Consumer


It’s that time a year again when holiday shopping is top-of-mind [among marketers] to get consumers in their stores and purchasing their goods. Red is not only the color of the suit Santa Clause wears, it’s also the color of the flag I raise to alert marketers to not being so narrow minded in their target consumer this holiday season. 

Red flag: MOM may not be your only target audience.

I am not a mom, but neither are 50 percent of American women!  So marketers, stop ignoring us. The shiny new toy has been for a couple of years now – marketing to moms, mommy bloggers and the like – however, you are missing the buying power of a huge, and may I remind you influential, set of women.

It’s not the moms who control and influence 85% of household purchases; it’s women as a whole. In fact, recent Census data states that even fewer women are having children than before.  Melanie Notkin, CEO and founder of www.savvyauntie.com, says, “we are the consumers marketers should be focusing on because we have the time, money and influence they are looking for.”

Featured on www.bsmmedia.com, Lori, an engineer who is 34 and married with 3 kids, says she spends $200 a month on children’s clothes.  That may be important to some companies like OshKosh, but there are a whole lot of non mothers who I know spend that and more a month buying clothes, shoes and beauty products for themselves and often others in their households especially when it comes to holiday shopping.

The site also goes on to say that in order to best appreciate the awesome power of mothers as consumers, simply visit a popular park in your town. Within minutes of sitting next to a sandbox you’ll hear mothers compare health coverage, gather input on baby foods, critique the hottest family vacation destinations, and utter their two cents on the latest political race.  That might be true, but that means they are not working and don’t have their own disposable income, but I know other women who do…let’s take a look at them by perhaps not visiting a park, but a local fitness facility. Within minutes of sitting in the early stages of a spin class, you’ll hear non mothers talking about their jobs, what they are cooking, where they bought their sneakers, jewelry, and other accessories and clothing all while talking about the upcoming weekend’s festivities. These women are also seeking suggestions from each other on what to buy for their loved ones during the holidays.

How does this play out online? According to eMarketer, single women and female boomers, spend more time and money online than any other demographic. Yet, this market is essentially neglected by most advertisers and marketers. It seems that most of the money online is being spent targeting moms through influential Mommy Bloggers and mom related web sites such as www.momcentral.com, however, marketers won’t reach 50 percent of women by solely focusing their marketing spend there.

If you want to be successful with your holiday campaigns, simply knowing that women are your market is not enough. Marketers must understand WHO she is to connect with her effectively. Think in terms of life stages, not ages. Take the time to listen to her about who is important to her, where she shops and how she likes to spend her time. Engaging a woman could mean a single woman, a mom or even a married woman without children. How you speak to each is going to differ every time.

As you develop your plans for the holiday season, don’t forget people like me, who shop every weekend buying anything from clothes to accessories to books to make up and even some stuff for my husband and my niece and nephew. I’ll be shopping and so will the 50 percent of woman like me. We have buying power, are influential and love to shop!

-Denise Vitola

thought leadership

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