I am amazed to hear friends and family with young children discuss the range of information and services available and easily accessible on the internet. For parents, especially women, the internet has become a research source, a source of connectivity, of reassurance, and of interaction. If a strange rash or a dodgy cough gets you worried – help is only a quick google search or forum post away. This online market is growing each day, and if parents are your target market, you need to jump on board!
Parenting websites are a dime a dozen, each offering advice, help, connections with other parents, product recommendations, and much more. Here are just a few I uncovered with a quick search.
There is no question that the success of this market has been through the ability for parents to connect with others. Information which once came from family or friend networks now comes from people all over the country, offering their own experiences and challenges. I hear mums comment all the time that they would be lost without their online networks and forums and the ability to talk with others about their concerns. A process that in reality can be scary, no longer feels so daunting and isolated.
The online sphere is not just applicable to research and information, but also purchasing. Parents are frequently visitors to ebay and online product stores. I know several mums who have stocked their entire nursery with online purchases. Parents are also frequent online sellers of goods that are used only for a few years or even a few months. Many entrepreneurial parents are behind the creation of concepts like clothes swaps and online spaces for selling or swapping goods.
Clever marketers like Huggies, Fisher-Price and Foxtel are embracing this shift, offering online competitions, sponsorships, free product samples and other ‘connected’ marketing opportunities. A common advertiser in this space is also charities and not-for-profit organisations. Many parent-focused products have pulled back a lot of their traditional advertising (TV, press etc.) to embrace the online space, with great results.
So if you’re in the game of selling toys, baby food, baby supplies, kids clothes or anything parent focused, the online space is the only place to be. Get yourself a website (and don’t forget e-commerce), develop an online marketing strategy and you’ll be on the road to winning this markets’ hearts.