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Study: Moms make, trust in-person recommendations more than social media

BY Antoinette Alexander

CHICAGO — So who’s more influential: the Facebook mom, or the mom chatting up other moms at the school drop-off? 

According to "The Mom Next Door: How and Why Moms Make Recommendations," a new study released Tuesday at the M2Moms conference in Chicago by the 360PR MomSquad and Mom It Forward, 83% of moms make recommendations about brands in person compared with 53% of moms who make recommendations via social media. The majority of moms (59%) rated in-person recommendations at the top of the scale for trustworthiness, while only 14% of moms rated recommendations via social media as "most trustworthy."

The 360PR MomSquad is a national network of influencer-moms and is a service of 360 Public Relations. Mom It Forward is a social media community and worldwide network dedicated to enhancing the lives of women, their families and the communities in which they live.

According to the study, nearly three-quarters of moms (71%) make recommendations about brands, products and services to other moms at least monthly, with 50% making recommendations about brands daily. "We call these moms the recommender-moms, and it’s clear they’re looking to connect offline, though social media plays a role, too," explained Laura Tomasetti, CEO at 360PR. "Brands need to get to know the mom recommenders in their sphere and balance online activity with high-touch opportunities to engage these uber-influencers."

Gen Y paving the way online

While the study demonstrates the power of in-person, it also found that online social networks are important microphones for Gen Y moms. As compared with Gen X moms, Gen Y moms of infants to 3-year-olds are more comfortable relying on recommendations from moms in their online social networks. They’re the heaviest users of newer social platforms, such as Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram.

"Social media has an important role to play, especially with younger moms," stated Jyl Johnson Pattee, CEO of Mom It Forward. "Fifty-eight percent of moms use social media for more than one hour daily, with Gen Y moms indexing the highest. Interestingly, Facebook and Twitter are popular across the board, with no generational differences among moms."

The power of the mom next door

The study amplifies the role of "the mom next door" in brand marketing today, finding that 93% of moms are influenced by other moms’ recommendations. Moms surveyed said they interact with other moms most often at day care/school drop-off (58%), at a friend’s house (54%) or other off-line get-together, such as meeting for coffee, working out or shopping (48%). Moms of older kids (9 years of age and older) indexed higher for at-work conversations with other moms, while moms of younger children (infants to 3 years of age) indexed higher for conversations online.

While special offers continue to be the top motivator of mom recommendations (61%), more than half of moms said they make recommendations because it’s fun (54%) and gives them a sense of pride (51%). Moms said they rely on online reviews, including those by bloggers they read regularly, particularly for bigger purchases.

The Mom Next Door research by 360PR and Mom It Forward included interviews with more than 1,000 moms via a quantitative Web-based survey of 964 U.S. moms of children 12 years of age and younger conducted in August 2012 by Lindberg International, and a series of live events with 95 moms conducted September to October 2012, including in-home events in six regionally diverse markets and one online event.

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Survey: Most e-commerce companies expect better holiday sales

BY Katherine Field Boccaccio

Dallas — A survey released Tuesday by Chase Paymentech, a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co., found that online companies are expecting the 2012 holiday shopping season to be better than last year.

According to the Chase Paymentech eHoliday Shopping Monitor, 59% of e-commerce companies surveyed expect better sales volume this season than in 2011, while almost half (47%) expect it to be better than pre-recession levels in 2007.

This survey arrives ahead of the Chase Holiday Pulse, which, for the seventh year, will present actual aggregated daily payment processing activity for 50 U.S. online retailers.

“E-commerce payment activity provides a unique window into the country’s economic health during the busiest shopping season of the year,” said Mike Duffy, president of Chase Paymentech.  

Nearly half (45%) of the companies surveyed expect to see an increase in their e-commerce sales over last year, and 53% expect their e-commerce holiday sales to remain similar to last year. On average, these companies expect more than half (51%) of their holiday sales to come from e-commerce. While the e-commerce cash register rings, mobile commerce is expected to account for only 6% of holiday sales.

However, nearly half (45%) do not believe average ticket prices will change from last year and only 39%) expect average ticket prices to be higher.

Despite the expectations for a strong shopping season, the e-commerce companies surveyed expect that they will face some marketing challenges over the coming months. More than half (52%) indicated “reaching new customers” would be “significantly challenging,” followed by “offering competitive pricing” (25%) and “reaching return customers” (23%).

Of those who plan to use digital promotions, companies said Facebook (86%) and Twitter (70%) are the social media sites they plan to use most to reach customers.

The vast majority (65%) surveyed believe the 2012 shopping season will have a positive impact on the U.S. economy. Overall, 80% say the U.S. economy will either remain the same or improve over the next 12 months, compared with only 20% expecting conditions to get worse.

 

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Supermarket industry vets Richard Juliano, Austin Noll join Park City Group board

BY Antoinette Alexander

PARK CITY, Utah — Park City Group, a provider of consumer goods supply chain technology, has tapped food industry insiders Austin Noll Jr. and Richard Juliano to serve on its board. Peter Brennan, who has served on the board since 2009, has announced his retirement from the board for personal reasons. All moves are effective immediately.

The group represents all areas of the retail grocery, convenience, foodservice and discount channels, as well as trading partners and industry groups.

“The addition of Rich and Austin creates a powerhouse board of directors, extending our already impressive reach into retailers, distributors and manufacturers throughout the industry. Through these relationships, we now have access to most of the key executives at leading food and supermarket companies across the country and will use these connections to expand our footprint in the sector,” stated Randall Fields, chairman and CEO of Park City Group.

Juliano currently is engaged with the Radian Group, based in Minneapolis, and operates his own consulting firm. He began his career with Giant Eagle Super Markets, becoming the SVP and general manger of the GM/HBC division and then SVP merchandising and marketing of the Phar-Mor division. Juliano then served as EVP at Thrifty Payless Drug and VP marketing and merchandising at Genuardis Family Markets in Philadelphia. Most recently, he was a senior executive at Supervalu, joining the company as EVP supply chain services for the central region and then moving to the corporate retail group as VP of GM/HBC, and ultimately group VP center store merchandising.

Noll is the owner of Austin Noll & Associates, a trade relations and industry affairs consultancy based in New Jersey. Noll started his career with General Foods, spending 22 years in sales related positions. He then became VP trade relations for the grocery division of Borden and was promoted to VP industry and trade relations, before moving to Nabisco as SVP industry and trade relations.

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