There is probably no other word that holds as much importance in effective marketing to mothers than the word relationship, and no other generation places more value on the word than Millennial Moms. It’s a word that I typically tie to adjectives such as relevant, timely, meaningful and transparent. As marketers, while we know relationships are important to every generation of moms, the Millennial Moms have predictably upped the ante.
Knowing how these Millennials grew up (everything customized, on demand, a trophy or ribbon for participating) means that relationships are raised to a whole new level. Millennial Moms have enjoyed meaningful relationships since childhood. From the admiration of their parents to the faith and confidence instilled by coaches and educators, these women were raised to believe anything is possible. Their upbringing certainly carries over to how they view brands and which brands they choose to engage with on a regular basis.
With the media touting this group with labels like “the next great generation”, companies raced to be friends on Facebook. Millennials have relationships with Instagram followers that “like” their outfits, Pinterest followers who re-pin favorite foods and text groups who use emojis to express their feelings for each other. Relationships are everywhere these moms look and this creates a real challenge for brands; to not only establish a relationship with Millennial Moms but also create the type of relationship that is engaging, transparent and relevant. It seems like it should be easy with all the tools we have at our disposable.
Facebook allows us to see what posts and “Likes,” Twitter gives us the chance to follow conversations about our products and Pinterest and Instagram illustrates in almost real time how they are communicating. But herein lies the problem. There are thousands of brands using those same tools to get the attention of Millennial Moms. Some say that community chat apps like SnapChat will be the answer, allowing us to have one-on-one relationships with customers. Unfortunately, the analytics aren’t there yet and the required manpower required to individually monitor a SnapChat account with thousands of followers is costly and time prohibitive.
Instead, I suggest examining the tactics you are using and the content you are delivering to Millennial Moms. Marketers who are still spending thousands on gaining “Likes” on their Facebook page are wasting their money. “Likes” on Facebook reminds me of the data hubs once possessed by car manufacturers. Companies like Ford and Chrysler had tons and tons of data on individual customers, yet only used 2% of it to maintain current customers or obtain new ones. My opinion on data collection is very strong. If you don’t know what you are doing to do with the information, there’s no need in collecting it from the consumer. It’s that simple. If you can’t define how you will use the “Like” or what it means to your overall marketing plan, then it’s worthless.
Because relationships between a brand and a Millennial Mom are important, I suggest that you don’t start one until you have a very clear plan on how you intend to maintain it. You only have one shot when it comes to the Millennial, so you’d better be transparent and it’d better be real.