First-time parents make terrific prospects (875 words)
By Donna Loyle
Each year, 4 million new babies are born in the United States—40 percent to first-time parents. And new parents have a need to buy, well, just about everything for their infants.
A new mother is, in essence, a new consumer, says Steve Kantor, publisher of New Parent magazine. "Having a baby is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, lifestage event. As such, new mothers are open to new products that can enhance their lives and their babies' lives."
As in any primary life change, new parents are in a prime buying mode. In addition to the predictable products—baby apparel, toys, diapers, formula, baby food, children's furniture, etc.—this important demographic also responds to offers for:
•financial products and services;
• books and magazine subscriptions;
• cameras and photo services;
• fund-raising offers (particularly for humanitarian causes); and
• cleaning products.
The latter, in particular, highlights an interesting aspect of this market, says Molly Ingram, vice president and general manager of the Consumer Network division of Bounty SCA Worldwide. "New moms re-evaluate their daily patterns, especially their cleaning patterns. They see their new babies and toddlers crawling around on the floors, for example, and they want those surfaces to be as clean and germ-free as possible. Anti-bacterial cleaning supplies and vacuum cleaners, for example, are big sellers to this demographic."
Nancy O'Reilly, vice president of new business development for Mal Dunn Associates, agrees that first-time parents buy much. "They especially like educational products because they have so many questions about healthcare and baby development," she says.
When They Buy
Marketers experienced in targeting new parents note that women in their first and second trimesters are in the research stage. They're reading content about pregnancy and their baby's health and development.
They start to buy, however, in the third trimester, says Lara Hoyem, a spokesperson for BabyCenter.com, a Web site with about 2 million registered members, mostly prenatal women and parents of newborns and toddlers. (Previously owned by eToys, the comprehensive site recently was bought by Johnson & Johnson.)