TORONTO – Forget the outdated stereotype of the tech-illiterate soccer mom.
Twenty-first-century moms are increasingly becoming one of the most digitally savvy cohorts in Canada, according to a recently released report backed by data from measurement firm comScore and online surveys.
The 2013 Canada Social Mom report, published by the parenting website BabyCenter, calls today’s plugged-in moms “the most social consumers you’ll meet.”
The report suggests 93 per cent of Canadian moms who use the Internet are logging into social networks every month. Tablet ownership among moms was up nearly 100 per cent in the past year. And mothers were found to be two and a half times more likely to prefer checking their social media feeds on a smartphone rather than using a computer.
Researchers have been watching Canadian moms dramatically increase their Internet usage for years now, but preconceptions that they’re not interested in technology remain, said Gagan Sharma, research director for Mom Central Consulting, which has offices in Toronto, Boston and New York.
“Despite the fact we see that moms are heavily engaged online, they’re tech savvy, they’re engaged, we still find there is that perception where people don’t understand that moms are actually leading the charge in a lot of ways,” Sharma said.
“Moms are the fastest growing smartphone users in Canada and that’s something that a lot of people don’t realize. There’s still that perception definitely that moms aren’t engaged online.”
According to the report, younger Canadian moms in particular (defined as ages 18 to 34) were seen to be very digitally engaged, often more so than the general public.
When it comes to signing into Facebook, those moms averaged 10.7 hours of usage a month, which was 55 per cent more than the 6.9 hours estimated for the rest of the general public, according to comScore.
The young moms were also major users of Tumblr (32 per cent versus 18 per cent of the general public), Instagram (32 per cent versus 19 per cent) and Pinterest (23 per cent versus 14 per cent).
To a lesser extent, young moms were also bigger users of YouTube (84 per cent versus 74 per cent) and streaming video services like Netflix (36 per cent versus 23 per cent).
Sharma said the business world has already clued into the opportunities in marketing to tech-engaged moms.
“They’re doing their research and they know that moms are a really big target and a part of their market,” she said.
But are all companies doing a good job of marketing to those moms?
“I would speculate the answer to that is no, there are certainly companies that do a better job of that than others and some companies don’t necessarily understand the sort of mom-frame-of-mind and how that impacts her on a day-to-day basis,” said Sharma.
“There are some brands that do a good job of catering to moms and some that miss the mark.”
© The Canadian Press, 2013