More than ever, young adults are relying on their parents, especially Mom, to help them make life decisions. Advice ranges from what detergent to buy to where to attend college to what one should wear for a job interview.
The current generation of teens and young adults, Millennials, are much more engaged with their parents than previous generations. Millennials view Mom as a valuable resource, who can help with research and decision-making.
Here’s an example of frequently seeking Mom’s input from Nicole, a young adult in college:
“My mom and I are really, really close. When it comes to food, she knows about this stuff. I definitely call her and ask her about getting the right nutrients and vitamins. And also about calories and cholesterol. It was hard eating at the college cafeteria, no way to tell about calories. Also, I have food allergies, and I will call her to see if I can eat it [some specific food]. My mom researched my soy and olive oil food allergy more than me.”
Mom’s important part of a young adult’s decision-making process has been all but ignored by most companies’ marketing strategies. The traditional marketing wisdom in these age ranges is to focus on the teen or young adult directly, and marketing to mom is often avoided for fear of alienating the actual consumer. But this “common knowledge” is quickly becoming obsolete.
Marketing teams who develop strategies that appeal to both Mom and her young adult offspring can expect to be rewarded with success. In the food realm, I’ve seen such strategies. An example marketing campaign could include cooking competitions that bring Mom and young adult together— this event would encourage and celebrate the family bond.