Market research · Marketing

How do I connect via advertising and marketing with the mothers of middle and high school students?

David Wachtel Principal at Navigate Consulting, Inc.

March 31st, 2016

The target market we are trying to reach are mothers with children in middle school/early high school. We have compiled lists of paid advertising options as well as marketing channels we think meet this criteria. However, we're at a point where our creative thinking is now clouded, exhausted, or perhaps showing that we've reached our creativelimit. I'm looking for both novel or tried and true suggestions in the paid advertising and marketing areas to validate or add to our list from the collective FounderDating knowledgebase. The product is an online application related to managing schedules.Thank you in advance foryour help.

Pierre Bradshaw Revenue Focused Digital Marketing Professional

March 31st, 2016

This is a pretty easy thing to do using Facebook's Audience Targeting.  

I'm typing this as it comes to mind me so bear with me...  

I'm assuming you have a small user list of at least a few hundred installs.  Upload that list of users to create a lookalike audience on FB.  

Once it matches the users and creates the audience you will see the option of selecting between 1% and 10% of the new ultra custom audience.  

Use 1% targeting initially.  You want to keep this extra focused until you build a bigger user list.  

From this point, just create ads that target:
Audience Details:
  • Location:
    • United States
  • Age:
    • 13-65+
  • Gender:
    • Female
  • Placements:
    • on pages: News Feed on desktop computers
  • People who match:
    • Parents: (13-18 Years) Parents with Teenagers
If you have the mobile app created definitely do an install campaign and lean heavily on mobile ads.  It's usually cheaper than desktop.  

Now, if you don't have that lookalike list, still use the targeting above but tighten the ages to 30-50.  Make sure you have your pixel set on the landing page and conversion page and really focus on building up those pixels until you have a few hundred click which will allow you to build a tighter custom audience.  

This is just a quickstart using facebook ads.  The strategy gets deeper and the clicks get cheaper as you go along.  

You can do things like show popular viral videos that resonate with overloaded moms and piggyback on that to increase users buy using Facebook's PPE setting.  Similar Instagram images and much much more.  (Note: a good mobile strategy is worth more than an investor. It will save you tons and speed everything!)

I have an teenager who plays soccer and a 8 month old, I know my wife would take a look at everything mentioned above.  Ha!  Good luck.  

Carolyn Goodman President/Creative Director at Goodman Marketing Partners

March 31st, 2016

While others may sneer, direct mail actually works to this group. You can rent lists of households with children that are in certain age groups -- and you can also select those same households by income level, education level and on lots of other variables, so you can precisely target your audience. And, since you can also purchase corresponding email addresses, you can follow up with email. That 1-2 punch usually stimulates a response.

Loreyne Alicea VP, Multicultural Markets & Marketing Automation

March 31st, 2016

There are a number of great ideas mentioned that you should explore.  The only I would add to the mix is a specific digital, social & mobile strategy.  Aside from the Generation Z and Millennials, approximately 78% of Mothers have smartphones.

Dean Harris Chief Marketing Officer- Fractional CMO-

March 31st, 2016

The communications vehicles are important, but not as important as your narrative. What is your brand story? With a an interesting, empathic, creative  approach your messaging will go further. There is a huge emotional component that exists between mothers and children. Understand that and use it to advance your idea,

Andrew Goodman President at Page Zero Media

March 31st, 2016

I'll just toss in a fact about the Google Display Network. You can restrict advertising to demographic categories, and/or bid-adjust to demographic categories:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Parent or Not a Parent

Generally, 60-80% of users are "known" to fall into these categories; the rest come through as "unknown."

While that addresses the targeting, you then need to find good placements, themes, or keyword targeting to steer your ad creative to the right publishers/pages online. Not as easy as it sounds.

I may be biased, but in many cases, keyword intent trumps all of these loose demographic factors. In other words, I still vastly prefer search keywords in most cases, no matter how much control you have over demographic targeting... although Facebook interest targeting is definitely giving keywords a run for their money nowadays.

It's also noting that you can control the demographics in Search advertising, in the case of Bing Ads. Maybe the best of both worlds?

Jed Jones Chief Data Scientist at MindEcology

March 31st, 2016

Hi David, My company (MindEcology ) specializes in market segmentation and audience definition. My suggestions: *1. Start with building a model:* we recommend a *persona-based model*, identifying which households are most likely to respond to your offers. You need to know their psycho-demographic background (i.e., buying behaviors, attitudes about life and the world, media consumption habits, etc.), NOT just where they live. This will allow you to "speak their language" in your marketing outreach - and push their buy-buttons. *2. Next, apply/project the model onto your trade area/target group:* you should overlay the personas (you can do this at the household level OR by ZIP code, etc.) with specifics about filters like "number of kids aged 13-15." This overlay will ensure you touch the right prospects in terms of how they think/act/buy and in terms of the specific demographic requirements you set forth. Hope this helps! Ping me anytime if you have more questions. You can contact me here or via my website's contact page .

Renee Zau Founder of DonationMatch and SamplingforGood, Cause Marketing Guru, Startup Mentor, Fundraising Event Consultant

April 5th, 2016

You might also look up some of the newer e-flyer companies that help schools go paperless with their announcements, as they enable outside advertising for schools to include (their choice). Peachjar is the one my son's school uses, and they are growing fantastically. 

If you can partner up with a nonprofit, your announcement is more likely to be distributed. Even schools without e-flyers typically have this requirement (no for-profit companies.)

My own company, DonationMatch, has a few thousand school contacts (usually PTA/PTO leaders), some in your target but more elementary school. If you are able to offer a giveaway/in-kind donation to events for exposure, I'd be happy to chat about companies can use our system for free or very little. 

Good luck!

Roger Wu co-founder at cooperatize, native advertising platform

March 31st, 2016

Bloggers and influencers. 

Rob G

March 31st, 2016

David, what are you selling? 

William Agush Founder and CEO at Shuttersong Incorporated

March 31st, 2016

That's a particularly challenging group. What's the product category?