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Target Moms' Buying Power Learn the top 5 ways to maximize sales from this enormous market.

By Kim T. Gordon

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In the U.S., there are 75 million mothers, all of whom influence 85 percent of their household purchases. That's about $2.1 trillion per year in spending, according to the Marketing to Moms Coalition. So what are they buying from you?

If your target market comprises this vast group of women with children under 18 at home, then the newest information and trends on their shopping and purchasing decisions are critical to your success. Nielsen's Moms Annual Media Survey shows that these busy, time-strapped consumers use TV and e-mail the most on a day-to-day basis, followed closely by websites. And when these moms are online, the M2Moms Coalition survey confirms, their most frequent activities include paying bills, reading the news, researching products and shopping.

The key to marketing to moms is providing the right message, and employing tactics that factor in the economy and their shopping characteristics. Here are five smart ways to do this:

  1. Help moms find you. Nearly one in every five people online is a mother between the ages of 25 and 54, with at least one child under 18 living at home. Moms do research and shop online to save time and money, and heavily rely on search engines. Optimize your website to rank higher in organic searches and invest in a paid advertising campaign on major search engines.
  2. Provide deeper content. Nowadays, consumers are shopping harder and visiting more websites before making any purchases, and moms want to be reassured that they're making the right decisions for their families and their wallets. Upgrade the content on your website to include reviews, testimonials and in-depth product and service information, as well as your company's background and staff. If your business is going green or contributes to a nonprofit cause, be sure to let shoppers know. Demonstrating social responsibility provides an important reason for moms to choose you vs. competitors.
  3. Get active in social media. Viral campaigns--via social media--are still quite new, but are gaining a foothold. Moms rely on recommendations and gain info by sharing feedback about their impressions of a product or service. Participate in the sites your customers use, including Facebook and micro blog Twitter (especially TwitterMoms.com). Seek out other mom-specific sites with discussion forums that relate to your type of product or industry, and do more than simply issue sales plugs. Offer advice, make comments and watch for opinions that affect how or what you sell. M2Moms reports 16 percent of moms use formal blogging networks, with that number increasing every day.
  4. Enlist influential ambassadors. A more concrete and trackable way to gather positive recommendations is to establish an advisory group of mothers to review your products or services and offer their advice on them. You can do this by using your website to assemble an online panel of moms who are fans of what you market. Offer them the opportunity to be the first to see new introductions, receive free trials, valuable coupons or rewards, and post messages or blog on your site. Be prepared to accept both positive and negative feedback, and make sure to respond in a supportive way. These advisors will become your ambassadors both online and offline.
  5. Make buying fun. Thanks to our challenging economy, do-it-yourself is in. And in-home parties, where moms can get some well-deserved relaxation and pampering are popular. Do you offer a personal product or service? Have influential moms host in-home parties, where using and buying products--for anything from hair and nails, to clothing or household and baby products--are fun, and, especially--affordable. You'll earn sales while gaining positive word-of-mouth attention that will quickly spread from mom to mom.
Kim Gordon is the owner of National Marketing Federation and is a multifaceted marketing expert, speaker, author and media spokesperson. Her latest book is Maximum Marketing, Minimum Dollars.

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