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How brands use data to target new mums

Insight • By GED GANLEY • 29 September 2016

New mums are an exciting demographic; but it’s evident when looking across the marketing landscape, brands need to be doing more to better target and resonate with them.

Targeting mums as a single group is too scattergun, for instance. To achieve success, brands today must combine data with an informed understanding of the emotional and rational motivations behind the buyer decisions of new mums.

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This is particularly true of the FMCG sector, which has a unique opportunity to add value to women’s lives during this important life stage. To do so, they need start where it really matters: with new mums themselves.

How much data is too much or too little?

All marketing activity requires empathy, but when it comes to targeting new mums, brands need to steer clear of generic boardroom conceptions of what a new mother values, wants and needs. They need to delve deeper, to collect more specific data and use this to drive and influence their marketing.

Pampers has done an exceptional job at creating a level of tacit trust with new mums, without asking for reams of data. Pampers can now offer new mums a bespoke and tailored experience to help guide them through pregnancy and beyond. By clearly indicating why Pampers would like certain data from expectant and new mums, the brand was able to clearly highlight why, how and where it could assist them.

Simply put, this strategic data collection has enabled a more complete understanding of the pregnancy cycle and the specific touchpoints that line the path. It’s not about spamming potential customers with offers – a savvy approach allows refined, targeted messaging around significant stages both pre- and post-natal.

A shared journey

Pampers now hosts a content hub with videos, articles and helpful tips designed to make the lives of new mums easier. In a sense, the Pampers website is positioned as a destination for learning and dialogue, rather than just a channel to sell products. Collecting and making sense of data has helped Pampers carve out a position of trust in the marketplace, which goes a long way towards influencing shopper mindset and decision-making.

As we saw in our research, What Matters to New Mums, trust and transparency are critical factors in maintaining a healthy relationship between customer and brand. The Pampers brand unequivocally fits the bill. The added value of trust can be seen in social sharing and product recommendation, as it was shown that new mums are becoming increasingly tech savvy and word-of-mouth marketing still reigns supreme. If brands can instil trust in the hearts of new mums, these individuals are more likely to share product ideas with their wider social circle. In an age defined by social networking, this is a key piece of the puzzle that new mums rely on and continue to turn to.

A snug fit

Through a simple and well-designed strategy, Pampers has succeeded in building a positive brand image. So how can brands in the FMCG category look to emulate this success?

By tracking online behaviour, brands gain a greater understanding of individual people and can respond with a programme of tailored communications, including relevant and engaging content. For example, FMCG brands could link a CRM programme with an app like MyFitnessPal to help new mums monitor calorie intake and nutrition information when breast feeding. A trusted brand can then advise on the best health practice and suitable FMCG product partners.

The key with collecting data is to re-assure the consumer that their data is secure; ensure that the data is relevant; ensure only the minimum amount of data is collected, and show there is some type of value exchange on offer. In the case of Pampers, new mums can provide their due date and, in exchange, they will receive access to freebies and discounts, as well as an established online community and knowledge centre. By recognising, understanding and valuing new mums, brands will find that their target audience will be happier to share more information and engage in an open dialogue.

FMCG brands can use this to stay engaged with new mums along the entire pregnancy journey. All it takes is the ability to meld human insight – the emotional and rational drivers of new mums – with strategy and the correct data set. The result? A more personal, empathetic marketing approach that manages to offer more value to new mums.

A fast moving look at the market

A check-up on the FMCG market geared towards parents reveals that most brands in this space are failing to recognise and tap into the pregnancy cycle. However, one pregnancy nutrition brand, Mumkind, is building their brand image around the pregnancy journey, looking at key stages like ‘trying to conceive’, ‘first, second and third trimesters’, all the way to ‘baby arrives’. Just like Pampers has done.

Taking a leaf out of Pampers’ book will help other FMCG sundries, food, drinks and vitamins brands to think about audience targeting from a wider point of view. This, combined with a reasonable and mutually consenting collection of data, will enable the brand of today to create moments of magic that keep new mums coming back for more tomorrow.