Over the past 10 years, one of marketing’s hottest topics has been, “Marketing to moms.” And while marketers have been laser-targeted on figuring out how to reach the mom audience, they have, quite frankly, been ignoring me.
I’m one of the estimated 19 million women age 20-44 in the U.S. who do not have children – part of the group that is becoming known as the “otherhood.”
So, what do marketers need to know about the otherhood? First, we make up 47% of the women of childbearing age – and we’re well worth marketing to.
No children = more expendable income
Research shows that women without children spend 35% more per person on groceries, and tend to spend twice as much per person on beauty and hair care products. Brands and retailers can capitalize on this trend, especially in the beauty space. Offering a larger beauty or hair care section can transform a store into a destination, and using smart placement strategies can entice women to make additional purchases outside of the beauty category. A leader in this space is Target, which already has begun to revamp its beauty and skincare section, furthering its reputation as a beauty destination for female shoppers. Nearly 750 Target stores offer premium lines such as La Roche-Posay, and Beauty Concierge kiosks are being planned for additional locations in 2015. CVS also has announced plans to redesign its beauty section for 2015, with a focus on creating a specialty look and feel in-store.
With free time comes freedom to socialize – online and off
With no babysitter to schedule, women in the otherhood are free to spend their weekends – and weeknights – in any manner they wish. Be it a ladies lunch or a late night out, the otherhood is known to be socially connected, with 58% reporting that their friends are the most important thing in their life, and nearly one-quarter agreeing completely that they are “very sociable.”[i] This social behavior is especially evident online, where these women average 1,500 friends and followers, and spend 28 hours weekly engaging on social networks.
For brands, social sampling programs, such as Influenster’s VoxBoxes, can be impactful in terms of raising product awareness with the otherhood and their networks. When Martino Flynn worked with Softlips Cube as part of its VoxBox program, the impact was phenomenal. The program generated 31.1 million impressions overall, with 28.1 million of these on social media. During the Twitter party associated with the VoxBox sampling, Martino Flynn responded to more than 3,000 interactions, causing four Softlips-related terms to trend nationally. Beyond the social impact, 1.4 million offline conversations were held about the Cube.
The “otherhood” isn’t anti-children, it’s just child-free.
I have a niece, a nephew, and a goddaughter who just became a big sister. Like 80% of women in the otherhood, children are an active part of my life. Does this mean the otherhood aspires to be mothers? Not necessarily. 36% of non-mothers are so by choice.
Instead of always focusing on children + mother, or children + parents, brands can look for alternate family scenarios to make their products relevant to the otherhood. Imagine if Cheerios had an ad that featured a happy, fulfilled child-free couple. Or even just a single person enjoying breakfast while leisurely reading the Sunday paper. The otherhood may see children and the traditional family as an inspiration, but that doesn’t mean it has to be an aspiration.
To learn more about Martino Flynn’s research and consumer marketing capabilities, contact Rose Feor at email@example.com
[i] Women 25-44 who do not have children. From MRI 2014 Doublebase.