Embracing Technology May Brighten Mom’s Outlook

CHICAGO, IL, Oct. 20, 2011 – Technology is creating closer family relationships rather than pushing families apart, according to research presented today at the 7th Annual M2Moms®. The Marketing to Moms Conference, at the Chicago Cultural Center. Moms in families who embrace technology are more optimistic about a wide range of issues, and believe technology is helping make strides in disease, education and overall quality of life.

“There has been a lot of controversy around the impact all this texting and time online has on our society and on families, but our research suggests that moms and dads who embrace technology communicate more and embrace traditional family time and values,” says Monique da Silva, Head of Healthcare North America at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide. “They are three times more likely to strongly agree that their kids’ generation will put a stronger emphasis on family.”

Ogilvy & Mather, in partnership with leading consumer insights company Communispace, conducted a new joint research study, “Tech Fast Forward: Plug in to see the brighter side of life,” which takes a deep dive into the role technology plays in families’ lives today, exploring the mindset of tech-savvy moms, dads and kids, as they pave the way for what lies ahead for consumers and brands alike.

The report uncovers insights from the “Tech Fast Forward” (TFF) family segment (defined as households who use more sophisticated technology than the average person, with children ages 3-12) and seeks to understand how parents and children embracing technology differ from their less tech-savvy counterparts. Following this group helps brands and marketers alike understand the mindset and experiences that companies need to stay engaged and relevant in today’s rapidly changing world.

“You don’t need to be a futurist to know that today’s world is changing rapidly and technology is driving this evolution—continually creating possibilities, broadening our horizons and opening new doors,” said Graceann Bennett, Managing Partner and Director of Strategic Planning at Ogilvy & Mather Chicago. “We assumed as a starting point that technology is our future, but what we did not know—and what we sought to uncover—was whether the outlook would be limitless or limiting, dangerous or delicious, awesome or overwhelming.”

A Tech Future is a Surprisingly Bright Future
Moms and Dads believe technology is helping their children develop critical skills that will empower them to navigate – and even save – the world in the years and decades to come. According to the research, the TFF segment is twice as likely to say their children’s generation is better off than prior generations and three times more likely than the rest of the population to strongly agree that when their kids’ generation comes into power, they will “save the planet,” “the world will be better off because of how they will lead the way” and “there will be global peace.”

So What Does this Mean for Brands Seeking to Target Moms? 
“For those of us who market to moms on a daily basis, this research provides an important imformation on how we leverge new technologies to connect with moms and harness her desire to communicate with her family and friends,” adds da Silva. “This TFF Mom is not a slave to technology – she is its master and knows how to use it to simplify her life.”

Ogilvy identified several implications that will help marketers stay ahead of the curve and connect, literally and emotionally, with today and tomorrow’s tech forward mom and family.

1. Mobilize tech optimism: Brands have the opportunity to capitalize on today’s tech optimism by helping consumers create the brighter world they want to see.

2. Get into generation bending: Nobody really acts their age anymore: market to kids as adults, adults as kids.

3. Mine the family mindset: As intergenerational attitudes converge, opportunities to market to the family as a unit increase. Purchase decisions are family decisions.

4. Turn up the intensity of shared experiences: Brands can leverage technology to expand and elevate shared experiences; look beyond the ordinary and consider partnering with artists to enhance and deepen brand involvement.

5. Un-connect the dots: Consumers want to interpret your brand – to make your brand’s story their own. So give them the building blocks and let them put the pieces together.

6. Get serious about game play: Game play is no longer relegated to the domain of kids – as technology makes brands more interactive, consumers expect to engage with brands in ways that mimic “play.” Be it betting, competing, constructing or solving puzzles, consumers look for ways to take time out and have a little fun with your brand.

7. Let people mess with your brand: The creative impulse abounds, and today, any and all content is fair game for experimentation, adaptation and reinterpretation. This includes your brand!  Companies need to embrace this trend and enable consumers to reimagine and remix brand assets.

How the Research Was Conducted 
A nationally representative sample was conducted with 1,200 tech savvy kids and their families across America with at least one child between the ages of 3 and 12. The first round of data collection occurred in 2010, and a second round was conducted in April 2011. Ogilvy Chicago also conducted in-home ethnographies with tech savvy kids and their families. Communispace conducted a series of qualitative studies including interactive conversations, image galleries and other dynamic and exploratory activities with its proprietary online community members, which involved some 100 technology-savvy families with children between the age of 3 and 12.

The full research paper can be found online at www. womenology.ogilvypr.com, www.ogilvy.com/techfastforward and www.communispace.com/techfastforward.

Media Contacts:
Toni Lee
Ogilvy & Mather

Rachel Ufer
Ogilvy Public Relations

About Ogilvy & Mather
Ogilvy & Mather is one of the largest marketing communications companies in the world. Through its specialty units, the company provides a comprehensive range of marketing services including: advertising; public relations and public affairs; branding and identity; shopper and retail marketing; healthcare communications; direct, digital, promotion and relationship marketing. Ogilvy & Mather and Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide service Fortune Global 500 companies as well as local businesses through its network of more than 450 offices in 120 countries. It is a WPP company (NASDAQ: WPPGY). For more information, visit www.ogilvy.com.

About Communispace
The world’s most admired brands turn to Communispace, the leader in generating game-changing insights via private online customer communities. Founded in 1999, the company has created more than 400 customer communities for industry leaders such as Kraft, Hewlett-Packard, Charles Schwab, Hallmark, Unilever, GlaxoSmithKline, and Hilton Hotels Corporation. Headquartered in Watertown, Massachusetts, the company has offices in Atlanta, Chicago, London, New York, San Francisco, as well as Imperia, Italy and Sydney, Australia. For more information, visit www.communispace.com.

Contact: Toni Lee
Date: October 20, 2011
Office: Chicago