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The elusive mom

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Who is this ‘mom’?

 

For the past 20 years my job has been to sell to ‘mom’.   You know, that woman between 25 and 60 who makes anywhere from $45,000 to $100,000 a year. She’s really busy apparently and loves her family a lot. In fact her whole self-esteem is wrapped up in how much she can do for them and how much money she can save the family in any given week. She loves them so much she lives to join loyalty programs, to coupon and plan for weekly shopping trips, unless she is making a quick on the go trip to a drug store, aka, the female convenience store to pick up milk and a prescription. Yea this information is super specific and makes ‘mom’ sound like.

 

Too often when I received a brief at work, this is the most I got about her. Moms are people, women typically, who are extremely complex and different from one another. Take me for example. I am a mom, a single mom with two kids who lives in a major metropolitan city. I live my life in a very intuitive way, not a lot of planning, but strangely Type A all the same. I get Tarot Card readings, do a lot of yoga, swear a fair amount and love wine. I would NEVER join a loyalty program, well maybe. In the past, I have voted for the same amount of Republicans as I have Democrats. I used to work with another ‘mom’ who was my complete opposite. She packed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich everyday, went to an evangelical church, lived in the suburbs, her household income was roughly the same as mine but her beliefs about the world and how she acted on them were completely different than mine. She and I ended up having a really close friendship and were always surprised by each other. But what would motivate her and how she would gage work was completely different than my lens.

 

I would love it if when we made briefs we used a character from TV or literature to build our story around. Say Anne Sexton, who was a horrible mother and really addicted to personal expression, much like mommy bloggers. Or say Hilary Clinton, who is a working mom and doesn’t say sorry. What we want from marketers to is acknowledge that our lives are complicated and we are complicated. More rich and deeper than being completely focused on making a weekly shopping list.

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