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Unwed Mothers: Untap the Marketing Potential of this Rising Trend

In Demographic Trends that are Changing Key Consumer Segments, The Futures Company recently noted a compelling trend: the rapid rise in unmarried women choosing to become moms has remarkable implications for marketers.

While still considered by most Americans to be “a bad thing” according to a Pew Research poll (69 percent said a woman raising a child outside marriage was bad for society), today’s unmarried mom is different from the harsher reality of years’ past. Only 20 percent of births out of wedlock were to teens in 2010 vs. 49 percent in 1970. Today’s unmarried new mom is more likely to be between 20 to 34, Hispanic or White and employed (80% are). She’s a mature adult making a purposeful decision that’s right for her.

The Futures Company research also shows that unwed moms have different concerns and priorities than their married counterparts. They definitely feel the weight of their unconventional lifestyle, they’re more concerned about being able to provide for their children, they’re more willing to bend the rules to get what they want, and they’re living more for today.

Sure, it may be a delicate balancing act for a brand to stay on the good side of its mainstream customers while still recognizing the potential of this new mom demo. But consider these low-risk ways to acknowledge and support unmarried moms.

  • Create customized messaging that addresses the differences in perspectives of married versus unmarried moms
  • Use visual cues to connect to an unmarried mom…not every photo should feature the “model” family of mom, dad and 2.5 kids
  • Help her build the confidence she needs to juggle the demanding job of single mom with other life challenges—and reassure her that she’s doing a good job
  • Offer smart solutions and smarter thinking she can use to be a better provider for her child

This trend will undoubtedly have a huge impact in the marketplace. As a marketer, what products or services can you offer to help these moms who are raising children on their own?