Hey, Mama!

Writer’s Note: I know this is a terrible way to begin, but before I get this article rolling, let me issue a few disclaimers.

Target moms with your recreation programming.

Disclaimer #1: I’m a new mom. This means I’ve been brainwashed by months of hormones, hundreds of tiny pairs of blue socks, many sleepless nights, and countless beautiful smiles from my self-proclaimed “world’s cutest baby” into thinking that the world now revolves around this little person who has recently rocked my universe. While my “new-mommy-tunnel-vision” probably makes me a less exciting conversationalist, it has also made me extremely passionate about all things “family.”

Additionally, it’s made me an extremely educated consumer, and has dramatically changed my purchasing decisions.

Disclaimer #2: This is a new programming effort, so please don’t use this as a how-to guide–at least not yet. This is more of an invitation to join the launch of a new initiative, and hopefully it will encourage you to start something similar in your community.

This is the first installment of a two-part series in which the goal is initially to inspire a new programming approach and marketing movement in a department. Hopefully, part two will look like a success story, although it could read like a cautionary tale. Either way, I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

The Female Consumer

If there’s one gender stereotype current with its feet planted firmly in reality, it’s about women and our love of shopping. I don’t necessarily mean spending every Saturday strolling in the local mall, but recent studies do indicate women are truly economic powerhouses, making more than 85 percent of the consumer purchases in the United States and influencing over 95 percent of total goods and services.

In fact, female consumer spending is approximately $3.7 trillion (Retrieved from www.she-conomy.com/report/facts-on-women/). A study conducted by GE Money reveals that women actually spend more than eight years of their lives shopping. This means the average woman will shop for 25,184 hours and 53 minutes over a period of 63 years!

Women aren’t some niche market. Most of us don’t buy into “girly” marketing ploys and aren’t any more attracted to pink flyers or websites.

We’re making informed financial decisions for ourselves and on behalf of our loved ones. We’re conducting extensive product research and asking our friends what they think before we use our plastic.

Smart recreation departments understand this and will proactively program for and market to “the mighty female dollar.”

Women are also emotional investors–in both meanings of the term. We will devote endless time, energy, and funds to people and ideas we’re passionate about.

If we feel like a product or service will improve the health of our children, increase family time, or offer solutions to the trickiest of child-rearing quandaries, we are more likely to spend.

Capture your future preschool clientele while they're still babies.

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