by Tenielle Maris. When one thinks of the term “millennial”, images of hipsters adorned in mismatched outfits, wheeling vintage bicycles down the road while sipping on their craft-brewed ales, come to mind. We tend to forget that young parents, chasing after screaming children, nappy bags and wet-wipes in tow, also belong to the ‘infamous’ millennial tribe. These are the millennial parents, or ‘parennials’, whom are hyper-connected, choice-rich, time-poor and one of the most-influential bunch of consumers across the globe.

This group of ‘new-age’ parents do things a little differently than our own parents did: they have access to more information than they know what to do with but enough of it to make their consumer journey more complex and colourful than we advertisers and marketers had ever imagined.

Their love affair with multi-device browsing, social media and online shopping means that these parents have more tools at their disposal — to conduct research, consult reviews, have their say and take part in bigger conversations — than parents from previous generations. As a result, they are better-equipped, more engaged and more vocal through their parenting experience, and smart brands are seizing the opportunity to really get it right with these people.

New-age support groups

The age-old saying goes that “it takes a village to raise a child”; however, the modern-day definition of village now encompasses the communities made possible through technology.

Studies have confirmed that more millennials turn to social media and Google for parenting advice vs other generations, and will rely on parenting groups to provide them with a sense of community during one of the most-challenging, scary and rewarding experiences of their lives.

They exist in a culture of mutual exchange where they rely on the opinions of trusted sources and, in turn, provide insight on their own experiences: millennials love to broadcast their thoughts and experiences, and they will seize the opportunity wherever possible to feel simultaneously enriched and heard along their parenting journey.

The evolution of the SAHM

Digital connection and the way in which innovation is changing the workplace — allowing women to work anytime, from anywhere — is enabling more millennial mothers to work from home. This, along with more and more millennial mothers making the choice to stay single, presents a new set of challenges for moms wanting to find balance in their work and time spent raising children.

According to Forbes, these women are challenging the status quo of what being a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) is all about and, as the key decision-maker in most households, marketers and advertisers had better ensure that they understand how to connect with her.

“It’s a really exciting time for content creators and marketers because the family is being represented differently than they’ve ever been represented before.” —Pam Kaufman, Nickelodeon CMO.

Influential mamas

Millennial moms are especially more likely than their Gen X counterparts to trust the advice of other parents. This is one of the main reasons that millennial mommy influencers are connecting with communities of like-minded women in the most-relevant way and raking in the big bucks as a result.

Millennial mothers are looking up to influencers whom are sources of inspiration when it comes to being a mom and simultaneously doing what they love: whether through lifestyle, food, fashion, art, culture or interior design. These new-age moms are hungry for avenues to assist in their quest for a multi-dimensional existence, beyond traditional mom-related information.

Getting it right

Peanut has been described as the Tinder for millennial moms wanting to make connections with others moms, with similar interests, living nearby. The app recognises that mothers may be lonely or purely just want to connect with other like-minded people who understand what they are going through and is the reason it’s being talked about across playgrounds in the US.

This is a shining example of an innovation that demonstrates a genuine understanding of what millennial moms are going through: by plugging seamlessly into busy parenting schedules in a way that is second-nature to them, and providing them with an insight-led solution that makes their lives a little easier.

Brands have the opportunity to develop long-lasting relationships with these millennial mamas by providing them with a solution or experience that directly addresses their modern-day challenges at a parenting moment when they need it most: making them feel a little more-prepared and -organised for the chaotic and beautiful journey that lies ahead.



Tenielle MarisTenielle Maris is strategic director at TTL agency, 34°, in Johannesburg. Beginning her career in branding and communications, she has spent the last decade in the marketing industry where she has worked upon big brands spanning the African continent. Having found her passion in understanding what drives human beings to connect with particular brands, her time is spent getting up close and personal with the people whom brands are trying to connect with. Tenielle contributes the monthly “Headspace” column, which unpacks anything and everything that helps marketers and advertisers understand why people connect with brands, to

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