Citizen Optimum releases comprehensive Citizen Mom report: Brand lessons in what makes mom tick

Citizen Mom spent a year talking, studying and listening to Canada's most desired consumer

TORONTO, Oct. 17, 2013 /CNW/ - Citizen Optimum released today its Citizen Mom report, revealing a year of research investigating the real lives of real Canadian moms and what brands need to know to reach them effectively. Results offer a reality check to brands that think they've created a space for a more realistic picture of family life to emerge in their marketing. Instead, moms let us know there is a need for brands to deliver a more three-dimensional, complex picture of mom, rather than the myth of Super Mom.

"The study revealed a unanimous sentiment from moms across the board. They have many vital relationships, they want to be acknowledged, they want some public empathy but don't want to be told they need more, " says Nick Cowling, General Manager, Citizen Optimum. "Communication with this increasingly important group of women can be enhanced by common-sense principles like judgement-free straight talk, engaging dialogue and some corporate empathy."

Citizen Optimum partnered with AskingCanadians™ to develop an innovative research methodology to unveil unexpected insights into Canada's most influential consumer market: moms.  The approach investigates the real lives of real Canadian moms and what they can teach brands about how to reach them effectively.   The four-phased approach (asking, discussing, listening and interpreting) engaged a targeted group of moms from within the AskingCanadians online research community.  Participants shared in a research journey comprised of an online survey, virtual focus group, social listening and data analytics as a means to enable moms to tell their own holistic story about their lives as leaders in their families and in the market.

"In an age when brands are trying to connect with, and listen to, their customers, AskingCanadians empowered Citizen Optimum to develop an innovative research methodology to dialogue with this highly-valued segment of consumers," said Adam Froman, CEO, AskingCanadians. "This new and innovative method of conducting research with moms in our AskingCanadians community allows brands to better understand how to fit into the lives of moms and to use that insight to communicate the right messages to them."

Throughout the process, moms welcomed our questions, and we welcomed their candour.  Using this multi-layered dialogue, we heard directly from them about their experience, replete with uncensored emotion. Key insights provide a fresh approach to how this audience interacts with brands.

INSIGHT #1: Brands that Unite Increase Reach and Revenues
Whether working or at-home, moms toil under the constant burden of myth and judgment from others.  Working moms have their level of commitment challenged, while at-home moms have their choices questioned.  And if this weren't troubling enough, often the judgment is exacerbated by other moms.

Why?  Perhaps because of their ambivalent relationship to the Super Mom.  The myth of the Super Mom is both the siren song of the motivated parent and her Achilles heel.   As moms everywhere confront the reality that they are imperfect, their inner critic sometimes projects a harsh eye on others.  Brands that can break through the noise and dissension by bringing moms of all stripes together are brands that win their hearts and interest.

INSIGHT #2: It's Time for Brands to Re-think Aspirational
Cut through the myths about working moms and at-home moms, and you find two groups that look more alike than different. Most moms are looking for the same simple rewards: a smile, a hug, a sign that they are making an impact.  When they are feeling really indulgent, they might seek an hour alone, perhaps with a book or a partner, or a meal free of prying fingers. Moms don't necessarily want it all.Many feel that they already have, and manage, it all. Consequently, brands need to be careful not to make new demands on moms without alleviating any of their other responsibilities.

There's no doubt about it, mothering is hard work. It's more thankless, more disruptive and even more isolating than imagined. These women warn about the influence motherhood can have on egos and relationships. But they also revel in the simple rewards - a smile, a hug - signs that they are making an impact. And they are quick to affirm one thing - empathy and understanding make it all worth it. Stay tuned for more from Citizen Mom.

INSIGHT #3: It's Not You, It's Mom.  Really.
Finally, brands need to know that moms are not talking about them as much as they might expect.  Sure, they pipe up when a brand provokes a response from them on their own brand territory.  Like everyone else, moms are "liking" and "following" brands in the branded social space with the hope of a reward.  But when it comes to the spaces that moms control, they're talking about…themselves.  In fact, our social listening on the different mom archetypes found many who were using the space to declare, and few who were using it dialogue.  That is, moms rarely asked questions or invited comment.  More often, they made assertions that reflected their convictions about parenting.  True dialogue was reserved for even more private spaces - email groups, private forums and the like. To break down these barriers, brands need to shift from talking at moms to talking with moms, to engage them authentically, and more importantly, to listen. Stay tuned for more Citizen insights.

About AskingCanadians
AskingCanadians™, a Delvinia company, was established in 2005 as an online data collection firm dedicated to helping market researchers gather high quality information from Canadian consumers. We own and manage the AskingCanadians™ online research community, and its French counterpart Qu'en pensez vousMC, which includes a panel of more than 250,000 demographically representative and profiled Canadians who have opted-in to participate in online surveys that significantly influence today's leading brands. AskingCanadians™ and Qu'en pensez vousMC are built through incentive partnerships with Aeroplan, HBC Rewards, Walmart and PETRO-POINTS. The result is an average response rate that eclipses the industry. For more information, please visit corporate.askingcanadians.com.

About Citizen Optimum
Citizen Optimum is the Canadian arm of Citizen Relations, an international PR agency recently named 2012 midsize agency of the year in North America by The Holmes Report. Formed from the union of four successful agencies in the UK and North America, along with strategic partners in Asia and Latin America, Citizen Relations offers strategic PR advice and counsel to industry leading brands, corporations, governments and not-for-profit organizations, designed to contribute to the business success of clients through effective and innovative communications.

SOURCE: Citizen Optimum LP

For further information:

For the complete Citizen Mom whitepaper, please contact Denise Gagnon at 416-934-8084 or denise.gagnon@citizenrelations.com .

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Citizen Optimum LP

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