OFFICIAL BLOGHER '10 LIVEBLOG: BlogHer Business - Is Your Messaging to Moms Outdated?

BlogHer Original Post

Updated: 4:15 PM

Welcome to the liveblog of the BlogHer Business '10 panel: Parenting Magazine Presents: Is Your Messaging to Moms Outdated?

NOTE: Please note that the accompanying presentation is attached as a PDF, and can be downloaded by scrolling down to the "Attachment" section.


Get a pre-release sneak peek at a recent joint study conducted by Parenting Magazine and BlogHer, Inc. that explores the intersection of parenting and technology and discover why your messaging to moms might be old news, especially when it comes to technology and consumer electronics. The bottom line: Fear no longer sells with this crowd. Moms may be reasonably cautious about their kids and technology, but it doesn't stop them from being avid users themselves...for leisure, for efficiencies and even to forge deeper family connections! Does your messaging reflect the new tech-savvy reality? Jennifer Preston, Social Media Editor at The New York Times, moderates this panel with Parenting Magazine's Chief Strategy Officer Nancy Hallberg and BlogHer's Director of Market Research Jane Collins. Together they will review the results and spark a larger conversation about marketing to moms about and with the latest social technologies.
Meanwhile, check out more BlogHer '10-related posts:

Jennifer Preston (JP) - Social Media Editor NYT

Jane Collins (JC) - Director of Research for BlogHer, Inc.

Nancy Hallberg (NH) - Chief Strategy Officer - Parenting Group

Audience Question or Comment (AQ or AC)

Joint research project with BlogHer and Parenting group

JP: Role of Moms and the Machine

- How do they monitor kids activity?
- Is social media friend or foe?

JC: June 2010 identical survey among two populations
1. BlogHer
2. Parenting

- Mom's priorities mom or the geek
- attitudes towards tech impact on family life
- how moms use tech
- any topics taboo?
- kids and tech where is the tech threat level?
- perception vs. reality

NH: Moms use tech themselves to talk about their lives - it is their mainstream media - virtual park bench
- technology keeps families connected
- moms know kids safe
- back channel for kids
- moms worry but they're not afraid - understand and use tech themselves

Media can play a positive role in helping moms navigate the tech world

87% Parenting MomConnection moms use social media at least 1x week
96% of BlogHer moms

JC: Facebook big commonality and message boards - For BH moms their own blogs and twitter get heavier usage

BlogHer moms consider social media friends "real" friends -

NH: for mainstream moms if they are on the platform feel connections are friends.

What do they talk about - everything even sensitive issues like child behavior or health. Message boards give a bit of anonymity so more willing to discuss rather than with next door neighbor

Moms more protective of their partner relationships or discipline and especially money - nobody wants to touch in public (last great taboo)

JC Where moms draw line in sand?

(decreasing usage)
- friend or follow your kids
- monitor child's activity with their knowledge
- set content or time limits on kids use of technology
- consult ratings for movies, music video games
- Use parental controls for tv, computers, web browsers
- monitor child's tech activity without their knowledge

JC: Experience vs. Concern About Activities Child Might Engage In

Child has experienced <5% actual experienced (most view pornography, addictive online behavior)
Concern jumps up to 50-60% level

NH: Those perceptions color perceptions of social media tools
Offline devices (e.g. video games) parents allow at younger ages but online activities e.g. social media networks ages jump up (e.g. 87% for Chat Roulette)

JC: Benefits vs. the Burdens

Given all that, one might expect moms have a dim view of technology but found exactly the opposite...
Top 2 Box:

- tech can provide great ways for families to spend time together
- tech brings benefits to family life
- want to stay up on current tech to understand what kids are doing

NH: Less than half agreed with any of the negative statements

How developers, marketers and media can help moms (without scaring them)

Developers: build tools that strengthen communication & connection
Marketers: empower moms with tools ... become a resource
Media: move from spreading fear-based hype to being a tech Sherpa guide for modern moms

JC: Moms are pragmatic and common sense.

