When it comes to toy sales during the summer, moms buy more than just outdoor toys which accounts for over $3 billion of the $84 billion industry. The key to capturing the opportunity that exists for toymakers is to deliver the right message to moms at the right time. While most toymakers focus heavily on moms during the holiday season of October to December, the summer months present a great opportunity to drive sales by Millennial moms and generate buzz among Gen Z. BSM Media, the premier marketing to moms agency, has found their success by designing outreach programs based on leveraging common behaviors of moms and her kids.
Here are four proven marketing tactics that have generated sales and buzz for toy brands during the summer.
1. Engage with Gen Z where they gather as a group: sleep away and day camps.
There’s only one thing better than a group of kids enjoying your toys together and that’s the group having only one of the product, which leaves other members wanting to purchase it later. This is the basis for the success that can be found by sampling toys at summer camps. Placing your toy product at a camp allows kids to discover it together and then ask their parents to buy it later.
The challenge for most brands is identifying camps in a scalable fashion. We often hear, “We tried to ask the camp director for permission to send samples.” The camp director is the wrong path to the opportunity. Here’s where knowing moms and behaviors matter. BSM Media identifies mom influencers with camp-aged kids and provides them with a ready-to-go care package to send with their children; this care package includes clients’ toys. Every mom intends to send great care packages but few find the time to maintain the practice throughout the summer. When your “ready-to-go” care package arrives, she’s more than happy to send it to her child. #Score! She’s a hero in the eyes of her child. This tactic works great for marketing to Gen Z tweens and teens who attend sleep away camp because once camp is over, each of the Gen Zers takes news of your product home to their own group of peers.
During the school year, the same tactic can be executed with scouting groups. Mom troop leaders bring cool new products to the meeting and her troop gets to experience them. The result is mom influencers being introduced to your toy and kids who experience it firsthand with their peers. Need help finding these influencers? Visit www.genzinfluencers.com or www.millennialinfluencers.com.
2. Be a part of her backyard playdates.
Good weather and relaxed schedules give moms more time to host backyard events and playground playdates. These group activities present the same opportunities as the camps above; a group of moms and kids enjoying a limited quantity of your product. Social listening allows toymakers to identify micro-influencers who are planning events or boasting about their next backyard bash. Companies can hire event marketers or in-home party agencies to execute this tactic. Brands like Disney and LeapFrog have engaged mom influencers to host MommyParties to launch products and build social media buzz on Instagram and Facebook. Disney’s In-Home Celebrations generated over 15 million online impressions including over 400 pictures posted to Instagram for the destination brand.
3. Leverage her child’s boredom.
“Mom, I’m bored!” The three words a mother dreads most in the summer. According to research by BSM Media, 82% of mothers report searching online for creative activities to keep her child busy during the summer months. Marketers and toy brands should position toys as a solution to her challenge. This means speaking less about the product features and more about its attention-grabbing ability and the longevity of interest her child will have playing with it. The best way to deliver this message is by creating digital content she finds when she’s online. Recently, BSM Media engaged mom micro-influencers to create Facebook videos to demonstrate the many ways moms can use Mayka Tape for Easter. The videos were viewed by thousands of millennial parents and drove sales to Walmart. For brands with products targeted to Gen Z tweens and teens, now is the time to engage with Gen Z influencers to produce similar content so that bored Gen Zers find them while they are searching online. Pillow Pets successfully recently engaged with Gen Z Influencers to connect with young buyers.
4. Start Your Holiday Campaign in July
Yes, you heard it right. Start your holiday marketing and social media engagement efforts in July. Over 65% of moms report that they start shopping for holiday gifts and toys in July during back-to-school shopping season. This is further supported by the fact that 75% of moms begin thinking about their family picture for the holiday card in June according to BSM Media research. Moms are definitely thinking about the holidays during the summer. The summer is a great time to launch marketing tactics like Social Spotters, which sends social media influencers in to retail locations to capture images of your product and post to Instagram, or engage moms with Facebook videos when they have more flexibility in their day.
Summer is a hot time to market toys to moms and her children.
BSM Media, Inc. is an award-winning and internationally recognized Marketing to Moms agency specializing in influencer engagement and outreach programs. Their MommyParties, and Social Spotters, services are proven activation tactics used by Fortune 100 to Start Up companies. BSM Media also owns and operates MillennialInfluencers.com and GenZInfluencers.com which connects brands to Millennial Influencers and Gen Z Influencers. For information about Christmas in July, contact MeganBailey@bsmmedia.com
Maria Bailey is the CEO of BSM Media and the author of “Marketing to Mom: Getting Your Share of the Trillion Dollar Market”, “Power Moms” and “Millennial Moms: 202 Facts Marketers Need to Know to Build Brands and Drive Sales.” She is a frequent keynote speaker and media expert. Learn more about Maria Bailey at www.MariaBailey.com.