When you are developing strategy to attract new parents to your private school, how often do you discuss the specific needs and desires of Millennials, or as they’re also called, Generation Y?
You should be talking about them a lot, considering that they most likely already comprise most of your school’s community. I’m referring to your students’ parents. In this blog, we’ll specifically be talking about millennial moms.
In one of Schola’s recent blogs, Who Are Millennial Parents and How Do I Market My Private School To Them?, we talked about how you, as a school administrator, can promote and advertise to Millennial parents. We defined who Millennials are and focused on a stage in their lives: being parents.
For Millennial parents, parenthood is considered very important part of their new, maturing lives. Having their own children is a pivotal point where their priorities shift focus. One of the books I've really enjoyed digging into is called, “Millennials with Kids”. A key theme of this book is that the stereotypes we have heard about Millennials being lazy, unfocused, entitled, and living in their parents' basement are not necessarily reliable generalizations, especially when it comes to Millennials who have children. Here is a helpful quote from the book:
“Millennials’ defining characteristics don’t just disappear when their children are born. They are not disconnecting from their smartphones, losing compassion for causes they once cared about or shunning adventure. Like Millennials without kids, parents are strongly defined by the generational traits that have set the Millennial population apart from everyone else. However, they are finding new ways to use technology to streamline the trials and tribulations of parenthood, refocusing their support on more local causes, and finding adventure closer to home that is inclusive of their children. “
Along with this change in view is the parent's preference on what products and services they will purchase for their children, specifically, their education.
Although Millennial dads are also taking active roles as parents, we’ll focus on millennial moms due to their growing number and influence when it comes to educating their children.
Understanding Millennial Moms
This is just one description of Millennials but is considered to be the most meaningful, as this is the generation that was born alongside emails and instant messaging. They fully embrace technology and are said to be 2.5 times more likely to be an adopter of technology when compared to other generations.
Aside from being a strong, emerging segment of the millennial population, this generation of young mothers also comprise 46% of total women in their age group. Moms are considered the household authority when it comes to purchasing power and influence. They hold 85% of household purchases, and have about $2.4 trillion of spending power. They’re also very busy, with 71% working from outside their homes.
They are distinctly the mothers of their generation but are remarkable because of the way they use technology, how they handle their household, and how they consume media exclusively.
Effective marketing to millennial moms should focus on recognizing what their needs are and delivering on their expectations.
Update Your Online Assets
If you want to market your school to millennial moms, you'll need to put effort into having attractive and functional online assets such as your website and social media accounts. Millennial moms are known to be online continually throughout their days, and as per KRC Research in 2012 states:
- They have more social network accounts and spend more time on their social networks than moms overall.
- They have 3.4 social media accounts, on average (vs. 2.6 for moms in general).
- They spend an average of 17.4 hours per week with their social networks, 2 hours more than they spend watching TV and nearly 4 hours more than the average mom spends on social networks.
With these in mind, here are some tips on maintaining a good online presence:
- You should make sure that you are accessible all the time – through your online assets, as well as from your contact information.
- Update your school’s website and social media accounts regularly.
- Check if you have all your relevant contact information in place, and make sure that any online queries can easily and quickly be responded to.
- Also keep posting news, school events, and programs on a daily basis, as nothing attracts visitors more than seeing an active site or page.
- Millennial moms will be using their smartphones all the time, so expect that they’ll be able to check on you anytime, all the time.
However, your private school can’t just stop at having a responsive web design, app development, social media, or use text messaging. You also have to consider ways to continuously engage with your online visitors.
Millennial moms are also said to be decision-influencers, meaning they are likely to provide opinions and recommendations about products and services. They share and advise within their social circles and networks of fellow young mothers, whose judgment they trust more than other sources.
Your school can benefit from this Word of Mouth marketing among moms. Feed them stories of meaningful impact and examples of how your school completes it's mission in the community and they will organically spread the word!
Remember that they aren’t interested in ‘selling’ your school by bombarding others with sales pitches and elevator speeches. In contrast, they want to be helpful guides as they make recommendations to their friends. Likewise, as a school, you can gain their trust when you provide excellent customer service, listen to their needs, and provide solutions to their problems.
Needless to say, your current parents can be your brand ambassadors and can guide opinions in your favor especially in online discussions about your school. As long as you’re able to satisfy their expectations on what you promised in delivering to them and their children, their approval will stay on the affirmative.
I bet you have never heard of this. It was new to me, too!
Which generation comes after Gen Z?
Logically, of course, Gen A or Generation Alpha. (Are there crazy marketers out there who think they can just label entire generations with the alphabet?) Well, it is being done now, and here are some details:
“If generation Alpha possesses similar behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs to that of their parents, then to win with a certain segment of millennial consumers (millennial parents), we must target generation Alpha.” - Google
Let’s underscore the main motivation for Millennial moms: their children.
Known as Generation Alpha, these are the offspring born after 2011. They have the most impact on their mother’s decisions, as well as on their spending. It’s a fact that tweens, or 8-12-year-olds, “heavily influence” more than $30 billion in another spending by parents.”
This is also true for their education.
Millennial moms have been observed to be very passionately attached to their children, more than the closeness between any other generation. They are known to value good parenting, especially since only about 6 out of 10 Millennials were raised by both parents. This gains more importance as children as 18% of women today, at the end of their childbearing years, have had only one child, up from 10% in 1976.
This is a key point I hope you will discuss with your leadership team especially when you evaluate your school. If it's true that 6 out of 10 Millennials with children enrolled your school were not raised by both parents, how does this dynamic impact your young moms? Figure this out and you will be able to connect with them better and thus allow you to serve them well.
Millennial moms prefer schools that can educate their children in the values of honesty and friendliness, as well as improving their social skills and knowledge in technology. And they are willing to pay more if necessary.
Another option is to have millennial moms participate in social events and community social projects, as they are also keen on collaboration, especially with a school whose events are for a cause they support, as per Cone Cause Evolution Study in 2010.
You can focus your school programs to support a specific ministry or needy organization in your community or even on higher levels, a nationwide or international issue. These causes may be for the environment, health and wellness, or social justice.
Now that we’ve laid out the numbers that make Millennial moms a strong influence among peers in their communities, your school should be more aware of what marketing efforts to plan and implement. In understanding Millennial moms’ propensity for using technology and carefully considering what they care about, you can prepare a marketing message that will answer their problems and support their needs.
Your next step is to formulate your school's Buyer Persona profiles which will guide your school marketing strategy so you can successfully attract parents of the Millennial generation.
Click the banner below to watch our on-demand webcast in which we dig deeper into creating a marketing strategy that connects with Millennial parents: