Mobile Moms, Mobile First

Oct 24 2013

Mobile Moms, Mobile First

AOL and InsightsNow recently conducted a study to find out what moms of young kids are doing on their smartphones and how marketers and publishers can engage with them on mobile. This research comes as a follow-up to AOL, InsightsNow and BBDO's 2012 Explor award-winning 7 Shades of Mobile study that uncovered the underlying motivations for why people use their smartphones and that 68% of smartphone usage occurs at home.

When we dug into the 7 Shades of Mobile data by demographic, we noticed something really interesting – moms use their phones a lot, especially moms of young kids. In fact, our results revealed some surprising data: moms of young kids spend 22% more time on their smartphones every month than the average Millennial! "This is even true for moms of young kids who aren't Millennials (mostly Gen X). Older moms of young kids spend 19% more time than Millennials on their smartphones every month (2200 minutes)." Furthermore, the number of minutes per month that moms of young kids (ages 0-5) use their phones is more than the average mom, the average woman and the average man. Overall, moms of young kids use their phones more than any other adult.

So, why are young moms spending so much time on their smartphones?

Life transforms for women once they have children. A woman’s responsibilities and obligations change significantly when they have kids, and they also have less time for the things they used to do, so their smartphone becomes a lifeline. It’s a tool that can morph into whatever she needs it to be, helping her learn about and manage her new responsibilities and stay connected with her passions, interests, and friends from before she was a mom.

Key insights for marketers include:

  • Moms of young kids spend so much time on their phones that mobile may be the first place they are exposed to new brands and products, especially as it relates to their kids.
  • In order to engage with moms on mobile, play a role or several roles that tap into how she uses the phone to help her manage this transitional time in her life.
  • Ultimately, the phone fills 7 different roles for moms of young children, but focus on Escape Hatch, Social Hub, and Personal Shopper because these are the biggest and thus represent the biggest opportunity for marketers and publishers.
    • Social Hub: Moms use their phones as a Social Hub 48% more than the average adult by turning to social networking sites, social games and places where she can talk to other moms. This role takes place most in the morning, with another lesser peak in the evening. They are also shopping socially, using their phones to virtually “shop with their girlfriends” since they don’t have time to do that in person anymore.
    • Escape Hatch: Sometimes she just needs a break from being a mom so she turns to her phone as an Escape Hatch. She does this 30% more than the average adult by visiting entertainment sites and apps, social, search, news, etc., primarily in the evening, presumably after the kids are in bed. She also escapes by getting in some retail therapy – shopping as an escape on her phone because the in store experience is not as therapeutic with kids in tow.
    • Personal Shopper: She uses her phone as a Personal Shopper 30% more than the average adult, checking off items on her shopping list from toys to groceries to personal care products for her children. She is shopping on her phone pretty much all day via shopping related apps and sites and 68% of this shopping happens while she is at home.

Take into consideration that the same basic actions may fulfill multiple roles. If we are looking at shopping as an example, these moms shop on their phones for different reasons during different times of the day: so, be her Social shopper in the morning, her Personal Shopper throughout the day and her retail therapist at night when she is shopping as an Escape.

For more on our research findings, take a look at the research.



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