Market Focus: Expectant Mothers
“Meal plans, special foods and other products and services related to the nutritional needs of pregnant women are in high demand, particularly since many women today are health conscious and well-educated on the side effects of improper eating habits,” says Kendra.
Timing is Everything
With such a short time span to connect with this market, marketers need to target certain goods and services according to the most appropriate trimester, advises Hajj.
“Prenatal vitamins are among the first products pregnant women buy,” he says. “In many cases, we obtain lists through vitamin companies so that we can begin marketing other products to this group.”
Kendra adds that the bulk of marketing activity is centered around the second and third trimester. “After the vitamins, a woman gets her clothes. Later on she registers for baby gear, since she’ll be given a baby shower,” says Kendra. “And in her third trimester, she’s planning and buying for the nursery.”
According to Hajj, there has been incredible growth in baby-product registration over the past five years, supporting companies like Target and Toys “R” Us—companies that readily market their programs.
“The third trimester is the best time for those marketing strollers, furnishings for the nursery, and safety products for the home,” says Hajj. “It’s also the prime period for people in the automobile business to market family cars, and those in the financial planning business to solicit services.”
A Sensitive Sell is Most Effective
Most agree that kit sampling through hospitals is one of the best ways to reach expectant mothers. Second to that, direct mail received at home is preferred over other media. “The goal is still to get a sample, or coupons and gift offers, into the hands of the soon-to-be mom who can better evaluate the product,” says Hajj. “We’ve even seen formula companies ship samples directly to women.”