How to Reach Family Decision Makers: A New Media Plan for a New Lifestyle

You had me at buy one get one free…

It’s an understatement to say my life has changed over the last decade.  I have gotten married, bought a house, had two babies, bought a bigger house and pretty much have been settling into the American dream since then.  I have also settled into a very desirable and marketable audience, the 30 something working mother and family decision maker.

Time is a precious gem these days and I am always on the go.  Like most of us, especially mothers, my phone is glued to my hand.  Not only for those surprise phone calls from pre-school, but also as my primary shopping device and main source for worldly news, celebrity gossip and music entertainment (the latter two typically only enjoyed when I have found a hiding spot in the house).  I want to be able to make quick family decisions and be confident that it was the right choice; from simple decisions like dinner options, toothpaste selections, paper products or gym memberships, to more significant ones like healthcare and education decisions.


How the marketing landscape has changed:

The way to reach me has changed drastically over the last 10 years.  Back then it was all about broadcast TV, radio and some print and now that has shifted to digital – both mobile and desktop.  Since audiences are much more segmented in their behavior, marketers need to use different tactics to reach them – the “one size fits all” model doesn’t work anymore.  Reaching a millennial is very different than reaching a family decision maker (aka “mom”) and reaching a working mom is very different from reaching a stay at home mom.  They require different media choices and different messaging.

There are 2 main components to consider when building a media plan to reach this audience, behavior (mainly digital) and location.  Fortunately, there are 2 media channels that are well suited to these parameters and they are quickly learning to play nicely with each other and share (where have I heard that before?).


Digital & Out of Home – Targeting with Behavior and Location

We all talk a lot about digital marketing, and for good reason – it’s a great way to reach people based on their browsing behavior, searches, etc, and the growth of mobile devices has dramatically altered the way we use the web.  This has allowed marketers to target online and mobile campaigns using much more specific audience segments, based on their online behavior – what websites do they visit often and which product categories do they consistently browse?  Who do they follow on Facebook?  Why market chicken nuggets to affluent seniors? (except maybe when the grandkids come over) Digital marketing in all its channels excels at targeting consumers based on their digital behavior.

Over the last few years it has become increasingly apparent that all the data generated from that mobile use is helping to fuel a renaissance in Out of Home. The growth of big data is helping to create a new planning model for OOH – it allows marketers to plan OOH based not just on home locations, but on where the target audience segment is likely to go. Out of Home media can now, more than ever before, deliver a very precisely targeted location component for your audience.

I am admittedly keenly aware of Out of Home placements due to my profession, I can easily tell any marketer a number of OOH media that will reach this family decision maker on any given day:

  • Key traditional media that I will pass on my commute, local shopping trips and kid shuttling
  • Grocery store ads while I am picking up tonight’s dinner
  • Coffee Sleeve ads on my morning java that I can’t function without
  • Fitness centers spots on the days I make it to the gym (no judgement please)
  • Mall ads – on the weekend for me, during the week for stay at home moms



Combine them to deliver the right message at the right time:

The marriage of digital/mobile and Out of Home makes sense for a number of reasons: consumers are 48% more likely to click on a mobile ad after being exposed to the brand on OOH (Ocean, Beyond OOH, Neuroinsight, 2015).

Mobile and OOH are proven to complement one another and geofencing these targeted OOH spaces makes sense, but us busy, time (and sleep) deprived family decisions makers are ready for more.  I welcome the use of location based mobile analytics to deliver messages to me in real time and at the point of sale.  Why?

  • Know where to find me: the office, the soccer field, the grocery store – my location patterns may vary by sports season, but for the most part I am the typical working mom.
  • Talk to me: personalized messaging gives me the comfort that you know me and understand the buying habits and needs of my family.
  • Catch me at decision time: I need to move quickly through most days, so if you have a dinner idea it’s best to catch me when I step foot inside that grocery store parking lot.

Combined with targeted OOH ads, location based paid search and mobile ad placements brands have the ability to speak with and start a conversation with their target consumer.  “I understand your family needs, your busy schedule, your priorities, and I am giving you the day off”.  (j/k on that last part, although it would be nice).

The great part about these two media channels is that they are learning to combine their respective insights – behavior and location – to create a new planning model.  Data from mobile can help create a more targeted OOH plan and OOH can be geofenced to create digital audiences that have been “primed” with an OOH message.


It’s Story Time!

While the media plan is important, we all know the creative is just as critical and identifying your audience is just the first step – now you can target those family decision makers based on their location at that moment.

Through the use of mobile analytics, digital Out of Home on its own has begun to be able to tell a more personalized story.  Messaging can be tailored to the consumer within that space in real time.   As an example, tailored creative can run on digital mall kiosks by knowing who is in that mall at that exact  time, using mobile data.  Think of the possibilities for marketers and what this will mean for targeted impressions and CPMs.


With its ability to be highly targeted, cost effective, and creatively relevant, along with its increasing ability to interface with digital media, Out of Home should be considered a core media buy, along with digital, for reaching the family decision maker.

On any given week night chances are you might find me checking my work e-mails, in the parking lot of my favorite big box retailer, 20 minutes behind schedule and without a dinner plan.  I welcome targeted ads and coupons that will save me time in my decision process and money in our family budget.  And if that offer is buy one get one free chicken nuggets, dinner is served kids!

Working on a media plan to reach Family Decision Makers? Contact us to set up an assessment of how Out of Home can bring another dimension to your plan: