Frank About Women is a global think tank with a mission to make advertising and communications more effective, relatable and enjoyable for both advertisers and women. We investigate the far from obvious, challenge assumptions and deliver provocative insights and ideas that help brands build meaningful relationships with real women.
Frank About Women was founded 14 years ago by MullenLowe with a mission to help marketers better understand how to connect with women through creative, effective communications. Women are expected to control two-thirds of global consumer wealth in the coming decade, but nine out of ten women feel that brand communication strategies often fail to connect with them in the right way. This gap in communications was the impetus for the initial development of the Frank About Women brand and consultancy to address the issue head-on.
Moms control 85% of home purchases and wield an estimated annual buying power of $2.1 trillion in the U.S. By 2017, we’ll see U.S. baby care category spending reach $67 billion, as well as $35 billion in China. In addition to this proven spending power and expected growth, we also know it’s a mother’s care, nurturing and influence over her children that shape the generations of our world to come. So with moms in mind, we thought it would be interesting to examine the similarities and differences in global motherhood as a means to better understand our developing, future world. From that pesky internal monologue to external family and social pressures, to brands and products she leans on for support, we’ve peeled back the layers of “mom-dom.” While some things remain universally true, we’ve uncovered a variety of market differences that shape motherhood globally.
Frank About Women conducted a Global Motherhood Survey using online opt-in panel sources from February to March 2016 in the following markets:
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SHAUN SAYS …
She’s deep into her second career, having started her professional journey as a chef, owning a restaurant and event planning company. Fun fact? Building a strategy for someone’s big life event is not really that different from creating a strategy to move brands into the future to maintain relevancy.
She’s obsessed with upcycling. She believes each object tells a story, and she’d rather her things tell a multilayered, complex story, a Samuel Beckett, rather than a William S. Gray/Zerna Sharp. And yes, that is just her rationale for the uncontrollable urge to stop at every garage sale and flea market she passes.
She’d like to think her taste for the finer things in life led her to the great brands she’s worked on — Audi, Wells Fargo, Holland America Line, Microsoft, to name a few. She graciously accepts that she’s just had great luck.
Her obsession with upcycling has created a ridiculous collection of vintage jewelry. Hey, what’s old is new again!
She feels fortunate to see the world through the eyes of her two wonderful young daughters. Sometimes she doesn’t like what she sees; not always, but sometimes. And that’s more than enough for her to look for ways to make a difference in how women view themselves and other women—marketing plays a vital role in how our society views the role of women.
SANDY SAYS …
She is incorrigibly nosy. She realized that strategy was her natural home while working for a broadcast marketing client. The opportunity to talk to The Great British Public about struggling Saturday TV schedules always left her with the feeling, “Surely we can do better than this.”
She comes from a long line of noisy Irish women with an unmistakable ability to tell the inconvenient truth — always with a sense of humor, of course. It’s no coincidence that she thinks Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are awesome or that she’s recently started taking improv classes.
She’s been an eager account handler, client and now planner across some of the UK’s biggest household names and always at the heart of family life. She’s won awards for her work at ITV, The X Factor, Carphone Warehouse, Land Rover and Britvic. She’s not afraid of what’s new and is gauranteed to approach “content developing,” “activation” or making a good old-fashioned TV ad with the same energetic enthusiasm.
She has had Type 1 diabetes since her teens and is an NHS “Expert Patient” who pitched for her own wireless insulin pump. She has a passion for democratizing medicine — especially for women and those who live with a chronic disease.
She was the first-ever SWANK in her family and sometimes feels like a bit of a pioneer. She’s excited by the idea that women now have the chance to be the innovators and make the rules for themselves.
MARIALEJANDRA SAYS …
She is the daughter of a general, so is our resident “military brat.” She attended 16 different schools and lived in nine different cities around Columbia, Brazil, Venezuela and the U.S. For her, growing up in a mobile community offered the opportunity to understand different cultures — she grew up being a natural “ethnologist.” This is why some people call her Urbina … and because Marialejandra is too long and hard to pronounce.
She has had the good fortune not to have “bosses” but to have “mentors.” You may need to Google their names: Farida Kbar, Andy Halley-Wright, Bernardo Geoghegan, Francisco Samper and José Miguel Sokoloff. They are all guilty of making her into the type of planner she is today.
She has been working in advertising since 1990. She began working in a small agency as account executive, until 1998 when she transitioned to planning after an internship with Merry Baskin at JWT London. In 25 years she has worked for small and big brands — from local brands to household names like Coca-Cola and Ford.
She would love to change her title on her business card to: Planner, gardener, activist, vegetarian, wife, hiker and traveler. Her bio is still very much a “work in progress.”
Marketing to women is not about knowing what they do; it is about WHY they do it. The path to finding “why” a woman does something, no matter her age, race or nationality, is quite an adventure.
SARA SAYS …
She is naturally curious about people and things, and she loves to dig out the connections between people and brands. She is passionate about how to impress people and solve brand problems and she found her calling in the advertising industry.
Her hero is Sherlock Holmes because he is really good at observing people and analyzing things, then figuring out the truth. Of course, his only weakness is that he is emotionless.
