Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Are You Riding the Mommy Tsunami?

There is a tidal wave of babies being born. A group large enough to rival the heralded Baby Boomers. And the moms having these babies are the most educated, wealthiest, most connected group of moms in history.

They have a name for this group - The Mommy Tsunami.

When the Baby Boomers had their kids it was called the Echo Boom. Other names like Gen X and Gen Y have been used to describe the echo boom. Whatever you choose to call them, this group is now having babies.

But with one difference.

This group is waiting until later in life to have kids. This new mom is typically about 30 years old, college educated, and has invested a few years in her career before stepping out to start a family.

She has the power of the Internet in her purse, a camera on her phone, and an account with YouTube.

She grew up in an over-saturated advertising market so she is cynical to all forms of marketing. She ignores the hype. She pooh-poohs the over-the-top claims. She calls out anything that she knows is a fake. She doesn't bite when you say "biggest sale ever!!" because she knows you've got another sale lined up two weeks later. She knows what the fine print says. She knows that no matter what you say, everything has a downside.

And if you cross her, she'll have a video on YouTube within the hour and ten thousand of her closest friends will see it by nightfall. She'll destroy you with the power of a tidal wave.

Yet, the Mommy Tsunami has more dollars to spend than any group of moms in history.

How do you reach this powerful, cynical, knowledgeable consumer?

The answer is quite simple - honesty.

Product knowledge used to be your advantage. But with the Internet at her fingertips she probably knows almost as much as you do about what you sell. You can't trick her into thinking this is the only option out there. She knows what the competitors have. She researched it last night in her pajamas. She knows what features every product in the category offers, and has probably read a half dozen reviews to know which features actually work.

Now she needs someone to put that knowledge into context to show her how each feature fits into her life (or doesn't fit). She needs someone willing to be up front about the downside she knows is inherent in everything. She needs someone to tell her which features will actually benefit her in her lifestyle and which ones the company threw on just to jack up the price. She needs a salesperson to show her the benefits and the shortcomings.

Total, unabashed, show-all-the-blemishes honesty.

She needs someone willing to listen to and fulfill her needs, not shoehorn her into something that suits your needs. She is thrilled when you tell her why not to buy something. She is thrilled when you go out of your way to get what she wants instead of just what you have. She is thrilled when she knows you are looking out for her best interest. She is thrilled, mainly because it happens so rarely.

She knows that businesses lie. Every great offer comes with a fast-talking disclaimer. Everything is "subject to change" and never in her favor. Every great price has a hidden fee. In this ever-increasing self-serve world, everything is a take-it-or-leave-it proposition. And too many times she is leaving it.

Honesty means sometimes saying, "I don't know," followed by, "Let me find out." Honesty means sometimes saying, "I can't help you here," followed by, "But let me call someone who can." Honesty means being transparent in your ads, your products, your sales pitch, and your closing. Honesty means being transparent in all of your business practices, in what you stand for, in what you believe.

The Mommy Tsunami has the power of a Tidal Wave and can crush you just as fast. But just ask one of those crazy big wave surfers in Hawaii. They'll tell you the thrill of riding the wave just once outweighs the risk every time.

Happy Surfing!

-Phil

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