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Momsourcing: How To Use Other Parents’ Consumer Decisions

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While the look of the average American household is changing, mothers retain their importance to marketers. The nuclear family — meaning parents and kids — used to comprise two-thirds of all households. That’s down to only 20 percent today. People living alone and multi-generational households are becoming more common, according to the Tennessean.

But mothers are more important to marketers than ever. In 70% of families with kids, the mother works outside of the home and is the primary breadwinner in 40 percent of families. Citibank reports that mothers make some 80% of buying decisions in the home. And Babycenter.com reports that 93 percent of moms manage the health of their entire household.

Lucid Marketing, in cooperation with Moms.com, recently released the “How U.S. Moms Share & Spread Health Information 2011 Report,” which found that mothers mostly use the internet in these decisions.

This matches with my experience. I’m a big fan of the wisdom of crowds and of letting other people do research for me. Before I bought my daughter her first little toy kitchen, I asked the parents in my neighborhood for advice via our list-serv. This niche research worked for me because they share many of my concerns — I didn’t want some giant plastic behemoth that would barely fit in the doorway of our turn-of-the-century home. I got a few quick recommendations and was able to find the kitchen of my daughter’s dreams that matched with my aesthetic and financial desires.

I’ve used the same community list-serv for everything from restaurant recommendations to vacation opportunities, too. Likewise, I’ve been able to answer neighbor’s requests for information on mattresses, cars, car seats and appliances. I may have also mentioned on these list-servs my experience with the unbelievably awful ADT security firm. I’m happy to help other parents avoid some of the regrettable consumer decisions we made.