She has loved working with diverse clients including Nestlé, Chani Airport, Guerlain, Lei Shing Hong and Anta.
She is crazy about photography. It is a unique way to observe and record the different sides of people and the world through the camera lens. It’s also a great way to capture a moment of beauty and share it with others.
She is naturally curious about herself, her mom, her female friends and other women. She believes women are a powerful group that is changing the world. Navigating how communication can influence and impress women has never been more important or more interesting.
DEVIKA SAYS …
Brands are angels in disguise … Solving problems and spreading positivity. In her 20+ year career, she has taken detours to television and management consulting, only to return to her first love of advertising.
Nothing is as fulfilling as the opportunity to be invited into the lives of random strangers — to be inspired by their inventiveness in life. It is people who create opportunities for brands as much as brands help people.
Driving on the dizzying Trail Ridge Road of Rocky Mountain National Park or encountering elk in the mountain paths … that’s her essential dose of life vitamins!
Yes, the world recognizes that women nurture the home and it’s inhabitants but the world is yet to acknowledge the deep contribution women make to society in not-so-obvious ways. Frank About Women aims to help brands open up fresh and genuine pathways to inspire and appreciate women.
DERRY SAYS …
She could probably write a book on the art of multi-tasking. With 3 kids under 6, a full-time job as Managing Director of an advertising agency, Executive Board member of a leading children’s festival, the all important role of ‘Mum’s Taxi’ and everything else that pops up in-between, it takes some serious planning expertise to remember just to pack school lunches most weeks.
She has had the pleasure of strategizing, crafting, analyzing and creating brands from many different points of view – as a client, a researcher, innovation specialist, planner and now as a behavioral strategist.
She gave up a career in classical music for her first job in marketing and hasn’t looked back. And while she still plays when she can, her repertoire these days is more along the lines of ‘Old McDonald has a Farm’ rather than Mozart.
She dreams of the day when a full night’s sleep isn’t a rare treat.
She is ‘Mum’ in the agency but more importantly, a voice for women in the work it produces. And now with a young daughter she is even more committed to making a positive impact on the way society views the role of women today.
NEW YORK/MUMBAI JUNE 1ST, 2016 – Fact: globally, women are paid 60 – 70% less than men, yet women will control 2/3 of consumer wealth in the next decade. Smart brands seeking to build relationships with women know that as women close that pay gap, forging strong, meaningful connections with them is essential to sustained growth and profitability. Yet the sad truth is that 9 out of 10 women find marketing-to-women efforts ineffective.
Mothers control 85% of home purchases and wield an estimated annual buying power of $2.1 trillion in the U.S, and by 2017 the baby care category alone will reach $67 billion. In addition to the proven spending power, it’s also a mother’s care, development, and influence towards her offspring that acquiescently shapes the generations of our world to come.
To examine the similarities and differences of global motherhood as a means to better understand our developing world, Frank About Women conducted a Global Motherhood Survey using proprietary online research in Spring 2016 in the following markets: Australia, China, Colombia, India, U.K., and the U.S.
Insights and observations exposed included:
Why and how in the U.S., a 2017 projected $67 billion childcare category still leaves 64% of American moms disappointed with the products they purchased.
The universal opportunities for brands to build loyalty with mothers before childbirth (hint: increase her feelings of success and confidence throughout pregnancy).
Why moms in India are 107% more likely than other countries to encourage their children to reach milestones ahead of schedule.
Why 84% of Chinese moms lose sleep over deciding on what brand is best to purchase for their child and how brands can gain her loyalty early on.
How 60% of global moms feel that children should not be exposed to technology at an early age, with 79% of Colombian moms and 62% Indian moms actually feel that early access to technology is harmful to kids. But 60% of Chinese moms feel want technology at an early age.
The magic data diet of U.K. and Australian moms: they are 66X more likely to say it’s best not to consume too much information during pregnancy as it causes them stress.
The emerging confidence of the Indian mom is helping her find her voice in the joint family set up, with 70% believing that mothers should assert their views over family elders in raising the child. 75% also believe that mothers should demand more help from husbands in raising and looking after their child.
“Frank About Women is a global think-tank with a mission to make communications more effective, relatable, and enjoyable for both advertisers and women. With our international white paper, we investigate the far-from-obvious, challenge assumptions, and deliver provocative insights and ideas that help brands build meaningful relationships with global moms.” – Shaun Stripling, Chief Strategy Officer, MullenLowe U.S. (Winston-Salem) and Global Director, Frank About Women
Frank About Women began 14 years ago by MullenLowe with a mission to help marketers better understand how to connect with women through effective, creative communications. The global motherhood study is the first global facing piece of research from Frank About Women that aims to inform and direct marketers with proprietary knowledge and insight on how to better connect with expectant, first time, and new mothers in the six markets of focus. Previous content with insights delivered from Frank About Women include how technology, social media and influencers play in a woman’s life and how it impacts her ‘gut instincts’. A proprietary study was also conducted around the ‘SWANK’ (Single Woman Affluent No Kids) – a growing and important demographic. All prior whitepapers and research can be found on FrankAboutWomen.com along with ‘Frank Flashes’ and other thought leadership pieces from the global team.X