JP: When did mom's shift in perceptions of social media happen

JC: 4-5 years when everything exploded
NH: Entrance of Gen Y into market - 60% of moms of kids under 2 are Gen Y
Same social networks they used before they were moms they continue to use to connect with other moms

Audience Question: How do moms monitor kids
Panel: mostly through age restrictions, but new tools e.g. smart phones, GPS
From Audience: There is tracking software can be installed and then you receive a text
NH: This is how media can help - share how-to info/awareness

AQ: how were mainstream moms recruited?
NH: From national panel of 5,000

JP: What does research show about privacy concerns (e.g. recent changes at Facebook)?
NH: Didn't address directly in study but elsewhere, moms feel it is important that they help kids understand that not everything should go online
JC: Kids can set privacy controls, or separate accounts or refuse to friend to block parental awareness - recruit a aunt, uncle, friend
From Audience: If you are more tech savvy - offer to young people in your life whose parents might be less up on tech - help them understand how to use social media in a way that is smart, safe.
JP: How to set Facebook settings very popular article on NYT - Girl Scouts retweeted

AQ: 5th grader wants to go on Facebook - shares her knowledge and awareness with other parents at her daughter's school
Panel: Work on social media education - not just fear

JP: Challenge - how do we build tools as mentioned that help users to connect with each other?
NH: Ideas: if we were a brand what would we create? Food company could create "what's for dinner mom?"
How can you be part of conversation between child and mom? Vs. how can I drive them to my website? Be a part of the conversations they are already having.
JC: Moms have limited bandwidth and time.
Recent explosion of social gaming - mostly women (20% daily, almost 40% weekly). Be a part of the existing time suck. Lots more to be done with social gaming.
JP: Social gaming has lots of nurturing. Badging opportunity.

JP: Would love to hear from the audience - where people are from?
Split evenly between east cost/mid-west/west coast (and one from south)

Geolocation services can be valuable for parents (follow kids to find out where they are). How do audience members use geolocation?

Audience: wouldn't feel comfortable with kids geotagging their whereabouts
Have heard please rob me stories - are they true or urban legends?
All comes down to user controls of privacy settings, e.g. don't put house on 4square, send updates to public twitter account, don't accept friends on 4Square unless they are actual friends

AQ: Angela Ishmael Swanky Moms
4Square valuable for business but don't cross a line with kids - hearing this concern from readers. What is family information, what can you share with friends or strangers? Teach them and don't open them up to being too vulnerable at too young an age.

Audience comment: Check in when you leave a location for safety.

AQ: Are there concerns about putting kids pictures online?
JC: Less concern about putting online but who they are shared with.
AC: Realized that sharing a picture of her own child - other kids in the shot so limited viewing
JC: That concern isn't widespread - more among tech savvy like this audience
JP: Has to sigh photography releases for kids at school

JP: What are some of the things we need to study?

AQ: What kinds of messages do moms find outdated?
NH: Moms don't want marketers intruding on conversations inappropriately
Moms rely on comments on 3rd party blogs/sites for product info - where they would be receptive to selling messages not on Facebook or social sites where they are there for community/conversations

AQ: But some brands have huge numbers of fans...
NH: Fan page  - moms (consumers) come to you - as a brand don't intrude on their conversations
JP: Lots of media companies taking a very different approach - using Open Graph. Read developer handbook, understand functionality
NH: But different users bring different expectations (e.g. coming as a mom vs. coming as a NYT reader).

AQ: Did money taboo vary among users?
Panel: No difference between age, generations, income...
Also, people don't want to read because it's so depressing these days in the US. Unless they are how-to fantasies, e.g. feed family of four on $50/month budget or blog called budget bootcamp - high readership, low comments.

@NYT_Jenpreston @reply to make a twitter list and continue the conversation.

Study will be posted on tomorrow

Parenting_Magazine_panel.pdf337.46 KB