When moms stay at home, they often jump on the Internet. In fact, moms online are a large and influential group.
Nevertheless, according to the new eMarketer report, Moms Online: Parenting with Web 2.0, at the end of 2005 there were an estimated 32 million mothers online in the US, accounting for more than 18% of the total Internet population.
The number of mothers online is expected to increase by 14% between 2005 and 2010, rising to 36.6 million.
"Moms spend as much time online as other women do, and they are more likely to visit sites for auctions, games and even sports than family-oriented sites," says Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer Senior Analyst and author of the report. "Marketers targeting moms online are tapping a variety of Web 2.0 sites, such as consumer-generated media, word of mouth and social networking, in order to capture the dialogue that takes place among women with children."
This "Family 2.0" trend could yield even more relevant communications and increase the connection between mothers and the marketers that want to reach them.
Mothers make up approximately one-third of the female online population, which continues to grow at a faster rate than the male online population. According to eMarketer, there were 90 million females online in the US last year, compared with 85.4 million males. An estimated 62.3% of the US female population goes online.
In addition, females will make up the majority of the US Internet population in 2006, 51.4%, according to eMarketer.
For mothers, going online is extremely important, and perhaps even more important than it is for women who are not mothers. Women with children under 18 are "significantly more likely than the rest of adult Americans to go online," according to Pew Internet & American Life Project. It estimates that 80% of mothers and fathers went online in 2005, compared with about 60% for male and female adults in the US who have no children.
"Moms are defined by much more than their motherhood, and their online activities extend well beyond parenting-related tasks," says Ms. Williamson. "Moms go online to relax, to get things done, to make their lives easier. Going online is no longer something they do only after the kids go to bed. It is integrated into their daily lives. They make time for the Internet."
As moms become more comfortable online, they move into a new phase of their relationship with the Internet: from "simplification" to "amplification," as media agency mediaedge:cia called it in its "2005 Digital Moms: report, which stated, "Technology is at its most valuable when it helps [Mom] make the most of her time, not merely save time."
"Social networking and blogging open up myriad possibilities for getting brand messages and product into women’s hands," says Ms. Williamson. "But there is nothing worse than having a party where no one shows up, and that is what could happen if that social network built around, say, your new disinfecting spray doesn’t clean up with mothers."