Parents are Social and Cross Channel Consumers

Parents are Social and Cross-Channel Consumers

It’s pretty easy to start thinking that demographics are just about age and gender, but of course, there’s a lot more to it than that. What channels people frequent are affected by where they happen to be in their lives and what they are focused on. Those stages and the inherent priorities are important flags which marketers should be sensitive to.

According to a report from Media Audit (as reported by eMarketer) on social media users, where we happen to be in life means different frequency and usage of different channels.

It won’t come as any surprise that younger respondents with no kids are the most active on Facebook, Twitter or Myspace. However, the study also found that adults with children were much more likely to be on social sites. More than 60% of those adults with kids living at home used Facebook, Twitter or Myspace. Parents with young children under six were the most avid users with 67.1% responding they had been on one social site at least in the past month, while 58% of parents with teens reported the same usage.

When you have a kid (especially if it’s your first) you are always looking to share information and learn from other parents. You also want that sense of perspective – you are not the only one going through stressful times. And of course, proud parents love to share their joy.

Parents sharing isn’t something is new, but something which is just easier to do online and thus social has become a powerful tool for parents to share resources and support. The meetings which once may have occurred in church basements or community centres, now take place online.

These online communities which are loaded with resources are very attractive because how involved you get is up to you. You can jump right in or simply “lurk” and soak up the information and advice. As well, it’s important not to discount the fact that the information can be accessed at the convenience of the user and so, fits into the busy day of a parent.

Young parents represent a demographic with an above average propensity to make big ticket purchases such as cars, PCs and appliances. You have to know video and digital cameras are also big on their shopping lists.

Parents are also extremely mobile. While the study didn’t focus in on smartphone usage, we would all do well to remember that parents are cross-channel and always on the move. They’ll go wherever they have to go in order to get what their kids need and they won’t spend anytime looking for a brand which isn’t convenient to their fast paced lifestyle. As a parent, your time is not your own and what little time you do have to get things done is going to be very highly valued. It’s important that marketers show them how valuable their time is by providing them with useful information across all channels when they want it.