Like a lot of brands, Citi wants to be where the moms are. Or at least a place online where about 25 million moms hang out each month. Citi and Johnson & Johnson's BabyCenter are announcing a partnership that aims to help moms -- or, as they say, the "chief everything officers" of families -- make financial decisions.
Maybe it's because there's a bank involved, but this is no touchy-feely scenario. As the first act of the partnership, Citi paid for a BabyCenter study called "How Much Will Your Child Cost You?" with a no-nonsense price-of -baby calculator. A progeny ROI formula, so to speak.
At a time when trust in banks isn't exactly booming, a marketing campaign that asks "How much is your kid costing you?" is an attempt to get on the right side of the financially frustrated mom, the figure in the family who often controls the purse strings.
"BabyCenter's report helps identify the financial challenges and opportunities moms need to prepare for," said Vanessa Colella, Citi's head of marketing, North America Consumer Bank. "Citi provides the tools and expertise moms can use to stay on top of it all."
Why is Citi focusing on moms? "We know moms make financial decisions. Some are large, like adding an addition to the house; and some are small, like 'Should I take a weekend with the girls?'" said Ms. Colella. "It's important for us to be there when people are making financial decisions. Ultimately that 's Citi's business." This kind of marketing is less transactional and more holistic. Rather than having the customer seek out the bank, the bank is approaching the customer where she hangs out -- at the intersection of finance and family.
BabyCenter reached out to its member network and asked moms to identify the financial challenges they face. Approximately 1,000 women answered questions about how money impacts their decisions -- including ones as difficult as whether or not to have another child or choosing retirement for themselves vs. education for their kids. A BabyCenter spokesperson said the partnership will keep evolving as the two companies research ways to help women make better financial decisions.