SoLoMo (social, local, mobile) is changing the way people, especially American “shopper moms,” are interacting with brands and products. To set the scene, consider that 93% of modern day moms have access to the Internet at all times (via smartphones and tablets), spending roughly six hours a day on their smartphones and every third minute on a social network.  Compare this with ten years ago when only 17% of moms believed the Internet was important and spent less than an hour online a day. Now the smartphone has become a life remote, guiding the mom throughout the day. What once was a mommy club meeting at a local coffee shop is now an online community forum for sharing information about motherhood and the products and services that make it easier.  No longer can we treat the mom as the shopper and the family as the consumer; Mom’s increasing Internet access is changing the way she influences household purchase decisions. And if you’re still not convinced the SoLoMo Mom is here to stay, here are some powerful new statistics:

  • 77% of moms are following one brand on a social channel
  • 42% of moms have used recommendations on a channel to make a purchase decision
  • 80% of working moms get most of their information from online sources like messages boards or forums and 75% could not live with out them

The SoLoMo mom interacts socially, lives locally, and is connected mobile-ly; so how do we use that to reach her most effectively? How do we spread out the mix of media types in an advertising campaign to reach her? What is most cost effective? The key is in the three “C’s” – context, content, and constant.

Let’s start with context. If done well, brand presence on social networks drives traffic to sites and stores.  It is important therefore to inject your brand into the places the SoLoMo mom is looking for product information and to carefully select the touch points of where to advertise to the mom. Knowing what you’re advertising and the relevant context of where to advertise it is a good starting point. You’ll also need to know more about the consumer. When targeting the consumer, geography matters. Brands need to display the right message to the right person at the right time and place. The good news is that emerging technologies are making it easier to pinpoint that information and can tie a person, via their device, to a particular location (including their home zip code) at any time.  The data isn’t very valuable, though, unless it can be applied to customizing ad content for the SoLoMo mom at the appropriate time and place.

Dynamic content is one way of customizing ad content on the SoLoMo mom’s device. With dynamic content, a custom ad can be triggered by a particular location, type of device (desktop, tablet, mobile), time of day, weather, shopping season, and more. Understanding and applying location data is essential in making campaigns cost effective so that your brand isn’t wasting impressions. You wouldn’t want to show a mobile back-to-school ad for OfficeMax to a mom who is currently thirty miles from the nearest OfficeMax.  Instead, try setting up geo-fencing around a store and dynamically trigger an ad that is unique to the mom, suggesting it may be a convenient time to pick up paper towels and laundry detergent at the Target on the corner.

When it comes to content, brands need to be conscious that their ads are always displayed around brand safe content and that they are represented across multiple ad formats and multiple screens to be noticed in today’s busy ad world. For instance, it is becoming increasingly important that a brand advertises with high impact display ad units, uses video, and is on mobile devices.

Finally, let’s discuss what I mean by constant. When people ask me for the most effective integrated marketing mix, I encourage them to shift their mindset. It’s not about the mix; it’s about never losing an opportunity. Advertisers should always engage across display, mobile, and video and should work with a company that can have ad campaigns converge across all screens. If an advertiser remains constant across screens with the right content in the right context, AND they are measuring and adapting campaigns, they can always keep the desired percentage profit and return on advertising investment. The secret is in keeping an eye out for campaigns that are making money and constantly move money around to optimize your investment; real-time media mix optimization if you will.

Remaining constant is also highly connected to mobile. Mobile drives opportunity to stay in front of consumers at all points of the day, especially now that the SoLoMo mom’s device has become her “life remote.”  Moms are always on the go, playing taxi and running errands, and they end up doing their shopping when it is most convenient. As an advertiser, make sure that your brand is at her fingertips when she goes looking on her mobile device. If she has researched a particular item at home, tell her when she’s nearby a place she can go buy it. If your brand can be personal, relevant, and timely, you are on the right track.

Engaging the SoLoMo mom effectively is about context – advertising on social networking sites, in community forums and at the time and place, content – using a variety of formats on multiple channels in brand safe places, and constant – never missing an opportunity and always optimizing campaigns.