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Mums want a life beyond motherhood

News, 12 October 2015

LONDON: Brands seeking to engage with mothers should recognise they have a broad set of needs that go beyond the conventional image and expectation that they should be "super-mums" at home, a new survey has revealed.

Based on responses from 1,000 British mothers with children aged under 15, publisher Time Inc. UK and Starcom Mediavest Group, the media communications agency, discovered women are disillusioned with being viewed only as mothers.

Their MUMentum study revealed the great majority (91%) say they need a life outside of being a parent and almost three-quarters (64%) believe it is important to make time for themselves and their partners away from the children.

Some 78% say it is important to take time out to have a laugh with their friends while more than a fifth do not identify themselves as a mother first and foremost.

A key finding is that mothers build their lives around a complex set of needs and the report advised brands to understand these needs in order to converse with them at an individual level.

These needs are identified as comfort, challenge, inspire, inform and share with comfort emerging as the most important requirement for British mothers.

Almost three-quarters (65%) define comfort as being "relaxing" while 55% define comfort as "security" and 46% define it as "feeling content", Retail Times reported.

Brands should also consider the importance of mobile when talking to mothers, the report advised after finding that 71% keep their mobile turned on 24/7 while 65% take their mobile to bed with them and say technology saves time and makes life simpler.

Catherine Westwood, group editor of Essentials and GoodtoKnow at Time Inc. UK, said these "MUMentum Mums" represent a "brand new wave and emergence of women".

"[They] have less of the try-hard, must-do attitude, accepting that they can't do it all, who are mobile savvy and a powerful consumer force with specific needs," she said.

"They are disillusioned with being viewed only as mums and want to be valued as confident and passionate women," she added.

Earlier this year, Warc published an article by Adrian Nicholls, the UK head of digital at shopper activation agency Geometry Global, which set out seven key tips for brands seeking to reach mums online.

Among the recommendations, brands were advised to focus on individuals rather than stereotypes, to listen carefully and build an open and honest exchange.

Data sourced from Time Inc. UK; additional content by Warc staff