Marketing to Moms – a Language Barrier

Monica Vila / January 26th, 2012

Before attending the recent CES Show in Las Vegas – my 12th consecutive visit to this, the annual tech pilgrimage. I ventured a prediction to my husband: “As much as I hope this is not the case, based on the PR barrage I have received prior to the event this year, I think many of products aimed at women at the Show will STILL be mostly pink”.

Although I can admit this was not entirely the case and the MommyTech section of the Show encompassed almost exclusively fitness gadgets, nail polish machines, and rhinestone accessories for my smart phone and tablet, my disappointment came from a different source.

Tech marketers are still only speaking in speeds and feeds.

With a few notable exceptions – new technologies demonstrated by consumer electronic brands – large and small, highlighted exclusively the power of the processor, the water-resistant casing, the speed of the memory and more – but I seldom heard “and this is what it means to consumers”.

Why is it is so difficult to make that translation? Tech retailers do the same thing. At a recent experience in Best Buy looking to buy an SLR camera, the salesman focused on the quality of the lens, talking about pixels, the number of crystals and even explained how the light is processed inside but he never said: “And all this means that you will confidently take the best, most pristine pictures to capture your most special memories”.

It is 2012 people. Women and moms in particular account for two-thirds of consumer purchases and they are speaking up, engaging brands, sharing their experiences and recommending products they love on Twitter, Facebook and pinning pictures on Pinterest.

Speak to us in plain language; highlight the benefits of speed, durability, and reliability in terms that support our daily life. Such as: “it will be fast and ready when you need to make that call”, or “it will endure the wear and tear of 11 YO triplets at home”.

Even geeks like me, need to hear how your technology will enhance our lives.

Oh and please, drop the “best of breed” – I can’t even translate what that means to me!

Monica Vila

Monica Vila is Co-founder of www.TheOnlineMom.com – an organization devoted to promoting a healthy understanding of family technology and helping tech brands connect with moms. Follow her on Twitter @TheOnlineMom
  • qka

    Right on!

    Call me a fanboy, but this is what Apple does so well in their ads; showing people using their products in realistic use cases (and with a slight tug on the heart strings). Android gives us ads with sci-fi robots battling it out. How does that relate to my choice of a smart phone?

  • You’re right. My husband hardly takes any photos, I’m the photographer in the family, but when we get a new camera he wants to know the megapixels. Just like when we are in shopping for a car, it’s all about horsepower and 0 to 60 acceleration. Women don’t want stats. We want to know how well the product gets the job done. Are the pictures good? Is it easy to focus? Can I open the trunk with the key fob? Are there cupholders for the kids? Is it comfortable to drive?

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