Katrina McCarter is the founder and CEO of Marketing to Mums, a market and research consultancy which helps brands sell more effectively to mothers.
Katrina is also a marketing strategist and international speaker who has launched two books: Marketing to Mums and The Mother of All Opportunities.
The mumpreneur caught up with Michelle Ruzzene to talk all things business and beauty.
Why is marketing to mums important?
“In Australia there are 6.2 million mothers and every year 140,000 women become mothers for the first time. Collectively these women are responsible for spending $132 billion every single year. They are the powerhouse of the Australian economy. They are the key decision maker when it comes to the beauty category. The purchase for multiple generations and influence the spending decisions of their extended family network and other women in their network. Research reports that women are eight times more likely to start talking about brands once they become a mum. Mothers can act as your secret weapon to activate word of mouth advertising for your beauty brand.”
How should beauty brands best market to mums?
“Earlier this year I returned from a couple of weeks in New York where I was launching my latest book, The Mother of All Opportunities. I head over to NYC each year to identify new trends and speak at a leading marketing conference. I stay in Nolita as I love the vibe downtown and I was delighted to see the explosion of new beauty shops, eye wear and perfumeries. Apparel stores are making way for beauty stores which have included Beauty Counter, Face Gym, DS & DURGA, The Abnormal Beauty Company and Wellco. They are joined by the likes of Credo and Aesop who have been in the neighbourhood for a few years.
“These beauty brands are flourishing as they focus heavily on wellness as opposed to external beauty. They take a holistic approach with a clear message that beauty starts from within. When marketing to mothers, beauty brands should focus on how a woman feels rather than how they will look. Successful brands focus on empowerment, sustainability, natural ingredients and feeling good. Clean beauty products which use organic ingredients are enjoying particularly strong success as they are attractive to the both Millennial and Generation Z mothers. Brands need to tap into the growing trend for conscious shopping and minimalism which we are seeing adopted by a growing segment of mothers.”
What are some beauty marketing ‘fails’?
“Rather than beauty fails, I love to celebrate beauty marketing success. Meccland was a stand-out example of strengthening brand relationships and allowing customers to learn more about their suppliers products. Generation Z and Millennials flocked to secure tickets. Known as experiential marketing, these style of events allow brands to create unique, fun, memorable moments with mothers, which are lasting and more effective than many other traditional marketing efforts. Millennial and Generation Z mothers are increasingly seeking out unique experiences that provide them with talking points with their friends. Experiential marketing will go a long way in helping brands build closer, lasting relationships with mums. It also fosters customer loyalty and advocacy, as mothers are more likely to share their positive experience with the brand. They will share the story of the great event you created. It also helps brands demonstrate that they understand mothers, an important factor in winning them over. Lastly, it can be a great vehicle to show your brand purpose.
“Ritual, a subscription-based vitamin company is another company worth celebrating. Katerina Schneider started the business after finding out she was pregnant and discovering most products had ingredients she found questionable. Being concerned about what she was putting into her body, Katerina developed vitamins that are vegan certified, gluten and allergen free, non-GMO, and free of synthetic fillers. Launched in 2016, Ritual is transparent in everything they do, from product sourcing to being able to see through the vitamin capsule. Their advertising focuses on the transparency of the product ingredients. It demonstrates it has ‘nothing to hide’. Katerina is redefining the way healthcare and beauty is delivered to mothers. It taps into the trend that beauty from within and it is seeing a huge explosion in the growth of ingestibles and beauty drinks which I anticipate with continue to strengthen over the next decade.”
How can education be incorporated into marketing beauty brands?
“One word – video! Mums love to learn and self-educate. They find video much easier to digest than written word. It takes less energy. To be successful with using video marketing it’s important to use storytelling as your key method to educate mothers. Mothers are emotive and they connect with brands who tell stories.
“Videos which share a case study of a ‘real’ mothers experience with the brand work particularly well. They act as a third party endorsement, a testimonial, which can educate mums in the process. The first video I think you need to get right is your brand story. It needs to share what your brand stands for and how you are going to make a mother’s life easier. If you have a strong brand purpose, this is the place to educate mothers about it. Having a strong brand purpose will be increasing important in coming years in targeting younger Millennial and Generation Z mothers.
“One word of warning in using video. Don’t be too aspirational in your imagery. Mothers seek out ‘real’ advertising and marketing messages from brands which show their life just as it is, rather than something brands think they want to be.”
What tips would you give to a beauty advisor selling beauty products to mums?
“Generation X and Baby Boomer mums are feeling the most misunderstood, misrepresented and undervalued of all segments within the mother market globally. There are enormous opportunities here for beauty advisors to enjoy considerable success with this segment of the market. Avoid making assumptions and really listen to understand their pain points. Health becomes an increasing concern for these women and they are willing to spend more on beauty products to maintain better overall health.
“Another mother segment which would be a focus for me if I were a beauty advisor are first-time mothers. Pregnant and new mothers re-evaluate their relationships with brands after having their first baby. It is a key moment in time which beauty advisors (and beauty marketers) need to be aware of. Google research of more than 9000 mothers across eight countries in the world found that mothers learn through their babies. They are far more careful about what products they might put on their baby’s skin and subsequently become far more considered about what products they use on their own skin. They start to look towards more natural ingredients in their skincare and cosmetics. Understanding this key life stage moment is critical for beauty brands wishing to be placed in her brand consideration set. It is this period of time that mothers are more willing to try new brands. Brand switching is at its highest. Use this time to expose new mothers to new and better beauty products.”