Thursday July 11th, 2013

From the cradle to campus: Marketing to the college mom

There is no doubt about it. With the global baby care market expected to reach more than $60 billion by 2017, marketing to moms with little ones is big business. But babies eventually become teenagers. And, in spite of vast differences between babies and teens, moms continue to love and care for the needs of their children as they grow – needs that become dramatically different, but no less demanding. Changing diapers and moving your freshman into a dorm room…equally challenging!

Approximately three million U.S. high school seniors have graduated over the past month. It’s estimated that more than 60 percent of them will move into university housing over the next six months. For parents, that means between home and the first semester, a lot of money and energy will be spent on tuition, books, dorm room furnishings, boxes and crates, gas for the trip(s) over, laptop, food, and several boxes of tear-absorbent tissues.

Since most studies conclude that moms control the large majority of household purchases, that means College Moms will be searching for solutions and ready to pay for the right ones. The savvy marketer will be prepared to meet them.

Several companies have already targeted college moms and their interests. Check out a few:

  1. A home away from home. Dorm Co ( gives families a convenient, one-stop shop for all their dorm-room essentials – everything from complete bedding packages to unique storage options.
  2. Safety first. College Student Safety ( sells theft prevention, first aid kits and personal alarms for students, whether they live on campus or commute.
  3. Make your move. Sending your kid to college is exciting, but the physical process of getting them there isn’t usually part of the fun. Campus Bellhops ( appeals to parents who want to avoid the physical move: they’ll meet you curbside, do all the heavy lifting and get you “settled,” or headed back home at the end of the year.
  4. Comfort food. Care packages do wonders for homesickness, but busy moms at home don’t always have the time to shop and ship. That’s where Redship ( comes in: log on, select the size and variety of snack-filled package you want, and even send a note along. With a click, a little bit of mom is on its way.

Jean Silverstein,

Director, Design Innovation


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