The biggest myth about marketing to moms, as sung by Marlo Thomas.

duh can The biggest myth about marketing to moms, as sung by Marlo Thomas.

I love when people describe Maternal Instinct as a “niche” marketing agency.

As if moms are some sweet little segment — a mini slice in the pie chart of consumer spending.  Numbers don’t lie. Moms are the most profitable segment out there — controlling $2.1 trillion in consumer spending in the U.S. They dwarf every other group. So why does the myth of moms as a niche persist?

One reason: people assume marketing to moms = selling infant products.

Maternal Instinct has never worked on a diaper account.
Or a stroller account.
Or a car seat account.

What we have (and do) work on are airlines, jewelers, online games, hotels, cars, health clubs, sex products (gasp!), aging-parent resources, stationery and many other categories.

You see, to quote an earlier blog post, marketing to moms does not always mean you are marketing about motherhood. Rather, you are solving a need for a time-pressed woman who happens to live in a household with children. Marketing well to mothers is about understanding the rhythms and priorities of her life. It does not mean you have to hire a “stunt kid” to place in your ads. You might not even reference the words “mother” or “family” in your entire campaign. But if you solve a problem for her, she will open her purse. And she will tell her friends.

So the next time you hear the words “marketing to moms,” build a new association in your mind. A musical one. Cue up the lyrics from “Parents are People” — a 30-year old piece of wisdom from Free to Be You and Me

Mommies are people, people with children
When mommies were little, they used to be girls
Like some of you, but then they grew
And now mommies are women, women with children
Busy with children, and things that they do
There are a lot of things a lot of mommies can do

Some mommies are ranchers, or poetry makers
Or doctors or teachers, or cleaners or bakers
Some mommies drive taxis, or sing on TV
Yeah, mommies can be almost anything they want to be

pixel The biggest myth about marketing to moms, as sung by Marlo Thomas.