What does it mean to be a parent? What comes to mind when you picture a mother or father?
Depending on who you ask, you’ll receive a wildly different answer.
A single parent who’s also a successful entrepreneur. A stay-at-home dad who raises the kids while his wife pursues her career. Two mothers who evenly split parenting duties. These are all valid examples of parenthood and speak to the real challenge of marketing to the mothers and fathers of the world: diversity.
With that in mind, here are four things to account for when designing your parent-focused marketing campaign.
Stay Away From Gender Roles
As noted in a 2017 blog post published by Google, the days when women were the primary caregivers of the household are behind us. Modern parents are breaking down stereotypical gender roles and fathers are becoming more involved in the lives of their children than ever before. Advertisements and marketing messages that exclusively target one gender run the risk of alienating your audience.
It may seem counterproductive, but don’t focus your marketing on what your audience does as parents. Instead, focus on their relationship with their children, their hobbies, their passions, and their wants and needs. Focus on them as people rather than caregivers.
Be Authentic. Be Respectful. Be Compassionate.
Too many brands use shady marketing where parenting is concerned. Some do so by targeting children directly, attempting to manipulate mom and dad into a purchase through the kids. Others twist the knife with fear-based marketing tactics, preying on common parental fears in an effort to drive sales.
To be frank, both approaches are patently unacceptable. They are disrespectful at best, and downright unethical at worst. Moreover, they simply do not work in the long-term.
“Making people feel afraid, guilty, or sad won’t take you far,” explains Alina Gorbatch, Market Research Manager at Awario, developer of the critically-acclaimed SEO PowerSuite. “Most will switch off the TV or quickly scroll down the page not to be exposed to those feelings in the first place … Fear is not motivational.”
Understand the Generational Difference
Millennials have, as a whole, redefined what it means to be parents. We are not normally fans of generalization, but this fact is undeniable. Per Google, modern parents are more connected, involved, and authentic with their children.
They spend more time with the kids than their parents did. They have open, candid conversations and involve their children in household decisions. And they take a real interest in their childrens’ hobbies.
Focus on the Family
What does it mean to be a parent?
Many, many things. The parental demographic is now more diverse than it’s ever been, and parents are savvier about marketing and advertising than ever before. That may seem intimidating, but so long as you bear in mind what we’ve discussed here and treat prospective customers like people rather than sales leads, you’ll do just fine.