How to Market to the Modern Family

We used to think that the typical family consisted of a mother, father, some children, and maybe a dog. Each family member had their own unique role, and marketers catered their messages to those roles. However, the “traditional” family setup has changed dramatically, and the marketing messages that brought families to your business in the past may not work in the near future. Here are some new ways to address and better speak to these newer family dynamics:

Not all households are going to have children. New estimates state that by 2020 the average child per household will only be one. If you market children’s products, you will want to target a new sector: PANKS and PUNKS (Professional Aunts/Uncles, No Kids). This group likes to spend money on their nieces and nephews, upwards of $400 annually, but has more interest in their personal careers than in having children of their own. Therefore, marketing messages should focus on the influence their purchase will make in their extended family’s life while validating their choices of independence and freedom.

Mom might be the breadwinner. While the number of stay at home dads is still fairly low, fathers are taking on and sharing traditionally female tasks. The notion of Mom outpacing Dad in education and earning potential is also increasing. This means that marketers need to be cognoscente of Dad’s increased involvement in consumer-related purchases and create messages that display Dad as a calm and skillful caretaker instead of just another body in the house.

Same sex parents are on the rise. There is widening acceptance of parents who lie across the sexuality spectrum and depictions of these couples in advertising are increasing. This means that you as a business owner may need to present your product or service as relatable to their “unconventional” family style. While this may seem like a scary direction to take, companies who have openly marketed to same sex and sexually diverse groups have received more positive than negative feedback.

People’s “children” might not always be human. Many pet owners see their pets as their children and the animals are treated as such. This means that if your company sells pet-related products or services, you should consider borrowing marketing concepts that work well with human children products.

Sometimes Grandma moves in while the college graduate is still at home. Two in every ten households is considered multigenerational. Grandparents are living longer and the millennials are postponing traditional “adulthood” due to education and economic factors. Messages that emphasize how your product or service can help achieve goals of privacy, independence, and relaxation will speak volumes and resonate with these customers.

Adjusting your marketing message to meet the needs of the modern family can come with huge results. Making each member feel like their lifestyle is valued and understood is key in reaching them and demonstrates that your company is up to date and ready for the future.