Article | Fabulous Women

Why a Mummy is not a target market.

Posted on 03/07/2017

One of the biggest challenges facing a business owner, especially a start-up, is defining their target market. In my experience people tend to be too broad in their definition. Some people think they can serve everyone, others think that Mums are a niche market. Whilst Mums may have things in common there is much they don’t share.


If you are a Mum think about your own experience and if you’re not think about your own Mum or your children’s Mum. Let me illustrate what I mean. My Mum had her first child when she was 22. She was a young Mum who helped out on the family farm and supported my father as he studied in the evenings to acquire the qualifications that would increase his career opportunities. There wasn’t a lot of spare money but she had support from family and friends who lived locally.


A few years later and the family was on the move as my father progressed up the career ladder. No longer did we have family and friends on the doorstep to help with childcare etc. Move on a few more years and we’ve moved again but my sister and I are getting older and my Mum has time to pursue her own ‘thing’ during the day. Once we were teenagers she took on some quite responsible voluntary posts that meant travelling and staying away overnight.


Mum and Dad celebrating their Golden Wedding some years agoThen my father was made redundant but too young to retire so they bought a business and ran that for a few years. Next came retirement and grandchildren so a chance to travel and also to enjoy time with the next generation.


Now my Mum is in her late 80s and suffering from severe arthritis and her memory and confidence is not what it once was. She is still a Mum but her needs now are very different to what they were when she was first a Mum, and there have been lots of changes over the years. The things she has spent her money on have been very different at the  different stages of her life. The amount if money she’s had available to spend has been very different too.


So for most businesses a Mum is not a target market. It is not the fact that they are Mums that makes them a good target but problems and challenges that some Mums will share. What we’re looking for is the problems and challenges that they want to solve or the passions that they want to enjoy. After all most of us will try very hard to find the money for what we want and may look for other solutions for what we need but don’t want to spend money on.


Have you defined your target market clearly enough so that your business is designed around their needs and they clearly recognise themselves in your marketing?  


Glenda Shawley is the owner of the Training Pack and author of ‘Founded after 40: how to start a business when you haven’t got time to waste.’ She is a marketing consultant and trainer who helps mature business owners to identify their ideal clients and then to develop and market products and services in a way that leads to loyal customers and thriving businesses. Find out more at

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