Has anyone ever told you to never underestimate the power of a mom?  No one is better at multitasking. Media buyers and planners could take note of how well a mom can handle the constant barrage of tasks thrown at her.

However, a mom’s power to feed a baby, while cooking dinner and simultaneously helping with homework, is not what this blog is about. Mom power goes far beyond her kids. Moms often control household spending and make most everyday decisions for the family, like what lawn service to use, where to go to eat, what hand soap the family buys and what car they will buy next. Recent estimates show that moms in the United States control approximately $2.1 trillion dollars of spending per year!  That’s 85% of household income. In that respect, media buyers simply cannot “underestimate the power of a mom”.

A media buyer or media planner’s job is to determine the best way to reach them.  The word “mom” encompasses so many ages and phases of “mommy-dom” – new moms, Latina moms, empty-nest moms, etc etc.  So, how can we reach the most moms effectively?

According to surveys, a mom makes use of her mobile device more than any other group.  She spends 6+ hours online a day, and more than 3 of those hours attributed to mobile.  Moms love social media apps – they are 20% more likely to use social media than the average consumer in the United States, and Facebook is their site of choice.  Moms also use their phones for e-commerce. Moms made almost 90% of their overall purchases online in 2015 which is higher than the 76% online purchasing rate of the average American consumer.  While those purchases weren’t all on a mobile device, you can bet mom was researching on that phone before making the purchase.

Moms take phones with them when they venture to brick and mortar stores as well.  70% of moms say they use their mobile devices in stores – 64% say they are scanning for coupons and 51% are comparing prices among retailers.  In 2015, MediaPosts’ Engage: Moms blog had a group of moms go without their smartphones for one week and followed them with webcam videos, online discussions and daily journals.  The results showed that it was an extreme challenge for the participants, with one mom referring a trip to the store as a “torture chamber” without her device.

This is not to say that moms don’t engage on other medias.  TV is still a medium that mom uses about 1.5 hours a day according to studies.  And 70% of moms are working moms, so as they commute, they see outdoor advertising and listen to audio mediums.  Media buyers know the importance of reaching consumers on a variety of medias to increase frequency of a message, so these other medias are still powerful ways to reach the American matriarch.

Just don’t neglect mom’s phone when making a media plan because she’s on it…unless, of course, her toddler is playing Angry Birds.