SYDNEY: The purchase decisions of Australian mothers are heavily influenced by both online and offline word-of-mouth, with Facebook being their preferred social media platform, according to new research.

Speaking at the Marketing to Mums conference in Sydney, Christie Nicholas, Founder & Managing Director of marketing firm Kids Business Communications, revealed that being mobile-friendly is critical for brands looking to target this group.

Nicholas, who is also the author of “The Billion Dollar Mum: What Makes Mums Buy Your Product”, identified social media as the number one source for product recommendations and reviews, followed by review forums, their children and lastly bloggers and influencers.

However, a bad review online doesn’t always mean the loss of a customer: “Mums want to be informed. They want to have a good idea about the product, and how it might fit, but then she’s going to make that decision regardless,” said Nicholas.

(For more on how Australian mothers are using social media, read WARC’s report: What Aussie mums really want from brands.)

The study looked at over 2,000 mothers across Generations X, Y and Z and found their most heavily-researched areas are education and healthcare services, baby items over $100, white goods, appliances, cars as well as services for health and the home.

And when it comes to sharing their own views, brands should recognise that mums are active offline as well as online: “There’s so much emphasis on cementing your voice with online activity… But alongside that, offline engagement is really critical. Both parts are equally important,” said Nicholas.

Brands also need to be aware that the “tipping point”, the moment at which a mother decides to make her purchase, may well be an offline interaction.

Therefore, they should consider touchpoints such as brand experiences, samples and events to encourage word-of-mouth interaction.

Nicholas also urged marketers to proceed with caution when interacting with social communities. “The moment that you try to intrude on her personal space, it’s not going to be welcomed as it would be if it was a two-way street and you invite her to be a part of your brand conversation.”

Sourced from WARC