The Balancing Act: Marketing to Moms AND Dads

The Balancing Act: Marketing to Moms AND Dads

As we’ve discussed before in my article “I am Dad, Hear Me Roar,”, the vast majority of dads today are involved with parenting, along with household responsibilities and chores.

The Marketing to Moms Coalition State of the American Moms 2012 Report looked at parenting priorities of moms and dads and found high levels of agreement among both on the importance of safety, education, healthy food, exercise and good communication.  There was a difference however, in the intensity of focus, with moms on average 18 points higher than dads on these measures.

Moms are more intense about parenting

There is also a difference on the perception of who is bearing responsibility in households with both mom and dad present.  Specifically, Mom sees herself as taking on more responsibility across a broad range of areas; and may only recognizes a major contribution by Dad in the areas of yard work and home repairs.

By contrast, Dad is likely to recognize Mom in the lead for laundry and packing school lunches, but then is more likely to see a multitude of parenting and household tasks as shared.

Mom thinks she does everything, but Dad says he is giving equal time

What does this mean for marketers?  We’ve already seen examples of brands that are recognizing dads increased role, such as Kraft’s research on how dads approach mealtime.

Another example comes from the UK. Supermarket brand Sainsbury’s recognized Dad’s role through an ad featuring the kid-classic song “Bare Necessities” from Disney’s The Jungle Book. Even without the music, the message comes through of dads’ parenting and moms’ approval.

When Mom and Dad have different perspectives on what parenting in their own household looks like, it can be challenging for brands to appeal to one without alienating the other. Still, brands must decide how to balance, whether it’s marketing to both moms and dads, or focusing on one or the other. In modern households, both moms and dads are decision-makers and purchasers.  The Sainsbury’s example above shows it can be done in an effective and charming way by thoroughly understanding both customer segments and developing meaningful marketing strategies.

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    Michal Clements

    Michal is co-author of Tuning Into Mom and an experienced consultant. Michal develops winning growth strategies and detailed go to market plans for some of the world’s outstanding organizations including McDonald’s, Gatorade, Abbott, Barilla, Tylenol, Clorox, Key Bank, Eagle Ottawa, Quaker and the Baker Demonstration School.

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