Mums Mafia Research


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Polestar Communication's latest research gives an interesting insight into a vital, influential group within the traditional Housewives and Kids audience called 'Connected Mums' - an audience with the power to build or destroy brands..."

This new quantitative study into the 'Mum Mafia' across England provides a departure from reductive assumptions such as 'Yummy Mummies' and 'the Mumsnet Phenomenon'.

The research sheds new light for marketers on the self-identity, attitudes and network behaviours of upmarket, Connected Mums.

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  • More stay at home mums due to recession Formerly career women, they have ‘professionalised’ the role of mother Online has driven connections with other mothers, both virtually and with real world meet ups A powerful network has evolved as a result, that brands and even politicians have to take more seriously. From Joshua G2 research: word-of-web (WOW) is alive and strong among this demographic, with 84% of mums using the internet to share information on events and going out (11% higher than average), 59% of mums using the web to share travel tips and 27% of them regularly visiting social networking websites (still 2% higher than the total population). Strong uplifts can be seen in the areas of fashion and beauty: 50% of mums use the web to share fashion tips (20% higher than average) and 40% to discuss beauty tips (24% higher than the general population). These are significant figures, and they require some explaining. Justine Roberts, co-founder of social networking website Mumsnet and one of the experts interviewed for the study says “efficiency” is one of the key reasons the internet has such a powerful pull for mums. “It has replaced that missing community that women need. It’s an incredibly efficient way of finding friendship and networking, and in that sense it fills a massive cultural gap for mums.”
  • We decided to speak to a group of women we consider to be valuable, from an advertiser’s point of view; upmarket mothers across the country who are active online.
  • We are referring to these women as Connected Mums. The majority of mum’s currently on maternity leave plan to return to work. The biggest proportion are working part time or are self employed.
  • We wanted to get under the skin of how these women see themselves after having children. What do they choose as their identity? A whopping 93% are happy to describe themselves as a “Mum” but not a housewife, even though their main job is being a mum.
  • Mums Mafia Research

    1. 1. Connected Mums Research July 2010 This presentation is the intellectual property of Polestar Communications and must not be sent on or reproduced without prior consent
    2. 2. Motherhood has changed * TNS Digital Life Survey, 2009
    3. 3. A ‘Mum Mafia’ has emerged A more connected network than ever before ..A force to be reckoned with Happier to define themselves as ‘Mums’ but not ‘Housewives’ Online & offline too
    4. 4. Mums are powerful consumers 1: A.T. Kearney Research Women are responsible for 62% of decisions behind new car purchases Responsible for 90% of food purchases Responsible for 80% of healthcare spending decisions 1 ! Women are responsible for 83% of the household spending decisions
    5. 5. Modern motherhood has its own pressures Yummy Mummy phenomenon Celebrity ‘bump watch’ glamorises & fetishises pregnancy alongside ‘ticking clock’ articles Competitive Mums 78% say one-upmanship at the school gates is “ridiculous”, but they “just can’t help themselves” 1 1: Daily Telegraph, 10 June 2010 2: Joshua G2/ Marketing Week 31% claim brands appear patronising and often perpetuate the “super mummy” myth 2
    6. 6. Polestar mums research <ul><li>The nature of motherhood has changed dramatically </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ A lifestyle choice’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Starting point of a career </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More visible, more connected </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More pressured, higher expectations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Polestar’s 2010 research set out to ask UK mums directly how they have responded to these changes </li></ul>
    7. 7. About the research <ul><li>Methodology: Anonymous online survey </li></ul><ul><li>Sample: 100 ABC1 Mums with an internet connection, living in England </li></ul>Regionality Age profile
    8. 8. Broadly, Connected Mums are in work and at a senior level – but the nature of work is very varied Middle management Junior management Support N/a
    9. 9. How Connected Mums view their role Celeb mums have changed how motherhood is perceived (62%) It’s far more acceptable to define yourself as ‘a mum’ (93%) than as ‘a housewife’ (19%) But motherhood is still hard graft (94%) & less respected than ‘work’ (67%)
    10. 10. How Connected Mums view themselves as a group All agree: 89% All agree: 66% All agree: 81% All agree: 90% Mums are more connected Mums are more influential Mums are more valued as consumers
    11. 11. Where Mums connect online Social Networks: 2 key players Mums Networks: More fragmented usage Around half of those using the Mums networks claim they get something different from each site
    12. 12. Networked behaviour: varying degrees of involvement
    13. 13. Mum networks are valued.. But only up to a point Mums enjoy the reassurance that comes from connecting with other Mums But they in no way replace real life connections
    14. 14. These career women have found motherhood has its pressures, too Desperate Housewives Money Looking Good Parenting Skills <ul><li>85% are ‘house-proud’ </li></ul><ul><li>69% like baking for visitors </li></ul><ul><li>69% expect money to be tighter next year </li></ul><ul><li>63% worry about money </li></ul><ul><li>60% spend more on clothes for their children than for themselves </li></ul><ul><li>71% wanted to shift the baby weight, fast </li></ul><ul><li>69% feel pressure to look good </li></ul><ul><li>62% report competition between mums </li></ul><ul><li>83% say ‘no way am I mumsy’ </li></ul><ul><li>88% compare notes on child development milestones </li></ul><ul><li>61% say they are made to feel there is a right/wrong way to be a Mum by gurus like Gina Ford </li></ul>
    15. 15. Peers can be a source of pressure as well as support and a real-life support network comes from multiple sources
    16. 16. How Connected Mums feel motherhood has changed them
    17. 17. Conclusions - Professionalising the role of ‘Mum’ <ul><li>Expectations on being a ‘mum’ have never been higher </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pressure to run & manage a household and its finances.... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> an excellent parent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>....return to work / start up a business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>....whilst still looking good </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Yet, with status & pride in the role on the up, and their increasing influence recognised, Mums are grasping the initiative using the full range of tools at their disposal </li></ul>
    18. 18. Conclusions - The Connected Mum <ul><li>Actively using the technologies & skills learnt in professional life to help them skill-up & cope with the stresses of modern parenthood </li></ul><ul><li>Online networks play a critical role </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Staying connected </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Over 70% feel more reassured by belonging to these networks </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>80% would recommend them to friends </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reassurance & influence </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Online networks support their desire to gain & transfer knowledge </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>One in ten uses them to drum up support around issues </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Around a third posts questions and comments </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Use of online networks is fragmented & not homogenous </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Draw on a variety of different networks rather than dominant sources </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It’s not all about community sites such as Mumsnet - product & service brands have a valued role to play </li></ul></ul></ul>
    19. 19. Conclusions – The Connected Mum <ul><ul><li>Primary source of support networks remains off-line </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It’s here that they draw on immediate support of family, friends & neighbours </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Critically for brands, face-to-face advocacy outstrips online </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>by 7 to 1 </li></ul></ul></ul>
    20. 20. Implications for brands <ul><li>Modern mums are an audience of immense value & influence </li></ul><ul><li>More connected than ever, they offer the ultimate advocacy opportunity </li></ul><ul><li>There’s a genuine opportunity for brands to be part of their network if they empower mums with tools and add value to their lives </li></ul><ul><li>Think beyond community based online networks – they are only part of the solution </li></ul>
    21. 21. For more information contact: Kiran Kaur: [email_address] +44 (0)207 089 6591 Megan Butler: [email_address] +44 (0)207 089 6589