We all know that mothers are a marketing force to be reckoned with, but recent data dictates that their influence is growing.   Controlling an estimated 80% of household expenditures – more than $2 trillion of U.S. consumer spending – their evolving media and technology habits are being closely watched by marketers.

Changing Purchase & Media Habits

Becoming a mother has a major impact on a woman’s buying and media consumption habits.  According to a study from BabyCenter LLC, 85% of moms say having a baby changed their purchasing habits. Before having children, women cared most about quality, features, and design and after children their top concerns were safety, quality, and price. Also, interest and purchase in certain product categories, like camcorders, life insurance and appliances, spiked during pregnancy and early motherhood.

Media consumption habits also change for new mothers.  Mothers tend to have less time for entertainment and focus more on getting their questions answered and buying the things they need.  This is where digital media comes in.


The Disney Company reported the results of a study last year that revealed moms spend an average of 24 hours online per week connecting with family, searching for information and managing their lives and their families’ lives. The study found that moms are generally task-oriented when they surf the Web.  Three out of four moms said they go to the Internet intending to complete a specific activity or goal.

Device of Choice

More recently moms have made a smartphone their device of choice.  Moms are 18% more likely to have a smartphone than the average consumer.  A study released in March by BabyCenter reported that more than half (53%) of the women surveyed said they purchased a smartphone as a direct result of becoming a mom.  More than half (51%) also say they are “addicted” to their smartphone.

For moms with smartphones, more time is spent on the Web from their phone than their PC (6.1 hours a day vs. 4.1 hours).  Overall a mom spends 37% of her daily media time with her smartphone — double that of time spent on television.

The Busy Mom

For the busy mom the smartphone is now an integral part of her shopping experience. In May 2011, research conducted by Graystripe found that 66% of moms use their smartphones while shopping.  They further reported that 45% of connected moms use their smartphones to locate stores, while another 36% utilize some form of price comparison app or service.

Moms are also receptive to mobiles ads, especially those with coupons, nearby local deals, and bar code scanning. As reported by BabyCenter, nearly half (46%) of moms have taken action after seeing an ad on their smartphones.

Implications for Marketers

These profound shifts in media consumption and shopping habits have major implications for marketers.  Mobile has become a critical element of the marketing mix for those wishing to connect with moms.  Navigating the myriad of options for mobile marketing as well as a wide variety of other digital platforms is made easier when you consider all options that are available to you and determine which meets your specific marketing objectives.