Moms, Media & Multitasking

A study by AOL and ad agency OMD Worldwide, among 7,000 moms in 13 countries, found that they’re cramming 27 hours worth of activity into a 16 hour day. The Internet takes the top prize in terms of time spent with media:

  • Total time spent with media: 8 hours (single moms spend 9.5 hours)
  • Internet: 2.6 hours
  • TV: 2.1 hours
  • Radio: 1.2 hours
  • Newspapers, magazines, games: 30 minutes

According to the survey, seeking parenting information is the top activity online, “ahead of search, e-mail and news.” Beyond parenting advice, these moms shop online (79%) “get information” (71%) and look for coupons or sales (52%).

I don’t have the raw data, but when it says “shop online” what that probably means is online research. A much smaller percentage of that activity is going to be e-commerce.

The survey also reports that only 1.4 hours of the “27 hour day” is spent by the moms on themselves.

Moms are decision makers and influencers. The study confirms this:

Most online moms (86%) report being the primary household decision maker . . . More than half (52%) say they tend to recommend good products and/or brands to others.

There were some interesting findings (with marketing implications) surrounding “emotional connections” with the various media types. Here are the associations:

  • Television and radio primarily evoke “entertained” and “relaxed” feelings.
  • Magazines evoke “interested” and “relaxed” emotions.
  • Newspapers evoke “focused” and “interested” feelings.
  • Online search is related to feelings of “task-oriented,” “focused” and “interested.”
  • Web sites often related to “entertainment.”

What are the takeaways?

Moms are the most important audience for most marketers. They will drive word of mouth (see below). They’re time starved and looking for things that will save themselves money and/or time.

To reach them marketers need to have a campaign that touches multiple media types (i.e., “integrated”).

From a branding or awareness perspective, parenting sites and mom-oriented social networks (and shopping sites broadly defined) are going to be effective places to reach them online.

And even though the study doesn’t discuss this, they’re mostly going to fulfill or transact offline.


Here’s interesting related data comparing Gen X and Gen Y moms and their use of the Internet. Here’s a study about moms and word of mouth.

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