I thought things would get better. I really did.
It took a while for large companies to realize that moms were more than brownie baking, car pooling, soap opera watching, laundry folding, tsk-tsking beings. After large brands realized mothers came in numerous variations, they realized that weaving into the purchase intent of those mothers took work. A lot of work.
What kind of work?
Old fashioned relationship building, but for the digital era. I’m talking everything from hosting car assembly plant tours, kitchen cook offs, tech fashion shows (I ran this while at Motorola), overnight trips in museums and straight up information gathering via meetups.
We aren’t there yet, but brands are staffing up their internal social media teams and directing their agencies on specific direction versus waiting to be told what to do.
Meanwhile, the startup space is starting to scare me. New games, apps and ideas are being built, which is fantastic. Now that those ideas are seeing daylight with actual investment, startups seem to panic and think, ‘We need users, fast.’
After a quick scan of various resources like eMarketer, they come to find out that women, especially mothers, are the most powerful force online. From purchasing power to times spent on social networks, the numbers add up to ‘GOLD MINE’ for new technologies.
Startups meet with their advisors and tell them of this incredible finding. Next thing you know, an intern or junior person of the startup begins spamming reaching out to women assuming these ladies are dying to use the app or game (think Zynga on steroids).
Let’s assume a fair number of moms decide to use the app or play the game. Cool, no harm done. I would argue that this number, over time, will decrease. Why? Because women are a savvy bunch of online users. They don’t do something new or adopt a new platform with nothing in return for their efforts. What do I mean by this?
The mom who is invited to see how a car is built has a new relationship/in/street credit with that automaker. It’s a coveted and special relationship that many may never come across.
The mom who gets to spend a night in Disneyworld with her kids, care of the brand, just built a slew of new memories. All care of the brand.
So what exactly can the startup offer their new, abundant and active social media target? Aside from more impressions, users and clicks required by The Street?
And this is why the assumption that women and moms would clamor to try something new is ill advised.