Thursday, 21 March 2013

First-ever major UK mum study goes back to the school gates

This week has been a very exciting one for MumPanel as we launch The Big Mum Opinion. You can find out more about the study in the press release below.

Specialist family insight and marketing consultancy MumPanel, has launched the first in-depth study of UK mums and their views on the products and services that brands offer them.

“The Big Mum Opinion will be the first large-scale qualitative and quantitative investigation of mothers’ purchasing attitudes and preferences in Britain,” said Lynne Barcoe, Founder of MumPanel. “This study goes way beyond number crunching and categorising mum types according to their household spend. We are going back to the school gates and the children’s groups to hear mums’ thoughts first-hand, and find out the real complexities of being a mum. Particularly, what that means when it comes to buying goods for themselves and their families,” she said.

The consultancy, which has so far helped many family brands to understand and connect with their mum customers, from Organix to Soreen, believes there is a huge opportunity for brands to really connect with mums out in their worlds, improving communication, products and services and giving them what they want.

Barcoe, who has more than 10 years’ senior marketing experience, said: “While brands now have more data at their fingertips and more touchpoints to connect with mums, it is not as helpful as it may seem on the face of it. Mums are telling us that brands are not always getting it right; we want to look at why this is and what they should be doing. The Big Mum Opinion is all about understanding the real face of mums and removing the risk of misinterpreting them by providing quality workable evidence and insight that brands can pick up and run with.”

Mums like Charlotte from London: “We’re not just mothers, we are friends, daughters, workers, partners. We have hobbies and pastimes, likes and dislikes. I feel like no-one quite gets me and that I’m still represented by the mum stereotypes of old,” she said.

MumPanel’s Head of Marketing, Nicola Cooper-Abbs, added: “Lately there is too great a reliance on online data but we know most mums don’t spend their lives online. This is creating a red herring for brands, as the opinions of mums are narrowed down to a small minority who are always online. We also see research that is much too biased on quantitative data and missing supportive in-depth qualitative data. So mums are labelled up and filed according to the box they ticked online.”

MumPanel’s Big Mum Opinion, which launched this week, will focus on getting the real views of mums out in the field, in their natural environment, from the school gates to the toddler and children’s clubs, as well as online – in fact the Big Mum Opinion promises to take in most mum touchpoints. The team will speak to around 4,000 mums in a variety of settings, including their Opinion Pods, and will track mums’ journeys from start to end.

Cooper-Abbs, said: “Where MumPanel really adds value is in our marketing skills and knowledge. We are not a parenting forum we are mum marketing specialists who gather quality research and insight from our mum panelists and combine it with authoritative analysis and commentary. This gives brands a real understanding of their customers and concrete evidence to work with at the end of it all.”

She concluded: “If brands want to attract their slice of the parent pound they need to understand the opinions of all their customers, not just a select few, and how to feed those opinions back into the products they are developing, campaigns they are planning and the services they’re delivering. The Big Mum Opinion, which will be published 22 May 2013, is a must read for brands who count mums as a primary customer.”

For more information on the Big Mum Opinion, visit:

For more information you can contact Rachael Tilling at The PR Station: m 078 1111 9430

Monday, 4 March 2013

Top 5 tips for marketing to mums

With Mothers’ Day on the horizon we thought we’d put together our top five tips for marketing to mums.  The biggest issue we encounter when companies market to mums is that they don’t really seem to understand where mums are right now  - what is going on in their lives, what plays on their minds when it comes to making purchases, where budget would be best spent to get mums to buy. 

  1. Know mums. That may sound an incredibly obvious statement but think about it for a minute. If you are a marketing manager and not a parent are you really sure you can relate to mums – do you understand their fears and worries? Do you shop in the same way they do? Do you know what they want from your product or service? Do your research – use focus groups, social media and surveys (on and offline) to dig into what mums want. 
  2. Mums don’t always follow the rules. The common approach when it comes to research and marketing is to break down a target audience into segments – often working on the basis that they will purchase in a certain way based on socio-economic or geographic factors.  But it’s different for mums – we’re hard to segment.  Mums 'with money' can be penny pinchers who shop in charity shops because they don’t have their own income. Mums with little income will go without so their children can have the best.  It can be useful to look at targeting mums based on grouping such as having children of a similar age but segmenting might not always give you the best insight.
  3. Be aware of where mums are. We’ve seen some statistics this year that have told us all mums are online, spending hours on facebook. This isn’t a true reflection of what’s happening out there.  Mums over 35 often don’t use social media at all. Think about where mums HAVE to be everyday – schoolgate, children’s clubs or in their own social circle.
  4. Word of mouth still rules. Whether it’s face to face or amplifying through social media, word of mouth is still the most powerful and long lasting way to connect with mums.  That’s because mums trust other mums.
  5. Give mums what they want. The easiest way to get mums to buy is by giving them what they need. You can identify gaps in the market by carrying out research and then sense checking concepts with mums. That way you’ll know you are on target to a good product.

If you’d like to know more about research or marketing to mums give us a call at MumPanel.