Smartphones Are Especially Essential for Millennial Mothers - eMarketer

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Smartphones Are Especially Essential for Millennial Mothers

September 2, 2016

Megan Lazovick
Director, Research
Edison Research

Edison Research has focused on understanding millennial moms in its “Infinite Dial 2016” and “The Research Moms 2015” studies. eMarketer’s Alison McCarthy spoke to Megan Lazovick, director of research at Edison, about some common characteristics of millennial moms and how they are using digital, mobile and social media.

eMarketer: What are the biggest differences between millennial mothers and moms of older generations?

Megan Lazovick: One major difference is that millennial moms are much more likely to go online most often through their mobile phone vs. nonmillennial moms—at 70% vs. 30%, according to our data.

We also found that millennial moms are more likely than nonmillennial moms to say that their parenting styles are more restrictive than they thought they’d be. Many grew up thinking, “I’m never going to be a helicopter mom,” and then they ended up doing the opposite. They’re also more likely to volunteer and tend to be more socially conscious in terms of the products they buy.

Millennial moms in the workforce also stand out in terms of their work-life balance. They’re less likely to feel that they’ve made sacrifices in their career to spend time with their family than nonmillennial working moms, and are more likely to say that having a family has motivated them to work harder and that their workplace supports them.

“Millennial moms have admitted they literally can’t live without their smartphones. ... It’s their everything.”

eMarketer: Millennial parents have a reputation for splitting parenting and household responsibilities more than older generations. Do you think that this is generally true?

Lazovick: I’m actually not so sure. In terms of parenting, I think spouses are more involved than in the past, but when we asked moms how they balance household tasks with their families, 86% of millennial moms said they do all or most of the tasks, compared to 83% of moms 35 to 44 and 75% of moms 45 to 64.

We also know that of those millennial moms married or living with a spouse, 58% say they are in charge of all of the finances, vs. 51% of other moms. So this suggests that these millennial moms are still carrying most of the load.

eMarketer: How are they using their smartphones in ways that make them stand out from other audiences?

Lazovick: Their smartphone is their primary device. It is incredibly important to them. I’ve sat through multiple qualitative interviews for studies where millennial moms have admitted they literally can’t live without their smartphones. It’s more than just a device to make calls and communicate. It’s their everything.

eMarketer: What makes millennial moms unique in how they use social media?

Lazovick: We’ve found that social media might actually affect the way these moms feel about themselves or their parenting skills. Millennial moms are more likely to feel judged for their parenting decisions, and social media plays a big role in that. Of millennial moms who use social media, 61% feel that social media posts can make them feel inadequate compared to only 50% of nonmillennial moms.

“Millennial moms are more likely to feel judged for their parenting decisions, and social media plays a big role in that.”

Millennial moms are also more likely to follow companies and brands on social media. Brands definitely have more influence via social media for these moms.

eMarketer: Mothers in general overindex in Facebook usage. How are millennial moms using the platform?

Lazovick: Facebook is still No. 1 for millennial moms. In our “Infinite Dial” study, 76% of millennial moms said they used Facebook in the last week, vs. 72% of nonmillennial moms. So Facebook’s still No. 1, and is accessed frequently.

Only 25% and 15% said the same of Instagram and Snapchat. It’s important to note that millennial moms are much more likely to access Facebook on their phones than nonmillennial moms.

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