Tech Telco Moms

Connecting with Mothers When It Matters Most

Brands that understand the changes in people’s lives have an opportunity to not just reach people but to really connect with them. While marketers so often categorize people based on fixed traits, like demographics or lifetime value, the truth is that people’s needs and behavior are not fixed—they shift over time. Audience segmentation can be a source of inspiration for marketers focused on connecting to the people who matter the most.

In a new report that focuses on mothers, Deloitte explores a moment-based approach to marketing—one in which people are categorized according to what they are experiencing in life, rather than demographic characteristics alone. Deloitte partnered with Facebook to explore how mothers in particular live and behave, analyzing the anonymized data of more than 50 million people in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Norway.

The study highlights findings on how mobile phone manufacturers and network operators may benefit from moment-based thinking, which are also relevant across industries. To better understand the implications of these findings, Facebook IQ talked with Matthew Guest, Director, Digital Strategy at Deloitte, and Jane Schachtel, Global of Head of Mobile & Technology Strategy at Facebook.

Perspective: Matthew Guest of Deloitte


In the report you identified a number of ways to think about moments—why did you highlight motherhood as being particularly significant for marketers?

Matthew: Motherhood consists of many moments over time (for example, becoming pregnant or giving up work for a period of time), and as people spend more time on mobile devices, we thought it prudent to better understand this large demographic. Additionally, these moments are often accompanied by other significant events, such as moving or getting married, so we anticipated that examining moments of motherhood may provide a suitable starting place for understanding device usage. By addressing how these moments affect people’s needs and behaviors, marketers can demonstrate that they care—that they understand people’s needs and get what matters to them.

What do you know about mothers as telecom consumers?

A: On the one hand, we know that mothers are less likely to own a 4G-capable handset, that they consider screen size less important and that they tend to own fewer devices than women in general. However, Deloitte’s survey data also show that mothers are 10 percentage points more likely than women who are not mothers to have changed mobile operators in the last 5 years. And interestingly, when it comes to choosing their next phone, price is actually less important for mothers.

One of the study’s findings was that mothers change mobile carriers more frequently than women without children. Do the data offer any insight into why that might be?

A: The data indicate that the age of children appears to correlate with the likelihood of mothers to switch operator. For example, mothers with younger children (ages 0-10) are almost 50% more likely to switch carriers than those with older kids. There are probably several factors at play here, many of which could be child-related: upgrading handsets for enhanced photo capability; changing tariffs or plans to suit a different life routine; replacing handsets damaged by inquisitive toddlers; or even changing operator and handset as an old device is passed down to a child.* The really exciting opportunity here is in understanding these root causes and spotting early intention to switch operators, which could allow operators to develop more successful retention strategies.

Mothers become even more compelling as an audience when you explore their Facebook behavior. Can you describe what you found?

A: We found mothers to be significantly more active on Facebook than nonmothers, and possibly more influential too. Mothers uploaded more photos, left more posts and connected to more Facebook friends than nonmothers. For example, while women who were not mothers posted an average of 6 photos during a 3-week period in 2014, mothers posted an average of 12. And while nonmothers had on average 227 Facebook friends, mothers had 318.**

Perspective: Jane Schachtel of Facebook


Marketers have been using traditional demographic segmentation for years. What’s the rationale behind incorporating lifestage moments as another way to segment people?

Jane: The truth is that traditional demographics will always have value. However, with new technological capabilities and access to unprecedented targeting, we’ve reached a new era. Using demographics combined with lifestage moments as a way to segment people empowers advertisers to personalize messages at scale, to both potential and existing customers. This is new territory for marketers and as capabilities improve, so too shall their return on investment.

As an example, if you’re a carrier, having insight into whether someone is a new mother, newly graduated or new to the workforce means you can reach people with relevant messages at moments that matter. As people spend more time on mobile devices and as we gain richer insights around people’s authentic selves in digital spaces, carriers have tremendous opportunity to capitalize on these changes. By tapping into important milestones in people’s lives—in this case, the moments that matter to mothers—businesses are able to form longer, more valuable relationships with their customers.

This paper found that mothers watch more video than women who do not have kids. Why is that relevant for telecom companies and marketers in general?

A: In general, we know that people are consuming more video than ever; it’s becoming a staple in terms of how advertisers connect with people in new, more meaningful ways. We’re seeing an evolution of storytelling towards more visual content, and video is driving much of this. In fact, in just one year, the number of video posts per person on Facebook increased 75% globally and 94% in the US.

As of January 2015, we reported 3 billion views per day on Facebook, two-thirds of which are on mobile. These statistics are telling and indicative of where marketing is headed. Importantly, they demonstrate what type of communication and content people prefer—becoming invaluable as marketers think about acquiring more valuable customers and using visual content to reduce churn, increase loyalty and develop relationships with all the people who matter to their business.

One of the study’s more notable takeaways is that mothers may use more data than typical telco customers across cellular and WiFi networks. This, combined with the fact that video consumption continues to increase, makes a compelling business case for operators to expend more resources on connecting with mothers and for brands to use video to connect with this segment. For both acquisition and retention purposes, doing so becomes highly advantageous.


Tech Telco Mothers
Based on your findings, what is the one thing that tech and telco marketers should take away from this paper?

A: Beyond expending marketing resources on mothers, I suggest businesses invest in humanizing their brand to build valuable connections with the customers they most value. Many technology and telecoms companies focus on traditional early-adopting 18-24 males. However, this research, combined with what we already know about mothers, suggests that they are incredibly valuable customers thanks to their high level of influence within and outside the family and because of their propensity to advocate for brands.

Can you offer any advice or recommendations regarding how businesses can benefit from this paper’s findings?

A: In any industry, savvy marketing has always been about reaching people where they are spending their time. In theory, this means adaptability is key. In practice, this means going mobile first. More specifically, this means carriers—and businesses, generally speaking—would benefit from adapting investments and marketing activities to reflect consumer behavior, particularly as it relates to this mobile-first, mobile-obsessed, multidevice world in which we operate.

While this paper focuses on mothers and how advertisers can more effectively reach this demographic, the study illustrates 2 key points: First, the tremendous opportunity that comes with mothers and moment-based segmentation. Second, and more importantly, that a moment-based approach represents another part in the future of advertising. With continually improving technological capabilities brought about by digital, we’ll begin to see an increase in personally relevant ads, delivered within context and on massive people-based platforms. According to eMarketer only 5% of client-side marketers worldwide said they were personalizing extensively, so there is a ton of opportunity.

This is an exciting time to hone the art and science of personalized marketing at scale, and I look forward to seeing what businesses will accomplish with these new capabilities.


Download the white paper PDF on Deloitte’s website here.


Source: “A People-Based Telecom Business: Breathing New Life into Segmentation Strategies” by Deloitte Mar 2015 (study commissioned by Facebook).
* In August 2013, a UK-based online and telephone comparison and switching service reported that nearly one in 10 children get their first phone at the age of 5. The figure is likely to have risen since then.
** Average number of photos posted and friends calculated as an arithmetic mean, inclusive of outliers.
Note 1: Facebook internal data based on aggregate reported and inferred user data for a 3-week period ending Dec 15, 2014 (data accessed Jan 31 2015). N=50 million randomly sampled people using Facebook in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and the UK.
Note 2: “It’s the end of 2014. Where’s Personalization Now?” by eMarketer Dec 2014.