Cracking the word-of-mom code is the Holy Grail for brands marketing to moms today. But who’s more influential – the Facebook mom or the mom chatting up other moms at school drop-off? According to The Mom Next Door: How and Why Moms Make Recommendations, a new study released at the M2Moms conference by The 360PR MomSquad and Mom It Forward, 83% of moms make recommendations about brands in-person, compared to 53% of moms who make recommendations via social media. The majority of moms (59%) rated in-person recommendations at the top of the scale for trustworthiness, while only 14% of moms rated recommendations via social media as “most trustworthy.”
According to the study, close to three-quarters of moms (71%) make recommendations about brands, products and services to other moms at least monthly, with half of moms (50%) making recommendations about brands daily. “We call these moms the recommender-moms and it’s clear they’re looking to connect offline – though social media plays a role, too,” explained Laura Tomasetti, CEO at 360PR. “Brands need to get to know the mom recommenders in their sphere and balance online activity with high-touch opportunities to engage these uber-influencers.”
Gen Y Paving the Way Online
While the study demonstrates the power of in-person, it also found that online social networks are important microphones for Gen Y moms. As compared to Gen X moms, Gen Y moms of 0 -3-year-olds are more comfortable relying on recommendations from moms in their online social networks. They’re the heaviest users of newer social platforms, like Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram.
“Social media has an important role to play, especially with younger moms,” said Jyl Johnson Pattee, CEO of Mom It Forward. “Fifty-eight percent of moms use social media for more than one hour daily, with Gen Y moms indexing the highest. Interestingly, Facebook and Twitter are popular across the board – with no generational differences among moms.”
The Power of the Mom Next Door
The study amplifies the role of ‘the mom next door’ in brand marketing today, finding that 93% of moms are influenced by other moms’ recommendations. Moms surveyed said they interact with other moms most often at daycare/school drop-off (58%), at a friend’s house (54%) or other off-line get-together, such as meeting for coffee, working out or shopping (48%). Moms of older kids (9+) indexed higher for at-work conversations with other moms, while moms of younger children (0-3) indexed higher for conversations online.
While special offers continue to be the top motivator of mom recommendations (61%), more than half of moms said they make recommendations because it’s fun (54%) and gives them a sense of pride (51%). Moms said they rely on online reviews, including those by bloggers they read regularly, particularly for bigger purchases.