If you’re in a business in which parents are among your bread and butter clientele, you’re not alone. Many industries seek to target, acquire, and retain moms and dads who are looking for solutions and willing to pay for them. Whether you run a swim school, a children’s clothing retailer, or a delivery service for busy parents, you likely have discovered that this group is your greatest revenue generator.
But while parents can be financially stable and actively seeking products and services that fit their needs, they can also be a tricky group to reach. For starters, some parents are proactive and some are reactive (and some could be one or the other depending on the situation). Furthermore, moms and dads are notorious for having busy schedules and constantly multitasking. This can make it very challenging to get their attention – and keep it long enough to make a sale. Here is some insight at what the buyer’s journey looks like for parents to assist your marketing efforts and focus when marketing to parents.
The first big question to consider is where today’s mothers and fathers are spending the bulk of their time so you know how to allocate your focus and marketing dollars. Parents are notoriously strapped for time, so they often seek out products or services on their smartphones when they get a rare free moment in their day. They also tend to like using providers like Amazon that can deliver a wide array of products at practically light speed. It’s well documented that many parents spend a considerable amount of time engaging in social media and skimming how-to articles about parenting, family, “life hacks” and other content that promises to save them time, improve their family relationships, or make life a little easier.
So how does this help you? First, make sure your website is mobile optimized and responsively designed so this audience can enjoy an intuitive and friction-free experience when they use your site on their phones. Ain’t nobody got time for a janky mobile site. Second, if you sell products, look into selling them through Amazon, Etsy, and other online retailers that parents use frequently. Third, consider paying for advertising on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, or in publications like Parenting, Focus on the Family, and more.
The next aspect of a parent’s buying journey to take into account is their motivation behind the purchases they make. This part is relatively simple to figure out, but it’s still important to define which pieces of this puzzle could apply to the parents you’re targeting. This will help you to refine your marketing messages and make sure they’re being heard by your audience.
So, why do parents make the purchases they do? It usually boils down to one (or more) of the following three reasons: they want to save
time, they want to save money, or they want to do something better and/or more efficiently. For example, if you have an app which helps people get a better night’s sleep, you could focus on how your product will give parents back their quality sleep and help their kids to get the rest they need for healthy development.
Another key part of the “why” within a parent’s buying journey is the power of recommendations. Oftentimes, parents go with referrals from a friend or family member, and if they’re making a decision in the moment and don’t have time to research, this may be especially true. We suggest you offer referral incentives if applicable to your business.
Next, it’s key to think about what time of day (or even the time of year) to help you reach your buyers best. Again, you must first get in the mind of a parent before you can understand the “when” of the buying journey.
To begin with, parents often window shop because they may not have time to complete a transaction in one sitting. If you sell items online, make sure to add features like saving your shopping cart or saving items to purchase later. This can greatly increase the likelihood the person will follow through with a completed transaction.
Furthermore, parents usually want instant gratification (because let’s face it, they’re all in a time sensitive situation). If they’re calling your business, it might be because the baby just went down for a nap or they’re sitting at a doctor’s office and are kid-free for a few minutes. If you aren’t able to be quickly responsive, you might lose their business. Take note if you have a product or service that can help alleviate illnesses or acute health issues in children, your responsiveness is especially crucial. When a parent is trying to help their child and is panicked for a solution, you want to be there ready to give them what they need in those crucial moments.
One more note about timing is that parents often conduct transactions at strange hours (late at night after the kids are asleep or early in the morning before the kids are up). Because of this, remember to make sales and information requests available 24/7 if possible. If you can’t have someone available to answer questions at odd hours, at the very least include an FAQs page on your website and consider offering an ebook with further information about your business that can be downloaded at any time. You should also consider creating short videos explaining your company, differentiators and the value parents would receive from your products or services. The main takeaway here is to try to ensure that your buyer can get information and complete a transaction at any time, night or day, with or without your help.
Lastly, it’s time to think through the “how” of a parent’s buying journey. Tying into the sentiments above, it’s important to make transactions something that can be done in a matter of a few clicks. If you make the transaction too complex, you’ll lose parents. If you can implement a one-click purchasing system like Amazon does, all the better. But if this isn’t doable for you, make sure customers can save their information in your system so they don’t have to fill it in during every purchase. Offering PayPal as a payment method, or a social login feature, can help save busy parents time as they check out from your online store.
These tactics can help the transaction go smoothly and quickly, which is the ideal outcome for you and your customers. But there’s one more factor to remember: emotion. Parents are, by their nature, highly protective of their family and children and deeply invested in their well-being. If you can appeal to their parental instinct and emotion, you’re far more likely to connect with this group. Include testimonials on your site that are from other parents that new visitors can relate to, and hit on the benefits your products or services will provide to their children. If you can demonstrate that you will make not only their lives better, but the lives of their kids better too, you’ll hit a homerun every time.
Reaching parents in today’s busy digital age can be difficult, but if you consider their typical motivations and methods of purchasing, you’ll be well on your way to gaining your business’s share of the parent market. If you would like to know more about how to tap into this unique buyer persona, please contact us! We’d love to chat.