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					 Connected Mums Research

 July 2010
This presentation is the intellectual property of Polestar Communications and must not be sent on or reproduced without prior consent
        Motherhood has changed

                                    An increasingly connected network –
                                               with real clout
                                  British Housewives have the biggest internet habit in the
                                        world, spending 47% of their leisure time online*

                                      Spending power – the Mum Pound
                                  Women are responsible for 83% of household spending

                                               Mums under pressure
                                   Even though they do not work in the corporate world,
                                  they are still ambitious and competitive, wanting to be
                                                  the best at their “profession”

* TNS Digital Life Survey, 2009
A ‘Mum Mafia’ has emerged

                            Happier to define
                              themselves as
                             „Mums‟ but not

      A more connected
      network than ever
                          ..A force to be
                          reckoned with

   Online & offline too
       Mums are powerful consumers

                           Women are responsible for 83% of
                           the household spending decisions

                              Women are responsible
                               for 62% of decisions
                                 behind new car

                                                                  Responsible for 90% of
                                                                     food purchases

                                                  Responsible for 80% of
                                                  healthcare spending
1: A.T. Kearney Research
       Modern motherhood has its own pressures

                                                                           Competitive Mums
                                                                       78% say one-upmanship
            Celebrity „bump                                               at the school gates is
          watch‟ glamorises &                                          “ridiculous”, but they “just
          fetishises pregnancy                                          can‟t help themselves”1
           alongside „ticking
              clock‟ articles                    Yummy Mummy

                                   31% claim brands appear patronising and often
                                   perpetuate the “super mummy” myth2
1: Daily Telegraph, 10 June 2010
2: Joshua G2/ Marketing Week
Polestar mums research

• The nature of motherhood has changed dramatically
   –   „A lifestyle choice‟
   –   Starting point of a career
   –   More visible, more connected
   –   More pressured, higher expectations

• Polestar‟s 2010 research set out to ask UK mums directly
  how they have responded to these changes
About the research

• Methodology: Anonymous online survey
• Sample: 100 ABC1 Mums with an internet connection,
  living in England
       Regionality                          Age profile






                                    20-29       30-39     40-49
Broadly, Connected Mums are in work and at a
senior level – but the nature of work is very varied
        Working status
                         On maternity leave & plan
                         to return to work
                         On maternity leave & don't
                         plan to return
                         Working full time

                         Working part time
                                                 How would you describe your professional
                                                30               level?

                         Stay-at-home mother
                                                25                                Before…

                         Unemployed             20




                                                      Senior   Middle       Junior     Support   N/a
                                                               management   management
   How Connected Mums view their role

  Celeb mums have                                             But motherhood is still
                            It‟s far more acceptable to
    changed how                                              hard graft (94%) & less
                          define yourself as „a mum‟ (93%)
motherhood is perceived                                      respected than „work‟
                            than as „a housewife‟ (19%)
        (62%)                                                        (67%)
How Connected Mums view themselves as a group
                    All agree: 89%

                    All agree: 66%

                    All agree: 81%

                    All agree: 90%

Mums are more    Mums are more         Mums are more
 connected         influential       valued as consumers
Where Mums connect online

                                               Around half of those
  Social Networks:
                                             using the Mums networks
   2 key players                                  claim they get
                                             something different from
                        Mums Networks:               each site
                     More fragmented usage
Networked behaviour: varying degrees of
Mum networks are valued.. But only up to a point

Mums enjoy the reassurance
that comes from connecting   But they in no way replace
      with other Mums           real life connections
These career women have found motherhood has
its pressures, too


                                        • 69% expect money to be tighter next year
• 85% are „house-proud‟                 • 63% worry about money
• 69% like baking for visitors          • 60% spend more on clothes for their children than for

            Looking Good
                                                                Parenting Skills

• 71% wanted to shift the baby weight, fast      • 88% compare notes on child development
• 69% feel pressure to look good                 milestones
• 62% report competition between mums            • 61% say they are made to feel there is a
• 83% say „no way am I mumsy‟                    right/wrong way to be a Mum by gurus like
                                                 Gina Ford
Peers can be a source of pressure as well as support and a
real-life support network comes from multiple sources
How Connected Mums feel motherhood has
changed them
Conclusions - Professionalising the role of ‘Mum’

• Expectations on being a „mum‟ have never been higher
   –   Pressure to run & manage a household and its finances....
   – an excellent parent
   –   ....return to work / start up a business
   –   ....whilst still looking good

• Yet, with status & pride in the role on the up, and their
  increasing influence recognised, Mums are grasping the
  initiative using the full range of tools at their disposal
Conclusions - The Connected Mum

• Actively using the technologies & skills learnt in professional life
  to help them skill-up & cope with the stresses of modern

• Online networks play a critical role
       • Staying connected
           – Over 70% feel more reassured by belonging to these networks
           – 80% would recommend them to friends

       • Reassurance & influence
           – Online networks support their desire to gain & transfer knowledge
           – One in ten uses them to drum up support around issues
           – Around a third posts questions and comments

• Use of online networks is fragmented & not homogenous
       • Draw on a variety of different networks rather than dominant sources
       • It‟s not all about community sites such as Mumsnet - product & service
         brands have a valued role to play
Conclusions – The Connected Mum

• Primary source of support networks remains off-line

  • It‟s here that they draw on immediate support of family, friends &

  • Critically for brands, face-to-face advocacy outstrips online
    by 7 to 1
Implications for brands

• Modern mums are an audience of immense value & influence

• More connected than ever, they offer the ultimate advocacy

• There‟s a genuine opportunity for brands to be part of their network
  if they empower mums with tools and add value to their lives

• Think beyond community based online networks – they are only part
  of the solution
For more information contact:

Kiran Kaur:

                +44 (0)207 089 6591

Megan Butler:

                +44 (0)207 089 6589

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