here and here. Much of the difficulty seems to stem from brands and agencies putting their agenda first, rather than what is important to women in their role as a mother. And although there are probably a few more mothers working in marketing and advertising than there were when I was in my 20s and 30s, many feel pressured into leaving their mother identity at home.
I was very impressed with a joint project conducted by Saatchi & Saatchi partnering up with Mumsnet, which you can read about here and even download the white paper. It's all about how marketing can create more meaningful connections to mums.
At the heart of the study is a great idea - what I would call back-to-front research. Instead of taking all the brand data and throwing it all into the giant factor analysis and segmentation machine, then giving the six segments it spits out oh-so-witty but rather patronising names, Saatchi and Mumsnet did something different.
They asked the question - how do mums define themselves, when they are conversing in social media? And to do this, they analysed all the popular mum-orientated social media networks in the UK. Which topics or groups were there?
The answer was 66 ways in which UK mums define themselves, ranging from the seemingly pure demographic 'mums with teens' through to something like 'mums with cheating partners'. On average, any woman will identify with around 6 of these groups - I tried it and found 12 that I identified with.
The next step was to do a sound quantification of these groups, amongst mothers aged 16-60, both in terms of volume and intensity of identification. This is important. Mothers with special needs children may be a smaller group in terms of volume, but are likely to identify at a high level of intensity.
And this is where the back-to-front bit comes full circle. Only at the end did they take a smaller number of these groups into qualitative research to get more insight and revelation about the lives of these mothers and their children. And here, the really fascinating stuff comes out.
One might think that 'one-child family' or 'rural mum' are not that exciting - just demographics, really. But knowing that for rural mums, a trip into town to do shopping is turned into a fun day out and really a bit of a treat for the child gives marketers all manner of possibilities to make a better connection.
Meanwhile, for those of us who are mothers and work in marketing, let's not be frightened to yell loudly when we detect our colleagues 'faking it.'