To Reach Mom, Go Mobile

A BabyCenter Study Finds That Moms Are Adopting -- and Loving -- Their Smartphone Lifestyle

By Published on .

Mr. . AdAgeStat, a newly minted mom of three, just got an iPhone. The Macbook is kind of hard to hold when you've got a boppy kid or three in your lap. An iPhone is much more manageable, portable and, for lack of a better term, realistic. Within a week, she joined the ranks of the mobile moms, posting photos and video on Facebook, emailing on the run and downloading new songs for herself and the brood.

Meanwhile, a friend is lamenting the loss of his iPad to his wife, a new mom. She finds it helps her stay connected while she's on maternity leave. He wants to get a new one for himself.

As he says, we have First World problems. And we're not alone.

In a recent study about Mobile Moms, BabyCenter found that becoming a mom is a trigger for embracing the mobile devices, which can be ironic as our mobility is mostly limited to moving between the kitchen and the all-purpose living room/nursery/home office/dining room. The study cites Morgan Stanley data that estimates 2011 will be the year where more smartphones and tablets will ship than notebooks and desktops. More than half of moms they surveyed said they purchased a smartphone as a direct result of becoming a mom. The camera became the most important usage for the phone, and apps to help keep herself organized and her kids entertained went from not needed to essential.

So you have huge adoption of a new set of technologies by a hugely important marketing segment. But should marketers care? Does any of this impact shopping habits?

Um, yes.

Sixty-two percent of moms said they change brands when they have kids. While 68% use their smartphones while shopping, putting them well over index. And 46% agree that the time they want to get information about products is when they are in the moment of shopping for it. And since they're hugely social, they're using their phones to both get and share information about brands, products and the cute little familial additions who use them. Awwww...

Also, their study found sizable correlation between having a smartphone and moving toward a more digital mix of media consumption. So if you're not reaching them through their mobile device, you have less and less chance to reach them at all. But the good news is that if you do reach them in this space, they'll listen. Forty-six percent took some form of action after seeing an ad on their mobile device.

Smartphone chart

A quick grain of salt on methodologies. We're always a little wary of in-group surveys like this, but this study was a mix of BabyCenter users and general population. Here's its fine print: "The study captured the opinions and behaviors of moms and members of the general population through an ethnography of 23 moms with smartphones that included over 1,000 text logs, 200 video entries and 32 hours of in-home interviews, followed by an intensive series of six surveys of 5,000 mobile moms and the general population, including a survey conducted with Socratic Technologies comparing moms recruited from the BabyCenter 21st Century Mom Panel with nearly 1,000 members of the Socratic Forum."

Most Popular