Making Mother’s Day Marketing Count

Rebekah Paul |
 05/15/23 |
6 min read


Mother’s Day presents a significant opportunity for brands to promote their products. But merely advertising products isn’t enough. There are a number of narratives to consider if brands want to make an impact on this major gift-giving day. And fortunately, social media listening can help companies identify what mothers really want, as well as how and where to reach them!

Moms’ preferences have evolved over the years, with many seeking more than the traditional gifts of flowers and chocolates. Social intelligence reveals valuable insights from consumer conversations to guide a brand’s Mother’s Day marketing strategies.

But first, here are some statistics from the National Retail Federation to whet your appetite a bit:

  • According to a recent survey by the National Retail Federation, 84% of the participants expressed their intention to observe Mother’s Day in some form.
  • On average, consumers plan to spend $274.02 on their Mother’s Day festivities, approximately $30 higher than the previous year.
  • The majority of those who are celebrating Mother’s Day (57%) are buying gifts for their mothers or stepmothers, followed by wives (23%) or daughters (12%).
  • Similar to previous years, popular gift choices include flowers (74%), greeting cards (74%), and special outings like brunch or dinner (60%). The spending on jewelry is expected to be $7.8 billion, $5.6 billion on special outings, and $4 billion on electronics.
  • According to the survey respondents, the critical factors while purchasing a Mother’s Day gift are finding unique or distinct items (47%) and creating special memories (42%).

That last bullet is a wild card chock full of opportunities yet to be discovered or placed in front of purchasers desperate for something novel.

And where will consumers be doing this searching and shopping? Aside from department stores (34%) and online shops (34%), consumers also intend to purchase gifts from specialty stores (30%) and local small businesses (24%). And this means every company can get in on the Mother’s Day shopping craze.

Let’s explore.

Who is Mom?

To determine what mothers may want for Mother’s Day, we must first understand who they are and how they self-identify. By examining conversations surrounding the holiday and applying a filter to isolate moms, we can gain insights into the different demographics of our audience, including their interests.

Below we see everything from fashion and family to food and drink:

It’s essential to recognize that a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work when understanding mothers. To truly understand them, it’s necessary to examine each demographic, such as age, profession, gender, and more, and identify their specific traits. This can provide valuable insights and ideas for meaningfully reaching out to different types of mothers.

For instance, by examining conversations around the interest of Health and Fitness, we can uncover various discussions such as dining out, watching movies, or taking kids to see a ballet. This provides brands with a focused approach to communicating with this particular audience.

mothers day snippet 1

And how to moms feel about the upcoming holiday?

The overall social sentiment is high, and the excitement for Mother’s Day is palpable:

mothers day emotions

However, brands mustn’t overlook negative sentiment, as it can provide valuable insights into potential pain points or areas for improvement. While there is undoubtedly a lot of positive sentiment surrounding Mother’s Day, there is also a bit of sadness and disgust in the conversation.

Examining the reasons behind these negative emotions can help brands address any concerns or issues mothers, or consumers in general may have about the holiday.

Peeling Back Layers and Loss

Mother’s Day has transformed, as not everyone has a traditional mother figure. Some individuals have complex relationships with their mothers, while others may have lost theirs. Some may desire to be mothers themselves but are unable to do so. As a result, there is a range of mixed emotions surrounding Mother’s Day, and brands must approach the occasion with sensitivity.

Digging deeper into the interests mentioned above, we can see that consumers across various demographics appreciate having the option to opt out of Mother’s Day advertisements:

Companies need to reconsider their approach to Mother’s Day advertisements this year to cater to the sentiments of their audience. Brands that show sensitivity to their consumers will likely have a more significant impact on them. Many brands have already started to take this into account.

Taking Other Mothers into Account

For example, Sephora changed its language to include all mothers. Last year, the company’s Mother’s Day promotional strategy focused on promoting inclusivity and featuring a diverse range of individuals whom one may consider a mother. They created an emotional advertisement highlighting various mother figures, going beyond the traditional notion of biological motherhood and heteronormativity.

The ad celebrated different types of mothers, including adoptive moms, drag moms, mentor moms, stepmoms, biological moms, pet moms, and more.

And Victoria’s Secret joined in as well. The brand created a poignant video featuring interviews with well-known mothers and their children discussing motherhood and their relationships. The brand expressed its excitement for honoring the diverse relationships that foster genuine love, regardless of the type of motherhood experienced, how one was mothered, or how their journey as a mother unfolded.

When crafting their Mother’s Day communication, brands don’t necessarily have to come up with something entirely new. Instead, they can empathize with their customers and be open to their requirements. This can include offering options to opt out of Mother’s Day marketing emails or making efforts to be more inclusive in their messaging and imagery.

But there are still plenty of people looking forward to shopping for their mother, sister, etc., or plenty of mothers looking forward to shopping for themselves. So, what do they want?

What Do Moms as Consumers Really Want?

A modern-day Mother’s Day isn’t just about marketing to moms but to a wider variety of people. So, it’s a little tricky as you’re appealing to many different groups of people for one singular idea and day.

And for that, we turn to social intelligence.

Examining the overall conversation around Mother’s Day and opening it up to everyone talking about it online can provide companies with broad insight into the various topics and themes important to consumers. By identifying top conversational clusters, brands can make informed decisions when it comes time to play out their approach:

mothers day quid conversational clusters

After analyzing the conversation around Mother’s Day, we see that the topics discussed are diverse. The top cluster includes discussions around motherhood. Other popular topics include flowers, events, jewelry, Etsy and supporting small businesses, and Mother’s Day brunch.

By using sentiment analysis and applying personal narrative themes such as “I need/want,” “I wish,” “My favorite,” and “I love,” we can extract specific mentions and their associated sentiments from the broader conversation.

mothers day crosstab

Additional searches reveal a focus on giving flowers with lasting value, such as artistically preserved or potted flowers or plants, old-fashioned letter writing, and some expected calls for jewelry, fashion and brunch. Moms love brunch!

mothers day snippets 2

But brands’ online investigations shouldn’t stop there. It’s always a good idea to check in and see what your competitors are offering on big shopping days and learn from their successes or challenges.

Keeping a Competitive Eye Open

For starters, we can use social intelligence to extract the top brands mentioned in the Mother’s Day conversation. The size of Etsy in the word cloud lists below suggests it is frequently discussed:

mothers day brands 1 mothers day brands 2

The fact that consumers mention larger online retailers like Facebook, eBay, and Amazon may indicate that they are turning to these platforms to find gifts for Mother’s Day. However, the prominence of Etsy in the word cloud suggests that consumers are also interested in supporting smaller businesses and buying unique, handmade gifts for their mothers.

By using the same conversation and diving into the hashtags, we find a similar result. The top three hashtags #giftsforher, #antiques, and #vintagedecor are linked to the Etsy cluster mentioned earlier.

mothers day hashtags

This could be an opportunity for brands to tap into the trend of supporting small businesses by highlighting their small-business partnerships or unique, artisanal products. And if you don’t currently have any, now would be the time to look, as Christmas and other end of year gift giving will be here soon!

Competing with retail businesses like Etsy, and other small businesses, can be challenging this Mother’s Day. However, keeping an eye on their strategies can be helpful. Smaller businesses are often considered more approachable and relatable, and this is something larger enterprises can learn from. To achieve this, companies need to pay attention to consumer behavior and sentiments, which can be done using the right social listening tools. And NetBase Quid® is the place to do it!

To learn more and how it can benefit your business, reach out for a demo!

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