For today’s families, diversity is the new normal. The so-called nuclear family has evolved into all sorts of different family arrangements and structures. If you’re marketing to the modern family, you’ll definitely miss the mark if you assume they share the same experiences and have the same needs.
Consumers want to see brand messaging that reflects their real lives, which for families means honoring the fact that they embody a melting pot of cultures and lifestyles. Interracial families, same-sex families, single-parent families, adoptive families, families with special needs … the notion of a “traditional” family has become more than outdated: it completely fails to address what today’s families actually look like and how they function.
It’s important for brands take learn to craft campaigns that cater to this vast variety of audiences, rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach. Here are 3 tips for using content and influencer marketing to reach the modern family:
Understand the Uniqueness of the Modern Family
The stats show that two-parent households are on the decline in the United States, and no one dominant family structure can be declared as the norm. Instead:
- About one-third of U.S. children live with an unmarried parent
- More dads are staying home to take care of the kids
- Lots of moms are doing it solo: 56% of black mothers are single moms, as are 26% of Hispanic moms, 17% of white moms, and 9% of Asian moms
- More than a million Millennials are becoming mothers each year
- 22% of families speak a language other than English at home
- 20% of households live with multiple generations under one roof
- Between 2 million and 3.7 million children under age 18 have an LGBTQ parent
- 45% of same-sex couples are married, more than a quarter of whom are raising children
- In order to engage today’s diverse, blended and extended families, start by understanding their specific circumstances and needs. Create uniquely targeted messaging that’s based on what truly resonates among this multifaceted group.
Avoid Misrepresentation When Marketing to the Modern Family
The essence of today’s family is about sharing choices, sharing experiences, and the emotional benefits of togetherness. Even if the image of family has changed, what defines it hasn't.
Think about how your language and images will be interpreted by all members of all types of families. In your marketing, don’t assume young couples are planning to have kids, that a family consists of a mom and a dad, or that dad works while mom cares for the kids. Don’t fall back on stereotypes (the bumbling dad, the laundry-spot-obsessed mom), and reframe language to be inclusive of all relevant family members.
Partner with Like-Minded Influencers
One of the best ways to engage this ever-changing demographic is to align with influencers who have built a following among parenting and family audiences. Influencers not only have a unique understanding of what their followers care about, they can share brand messaging in a way that feels like a natural extension of their own content.
Today’s parents are inundated with advertisements for products and services geared toward them. Influencer marketing can help cut through the noise with inclusive and nuanced messaging that resonates for families.
At Sway Group, we recently worked with an entertainment and media brand who wanted to reach families to promote their new animated movie. The film centered around the messages of acceptance, diversity, and friendship. We designed an influencer program with inclusive messaging that included critiques of idealized beauty standards, and activated a carefully-chosen, diverse group of parent influencers. Thanks to an approach that avoided generalization and honored the various needs of this differentiated consumer group, the campaign was a great success: over 132.4K engagements across social media channels and just under 10K clicks to the landing page.
Meet Them Where They’re At
Families aren’t huddled around the television for TGIF prime time shows the way they used to be. Kids and adults tend to be watching entertainment separately, with younger members of the family more focused on devices and streaming content rather than the television. TV viewing has evolved from a single living room device to sprawling across many devices, apps, and networks. With these modern media consumption patterns in mind, investing in digital marketing allows brands to get much more specific with targeting. Although family “must-see-TV” may be dwindling, so too are the days of expensive TV ad buys to try and reach large, anonymous audiences.
Many marketers are still advertising the 50’s image of a family, regardless of whether it actually mirrors their audience's reality. Don’t make the same mistake: connect with today’s families by recognizing the emotional truths that define them, rather than their specific demographics.
Interested in learning more about how Sway Group’s expertise with family-targeted campaigns can help your business? Get in touch today.