Marketing strategies win Mom’s loyalty by helping teens drive safely
Safety and health is a top hot-button issue for all moms. We write in Tuning Into Mom: Understanding America’s Most Powerful Consumer that the physical safety of her child is considered “very important” for 86% of moms—and that statistic includes moms of older children. Brands that can partner with Mom to keep her children safe will win her loyalty.
For moms of teenagers, her biggest safety concern is usually teen driving. Yet, for many moms, the convenience of having her child be able to do some of his or her own driving compensates for safety concerns. Carlotta, a mom of teenagers, illustrates this dilemma:
“Matthew’s (age 18) main problem right now is driving; he’s had two fender benders in six months. At least he hasn’t hit anything living yet. Having him drive is convenient for me, and it’s convenient for him. For instance, he just got done with basketball practice, so other kids would have to bring him home if he didn’t have a vehicle. He also uses his car for his pizza delivery job.”
Technology has combined with inexperienced drivers to pose new threats. Alicia, a mom of teenagers, discusses texting:
“One of the things is driving with the cell phone and the texting on it and paying attention while driving. I point it out and send it if there is something on the news. I sent all three of my children an email today about a crash that a young girl was texting while driving. That is a big safety thing.”
The facts are that more than one-third of deaths in the teen years are caused by motor vehicle accidents. This presents a marketing opportunity for brands to connect with both Mom and teen if they can successfully help the teen be a better driver. Some brands, like State Farm and Allstate, have gone out of their way to develop programs and marketing campaigns encouraging responsible driving to teens. Let’s take a look at the State Farm Steer Clear program.
State Farm’s approach is to partner with parents, teens and their own agents to promote safer teen driving. State Farm makes its marketing message authentic for moms and teens with initiatives that offer a local connection through State Farm agents in addition to broader, national marketing efforts. To qualify for the Steer Clear program, teens must practice driving under parental supervision, take a self-assessment and watch an instructional video. Once enrolled, they receive a 15% discount on their automobile insurance policy.
As part of the Steer Clear marketing strategy, State Farm used social media to connect with moms and become a partner in informing teens about safe driving habits. For example, on its Facebook page, State Farm previously included a hub for moms to discuss teen driving and to share tips about effectively speaking with their children about safe driving. State Farm and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia researched optimal strategies for parents in speaking with their children to create these tips.
The Facebook marketing initiative reinforced State Farm’s brand image as a “caring neighbor” by helping to enable family conversation about safe driving. With these initiatives, the company forges an emotional bond with mothers that goes beyond the discount. According to State Farm spokesperson Vicki Harper, parents find the biggest benefit from enrolling in the program is to make sure their children are safer on the road.
This marketing strategy and approach has worked for the company. Harper said enrollment in the Steer Clear program is growing, and State Farm has introduced new features to make enrollment easier for moms and their children, like a free mobile app that tracks teens’ driving time and provides them with safety tips.
State Farm and its agents organize local initiatives to encourage safer teen driver. For example, in the Mid-Atlantic region, agents created interest in the program by offering a dollar bill and marketing materials to all high school students who drove into high school parking lots with their seat belts buckled. Through their safety involvement, State Farm agents show a local, tangible commitment to social responsibility. As a result, State Farm is able to elevate its brand image through credible means.
State Farm reinforced its brand’s caring image through authentic, grassroots and national efforts to reach both teen and their moms to promote auto safety. By creating an emotional bond with moms, State Farm has increased enrollment in its Steer Clear program and has boosted its brand image with Mom as a company that helps her take care of her children.