that breaks that mold and we hope more brands jump onboard with solutions that are engineered from the user down.
One of the companies that inspired our rewards model is American Express (disclosure: AmEx is an investor in Kiip). The company has really made a mark with its amazing rewards program, and it just introduced a new rewards credit card targeting moms on-the-go. The card integrates with AmEx's mobile app and allows moms to track and redeem rewards from its phones, which U.S. Consumer Services President Josh Silverman says "brings benefits to life more in context."
Did you notice a common thread across all of these companies? These new moves are all catered to targeting daily habits for moms. Mayer has emphasized that Yahoo's vision is to make the world's daily habits inspiring and entertaining. Abandoning banner ads is a promising start. Meredith is going beyond real-time marketing to real-time needs --addressing and allowing brands to enrich their consumers' everyday activities with relevant rewards. And Amex rolled out its new card with a TV campaign featuring actress Tina Fey humorously racking up purchases at a pharmacy, supermarket, and dry cleaner, with an appropriate hashtag -- #EveryDayMoments -- accompanying the spot.
Moms know they are a prime target for brands and are used to all forms of ads. The important thing is to make their lives easier and to stand out in a good way without annoying them.
This is where brands can truly shine.
Brian Wong is founder and CEO at Kiip.
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