If you’re a parent, you have no doubt heard of the iconic book, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” Unless you’re a Millennial parent, that is.
According to our research, the collection of online resources – parenting websites, online forums, parenting blogs and social networks – have completely eradicated the use of such traditional guides. Collectively, these online resources make up 71 percent of first and second place rankings when it comes to the top parental influencers today. Further, a study by Crowdtap found that a majority 97 percent of Millennial moms and 93 percent of Millennial dads find social media helpful to their parenting.
Along with advice, these parents also find social media helpful for reviewing products and exchanging information on the marketplace with their networks. The no. 1 reason Millennial dads use their smartphones while shopping for the family is to check a product’s reviews, while Millennial moms avidly compare prices. Regardless of the reason, 85 percent of Millennial parents are using social while shopping in-store.
In stark contrast to Baby Boomers, these parents are learning the ropes to this new stage of their life with smartphone in hand.
As a result, if brands are not reaching out to Millennial parents on social, they are missing out on a highly valuable consumer segment as these parents equate to more than 26 million heavily reliant users. However, “reaching” these parents means much more than just having active accounts on social platforms. Rather, brands must truly understand the needs of these parents and respond to them in a way that is both authentic and supportive. The first step in doing this is being aware of the major pressures this cohort faces.
The demand to be perfect
Although the plethora of online resources has its benefits, Millennial parents are finding that it also multiplies the feeling that they must “do it all.” This is especially true for mom. BabyCenter recently reported that more than three-fourths of Millennial moms claim it’s necessary to be “the perfect mom,” which is higher than both Gen X and Boomers.
As part of this, Millennial parents are also attempting to break outside the traditional gender roles of parenthood. Gone are the days of only stay-at-home moms who have a full-course meal on the table by the time dad gets home from work. In fact, Ypulse found that 21 percent of Millennial dads are stay-at-home caregivers. The goal for this generation is reach their own version of perfect, which incorporates new expectations and ways of meeting those expectations to be the best parents they can be.
The identity crisis
Anyone who has become a parent understands that one’s identity changes after taking on the responsibility of raising a child. This is no different for Millennials, who are rapidly shifting their outlook and behavior now that they have kids to provide for. Whereas they used to pay attention to personal style and the highest quality products, they are now very conscientious of price. This has changed their purchasing habits, even from the brands they used to favorite. Our research determined that Millennial parents index below 100 compared to the rest of the population at stores like H&M and Apple, while they index above 100 compared to the general population at discount stores like Dollar General and Wal-Mart. While sometimes a tough balancing act, these parents are doing their best to make the right choices for their family even if that is on a budget.
By understanding the pressures Millennial parents face and knowing where they go to look for resources, brands can resonate with this group using social. However, the messaging must always reflect a deep understanding of what these consumers deal with on a daily basis and offer solutions that simplify their lives. This will be vital for brands as they compete for parent market share against a multitude of other products and services in a saturated space, as those who obtain a place in Millennial mom and dad’s trusted network will set the standard.