Compared to working fathers, they feel less confident about their economic future. Just under half (49%) feel very confident about the future, compared to 59% of fathers.

Working moms spend an average of 5.6 hours a week commuting, compared to just five hours for fathers. Some 48% are worried about crime and 38% about unemployment and recession.

Their economic importance cannot be underestimated since having a working mom in the family can push it into higher income bands – some 19% of working moms lift their families into the LSM 10 band through their contribution to earnings.

Here are four insights for marketers addressing this market:

1. Let your brand help working moms feel good

South Africa’s working moms face high societal expectations, but also place high expectations on themselves. They feel a constant tension between social demands, their own ambitions and the way they put the needs of their children and spouses first.

They rank power, self-recognition and self-interest far lower on their list of values than males and other women in South Africa.

Working hard is a top value for these moms. Compared to other moms, they spend more time on grooming and are higher users of personal care products.

They are more likely to skip breakfast at home than other groups – one possible symptom of how time poor and under pressure they are. They are worried about their income, their families and the safety of their children.

Brands should offer them reassurance and calmness in their messages to appeal to them.

2. Use technology to reach working moms

Millennial and Generation X moms have had access to technology from early adulthood or even childhood, and have embraced mobile devices with great enthusiasm. In general, a significantly higher proportion of moms own smartphones than the general South African consumer (87% versus 77%).

These moms are increasingly barraged with real-time information but may be too busy to act on it. The result may be both a sense of ease, from knowing what is going on, and growing anxiety from a glut of data and responsibility.

Brands that deliver tailored and relevant information using mobile channels will be the ones that win. Our research shows that among this market, 66% want products to be tailored to their needs and 77% said they liked tech 'that knows me and makes recommendations'. 

3. Brands should connect with working moms in real time

In an uncertain economy, moms are price and deal conscious. While they are not leading edge in technology, they use their phones extensively for social media, ratings and reviews and comparing prices.

They are more likely to seek product information (including comparing prices) and share their experiences in real time. With that in mind, point of sale is going to be a critical point of engagement, and social media is without a doubt a source of influence and a platform that amplifies messages.

4. Build your brand around working moms

Understanding the values, cultural identity, tastes and choices of South Africa’s diverse group of working moms are critical for connecting with them on a personal level. Social responsibility is an important value for working moms; so is honesty.

A higher proportion believes that brands must appeal to their beliefs and values. Brands need to have an authentic purpose and resonate with consumer ethics to succeed today, particularly in this segment.

As we prepare for a tidal wave of Women’s Day and Women’s Month advertising, brands should ensure that they practice the message they preach in their marketing.

The new wave is here

The new wave of South African moms is here, and they are quite different from the moms before them. Driven by emerging digital technology, changing family formations, growing educational levels and changing social mores, they come in with a different set of values, aspirations, tastes, preferences and tech and media behaviours. Keep an eye on their nuances of behaviour and belief, and let them know you understand their needs.

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