Saatchi & Saatchi and Mumsnet launch research showing how brands can really connect with mums

It’s time to ditch ‘Ad Mum’ for good

As Mumsnet opens its annual ‘mother of all conferences’ Mumstock, new research conducted by Saatchi & Saatchi and Mumsnet offers unique insights into how mothers define themselves - and shows how traditional research and marketing techniques are selling the complicated world of motherhood short.

The report, Stop Faking It, which used a proprietary research technique that allowed mothers to define themselves as an audience, reveals that:

  • there are at least 66 distinct groups that mums use to define themselves, from ‘mums of teens’ to ‘feminist mums’ to ‘mums of children who have special needs’;
  • the average British mother simultaneously relates to at least six of these 66 identities, and in some cases, many more;
  • these broad and diverse identities heavily influence the decisions these women make, and the relationships they have with brands; and
  • for marketers to create a genuine connection with mums, they need to scrap simplistic assumptions and generic insights and focus on what real mums really care about.

The research investigates four of the most important identities by which mothers choose to define themselves: lone parents (2.3 million mums), mums of children with special needs (1.4 million women), mums of teenagers (almost 6 million women) and self-employed mums (1.7 million women). It also explores rural mums (2.2 million women) and mums with one child (2.5 million women in the UK), because they are seemingly marginalised by contemporary marketing.

Published today, the research reveals seven core insights alongside suggestions for strategic marketing approaches:

1.     One-child families are forced to waste money

Brands often design products and services like multipacks and family day out offers with a ‘2.4 children’ model in mind.  They need to re-think packaging, promotions and communications if they want to appeal to families of different shapes and sizes.

2.     Families of children with special needs rely on package holidays

Package holidays mean the world to mums of children with special needs, because of their reliability and predictability. 1.4 million British women and their families depend on this kind of travel for practical and emotional reasons. Ignoring them, and not serving their individual needs would be a huge loss for both sides.

3.     Brand experiences can alienate instead of attract audiences

Chaotic, loud stores with an emphasis on immersive retail experiences can make consumers feel harassed, especially those with special needs or mental health issues. These stores can repel mothers - and their money.

4.     For rural mums, errands are excursions

At least 2.2 million mums in the UK look forward to turning the weekly shop into a family day out, because their rural locations mean that shopping is not part of their everyday life.  By assuming that all mums depend on online shopping, marketers risk leaving rural mums behind.

5.     Lone parents are more motivated employees

Being the sole provider pushes lone parents to succeed in their work because failure is not an option. “I’m the only one that they financially depend on…. It’s quite a positive thing, not a negative thing - the majority of my friends...admire how I do everything by myself.” (Helena, lone parent)

6.     Teens encourage mums to try out new things

5.58 million mums are hugely influenced by their teens when it comes to fashion, entertainment and lifestyle. Marketers have decades of experience in leveraging children’s pestering power, but very few tap into the subtle influence young adults have on their parents, and how this can translate into extra revenue for brands.

7.     Lone parents rely much more on the wisdom of crowds

2.3 million lone mums don’t necessarily have partners to share decision-making with.  They often rely on multiple readily-available information sources for the support they need to make purchase decisions, with a heavy emphasis on online reviews.

Mumsnet CEO Justine Roberts said: “We know from the Mumsnet forums just how strongly felt many of these identities are, and how comforted and supported mothers feel when crucial facets of their mothering experience are acknowledged. Demonstrating an understanding of a variety of experiences is a great way to differentiate yourself from your competitors.”

Richard Huntington, Chief Strategy Officer at Saatchi & Saatchi, said: “All marketers crave better and more meaningful connections with their audiences and especially mums.  This new approach provides just that, by focusing on the issues that mums care about most, and not those of sole concern to brands and businesses.”


Saatchi & Saatchi London hires Dan Treichel as Executive Creative Director


Saatchi & Saatchi London has appointed multi-award-winning creative, Dan Treichel, as its Executive Creative Director. Treichel is the creative mind behind many lauded campaigns, including the world-renowned“Climate Name Change”, which was the 7th most awarded campaign in the world in 2014. Reporting to Chief Creative Officer, Guillermo Vega, Treichel will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the creative department and for adding even more creative…

29th Saatchi & Saatchi New Creators Showcase presents the best new talent in directing and creating


This morning, the legendary Saatchi & Saatchi New Creators’ Showcase (NCS) enticed over 2,000 Cannes delegates to get out of bed and invited them to be inspired, educated and entertained.   Taking place at the Lumière Théâtre at the 2019 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the show lasted 60 minutes and presented the very best, groundbreaking directorial talent from across…

Saatchi & Saatchi wins gold at DMA awards


On Tuesday 11 December, Saatchi & Saatchi London and Direct Line won a Gold at the DMA Awards for a Direct Line campaign which used data to target hundreds of thousands of existing customers with completely personalised content.   The campaign saw personalised films being served to Direct Line home insurance customers when they were around a month outside of their renewal date and showed them exactly…

Direct Line Fixer Listed in Campaign's 10 Most Effective Celebrity Campaigns


Saatchi & Saatchi London’s “Fixer” campaign for Direct Line, has been included in Campaign Magazine’s Top 10 Most Effective Celebrity Campaigns. The idea for The Fixer was born in 2013, out of research that told Direct Line that when things go wrong, people want an insurance provider who will get the problem fixed as quickly as possible. To fix the…

Guillermo Vega joins Saatchi & Saatchi London as Chief Creative Officer


Saatchi & Saatchi London has hired Guillermo Vega, the former ECD of 72andSunny New York, as its Chief Creative Officer. Joining on October 1, Vega will lead the agency’s creative department and build on its existing creative success. His appointment completes the Saatchi & Saatchi London management team, alongside Sam Hawkey (Chief Operating Officer), Richard Huntington (Chief Strategy Officer) and…

Betway appoints Saatchi & Saatchi as Lead Creative Agency


Today, Betway, the online betting, casino and sports company, has appointed Saatchi & Saatchi London as their new lead creative agency. Saatchi & Saatchi will work towards a major global campaign launch and regional roll out in 2019, supporting Betway’s growth into new markets worldwide. The creative work will be rolled out across the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Belgium and…

This Fan Girl


This week we heard from Amy Drucquer, founder of This Fan Girl. This Fan Girl is an online community dedicated to providing female football fans with a friendly and inclusive environment to watch football and create a sense of community to nurture a shared love of the sport. Amy is a lifelong fan of Leicester City Football Club. During their…

Publicis Groupe Sprintathon 2018


Publicis Groupe united on Thursday 26th July at Parliament Hills Athletics track to break the record for the world’s fastest marathon. On a sweltering 36C afternoon, over 150 Publicis Groupe employees ran 100m sprints in a relay, and finished the 26 miles in 1 hour 53 minutes and 20 seconds, breaking the record for the third fastest marathon ever. The…

Saatchi & Saatchi London wins Webby Award for 'Magenta Unleashed'


Saatchi & Saatchi London has won a Webby award in the Digital Campaign category for their ‘Magenta Unleashed’ Campaign for Deutsche Telekom. The Webby awards honour the best creative work on the internet, across seven different media types: Websites, Film & Video, Advertising, Media & PR, Social, Mobile Sites & Apps, Games, and Podcasts & Digital Audio. Each category comprises…

Saatchi & Saatchi London unveils leadership line-up


Saatchi & Saatchi London has promoted Sam Hawkey and Larissa Vince to the roles of chief operating officer and managing director respectively. Sam, who has been promoted from managing director, will lead the agency’s vision and direction, and have responsibility for its commercial performance. Larissa has been promoted from chief growth officer, and will continue to lead growth and new…