Moms represent a $2.1 trillion market, according to the Marketing to Moms Coalition.

Dear Marketers, Recession is the mother of invention,” begins a full-page ad in the November 17, 2008, Advertising Age magazine.

The ad promotes Cookie magazine, a monthly targeted to mothers with the tag-line, “Life. Style. Family.”

I’ve thought a lot about Moms in the past two weeks in the context of marketing and health.

The State of the American Mom report from the Marketing to Moms Coalition was released. This quantitative study examines the impact of mothers’ choices on retail preferences and household decision making.

Two in three Moms find it appealing when ads try to relate to them as Moms. But only one-half of Moms believe that marketers are targeting them correctly; the other half do not. According to Moms, the best ways of positioning her in marketing are:
  • To depict her having fun with her kids (87% said so)
  • To show her multi-tasting (86% said that’s a good technique)
  • To make her laugh (86% again liked this approach).
It is no surprise that Moms do lots of things online. The most common online activities including checking/sending email, paying bills and online banking, reading news, checking the weather, researching products, playing games, shopping for the kids, shopping for self, planning travel, researching health care information, downloading coupons, and buying gifts for other people.

Another thing a few Moms have begun to do online is tweet on Twitter. Twitter is a mini-blogging tool that allows the user (the “tweeter” who “tweets”) 140 characters to get a message across–what she’s doing at the moment, what she’s reading, what she’s thinking.

By now, most readers of Health Populi have heard of the Motrin Moms tweets during the weekend of November 15, 2008. I posted about it here on Health Populi on Monday, November 17, in, Don’t cross Baby Mama — McNeil Will Need More Than Motrin For This New Headache.

The Motrin Moms social networking case study has ended with a whimper, not a bang. McNeil pulled the online ad, and in the few days that followed that, various social media and marketing observers opined about what the event meant. A few of the more interesting observations were the following:

Crashing Motrin-Gate – a social media case study, Advertising Age

And finally, did you know what consumer brands are doing pretty well these days? Those that promote staying-at-home, including home cookin’ goods like Campbell’s soup (the Financial Post of Canada called this, “the year of condensed soup”) and SPAM, the demand for which Hormel workers can’t keep up.

Health Populi’s Hot Points: Jane Brody, long-time personal health columnist for the New York Times, writes a terrific column today called Hard-Times Home Cooking, Made Easier.
In this piece, Brody quotes Marion Nestle, food researcher and author of the important book, What to Eat.

In her book, Nestle says, “Today, nearly half the typical family’s food budget goes for food prepared and eaten outside the home, where businesses with motives having nothing to do with health are in control of content and amounts.”

One of the great opportunities in the recession is to re-discover and reinvent cooking at home. Nestle, Michael Pollan, and many other enlightened healthy food advocates note that good food = good health.

Recession may indeed be the mother of invention, at least when it comes to cooking at home. Instead of breaking out the canned food, though, try and take a page out of Brody’s recommendations: cook ahead, freeze, brown-bag lunch, eat oatmeal. “You just may discover that it’s fun,” she says. I agree!

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