Young parents can be a difficult segment when it comes to marketing and gaining their attention. Parents in general may have similar spending patterns, but general marketing strategies may not appeal to them all. Young parents are some of the most ardent shoppers, purchasing products for themselves and their children that cater to a wide range of desires and preferences. Their shopping habits are also different from older generations of parents in several ways.
Young parents care about a company’s values aligning with their own, and will do the requisite research to determine which brands are worthy of their time and energy. The opportunity for brands lies in their ability to promote physical products that demonstrate one or more of their values so that it can help them establish a lasting and meaningful relationship with these parents.
Marketers need to be aware that gender roles are not as fixed as they used to be. Usually the assumption is made that marketing should speak to moms but, with the younger generation, more Dads are assuming active purchasing roles. This basically adds a wider range of potential customers that marketers can target.
Marketers can also take cues from the types of conversations young parents are having with their children. Young parents tend to have a more personal, less hierarchical relationship with their children than previous generations. As a result, they themselves are open and honest with their children, which has consequences for the type of content they consume. Targeted marketing should reflect the nature of these types of conversations.
Another way to market to young parents is to become a thought leader or information provider. Young parents seek information from communities in a similar way to previous generations but they have a wider scope and even greater access. If you position your brand as a thought leader, they are bound to seek your company out for advice on different parenting matters.
More than any generation before them, young parents strive to be less defined by their parenting roles. They are more likely than previous generations to hang on to their personal passions. They make time for themselves while bringing their children into their interests. When they prepare to become parents, they are concerned with maintaining their sense of self. For them, when they become a “Mom” or “Dad,” it doesn’t mean they stop being a “boss,” “singer,” or “executive.” Marketers therefore need to remember that “parent” is only one aspect of a larger picture when it comes to targeting young parents. For instance, Shelly the business owner and Mom might even be able to appreciate and rationalize the purchase of this Bradington Young recliner more than Shelly the mom ever could.
In order to effectively market to young parents, you have to mirror their realities back to them. They redefine parenting by holding brands to a higher value standard, sharing roles regardless of gender norms, prioritizing their interests while meeting their responsibilities as parents, and by having difficult conversations with their children.