Here's what I do know: Moms are driving an emerging trend that combines location-based services, social sharing, and the camera -- all converged in mom's mobile devices. Said another way, LoSoPhoMo:
- The Lo is for local
- The So is for social
- The Pho is for photo (or video) enabled
- The Mo is for mobile
It's a powerful combination. What's more, it's an experience that's unique to smartphones and tablets. And when you consider the sheer size, buying power and mobile adoption rates of moms, that's a game-changer for brands looking to connect with them.
Choosy Moms Choose Smartphones
The first indicator that moms are driving the LoSoPhoMo trend is in smartphone sales themselves. According to the 2011 Mobile Mom report, the rate of smartphone purchases among moms has increased 64% in less than two years. And more than half the moms polled at BabyCenter said their smartphone purchases were directly related to becoming a mom. Whoa.
Moms are power users of mobile. They can deftly navigate through the trifecta of mobile search, mobile web, and mobile apps, while multi-tasking a hundred different duties between breakfast and bedtime.
But as mobile search gives way to more app usage by moms (for now, anyway) the shift in focus for brands is now on apps -- an over-abundance of options for every life-stage imaginable:
- Conception (BioClock)
- Pregnancy (BabyBump, iPregnancy)
- Picking a name (Name Shake)
- Mastering contractions (ContractionMaster) -- sorry fellas, you're really useless now.
- Breastfeeding (Baby Tracker: Nursing)
- Potty training (iGoPotty)
- Documenting poopy diapers (Baby Tracker: Diapers)
- Keeping tabs on sleeping infant (BabyMonitor)
- Getting kids to brush their teeth (Time2Brush)
- And there are oodles of apps for mobile food ordering (and if you're lucky -- curbside service -- a blessing to moms everywhere!)
And so it goes. As kids get older, the apps get richer, and developers everywhere rejoice.
The Media Behavior Institute says that Gen-X moms have the least down time of any moms and the most time spent care-giving. So what do Moms want in apps in light of this insight? We asked one:
"The best apps help me stay organized," says Theresa C., a GenX mother of two, ages five and one. "I keep my grocery list on Ziplist. I've got the usual suspect apps that help me stay current with friends on social networks. I've got a few games that keep me entertained while I'm standing in line at the store. And I've got some specifically for my daughter -- doodling games, learning games. They come in handy at restaurants."
Theresa isn't alone. Moms everywhere seek entertainment and utility before downloading. What's more, 25% of the apps they download are for their kids. (For more info about moms and their apps, follow the conversation at the MomsWithApps group on Facebook. It's a collaborative group of parent app developers seeking to promote quality apps for kids and families.
Even more interesting for consumer products manufacturers, moms are becoming more dependent upon their smartphones when they're out shopping. In a Brunner survey, moms reported they used apps in the store to:
- Compare prices (49%)
- Read product reviews (35%)
- Get and/or redeem coupons (34%)
- Review nutritional information (31%)
Smarter, faster indeed. There's no question, apps are where it's at (today). But if you're a brand or a developer that's creating an app specific for mom, remember your LoSoPhoMo. The best apps today include at least one or more of these features.
|Shaun Quigley is VP, interactive practice area leader for Brunner, an ad agency and digital marketing firm.|