theAsianparent.com recently came out with a report discussing the Internet and social media usage of the “Asian Mum”. The Asian Digital Mum Report (2014) confirmed the importance of the Internet in the day-to-day life of moms.
Over 10,000 mums living in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia were surveyed to find out:
1. The most frequent online habits of Asian mums;
2. To identify the trends in their behaviour and attitude; and
3. To give marketers a better understanding of how they can effectively reach this highly-coveted audience.
Now having lived in Asia for over 9 years, it was interesting to see how my own Internet usage habits aligned with the Asian Mums in these survey results.
Here is an overview of the 10 key insights that were uncovered in the theAsianparent’s Report –
1. The Asian Mum is an online media consumer
Motherhood actually changes the way a woman consumes her media. Moms are now turning to the Internet rather than newspapers, television and magazines. On average, 80% of Asian women increase their usage of the Internet once they become moms. But television faces a significant loss – 58% of women spend fewer hours watching television, when they become mothers.
SuperMommy’s Opinion: I totally agree. Now that I have become a mom I never read newspapers or magazines. It’s a combination of not having time, as well as the kids don’t let me. Everytime I try to even glance at the newspaper while we are eating breakfast, the kids either (1) start grabbing at the newspaper and saying “mommy let me see – let me see”, or (2) start acting up to get my attention (throwing food, fighting with each other, or even the direct approach…”mommy pay attention to me”.)
As for TV, I do have my favorite shows that I watch, but those are all downloaded or on DVDs. We cancelled cable in our house a few years back because we never actually turn on the television when the kids are awake. On other hand, the internet has become my best friend. I do just about everything on the internet. Even though I usually live in my mommy bubble, the world is basically a click away – and I absolutely LOVE IT.
2. Asian Mums are heavy Internet users for both work and play
Technology has made it easier for mums to multitask. The line between using the Internet for work and using the Internet for personal is now blurred. This means a mom could be uploading a photo of her baby on Facebook while simultaneously reading her work email, on her phone.
theAsianparent report shows that over 60% of Asian mums spend at least one hour daily on the internet for work. Whereas 33% spend more than 6 hours per day. In addition to the time spent on the internet for work, 82% of Asian mums spend at least one hour daily for personal use. While, 14% actually spend more than 6 hours on the internet per day.
SuperMommy’s Opinion: I would probably be considered an Power Internet Mum. I use the internet all day long. Work, personal, social – I really can’t live without the Internet. I use it for chatting with my friends, researching a variety of topics, catching up on the news, online shopping and the list just goes on and on.
3. The Asian Mum prefers to socialize online rather than interact with other mums in face-to-face meetups
The Asian mum is a very busy woman. Most of her time is split between family, work, and everything else. This is why Asian mums prefer to socialize online with each other rather than meeting, face-to-face. They usually do this through forums, Facebook groups and social media networks – 60% in Singapore of mums communicate at least once a week with other mums online.
SuperMommy’s Opinion: Don’t get me wrong, I love going out for a night on the town, but by the time the kids are in bed I AM TIRED. It’s hard being a supermom all the time. I do socialize online during the week with both moms that I know, and moms that are in the same online groups (this is usually on Facebook, G+ or Instagram).
4. Asian Mums are turning to the Internet for advice rather than talking to family & friends
And, when an Asian mum needs an expert she increasingly turns to the internet for advice… instead of talking to her friends and family. She also relies on tried-and-tested, mum-2-mum recommendations. 74% of Asian mums turn to the Internet, through parenting websites, search engines and social media, for parenting help. Whereas only 26% of Asian mums, seek “traditional methods” of parenting advice, like talking to their friends and family.
SuperMommy’s Opinion: I love my mom to death, but honestly if I need advice on child-rearing I usually turn to the Internet. Don’t get me wrong I do take advice from my elders, but things have changed and technology has advanced. What was relevant back then, may not be the case today. The information that I can find in an online search or in a forum is has a much greater reach than just talking to a few individuals in my family or to my close friends. Not to mention, sometimes you want the information ASAP and it is much easier to do an online search rather than calling all your friends to find out the answer.
As for recommendations – I rarely make a children’s purchase without reading online reviews, getting mom recommendations or reading parenting websites. A tried-and-tested review is extremely important before I make any purchase for my family (this includes something as small as kid’s toothpaste to buying a stroller).
5. Asian Mums are on multiple platforms
The Asian Mum usually connects online using a variety of devices such as a personal computer, a laptop, a tablet and a mobile phone. In Singapore, 76% use a mobile phone, 60% use a computer and 31% use a tablet for at least 1 hour, per day, per device. These mums are very active and on-the-go!
SuperMommy’s Opinion: I am definitely on multiple platforms. I have a smart phone, ipad, laptop and I use a desk top at work. I usually use more than one device at the same time.
6. Asian Mums like to surf on the go
99% of mums in Singapore own a smartphone. They use their smartphone to check email, visit a parenting website, use social media, go online shopping, or just for general browsing. The Singapore mum is also a heavy messaging app user. 99% of mums use at least one messaging app. 97% of Singapore mums are on WhatsApp. This is clearly the dominant choice of messaging app.
SuperMommy’s Opinion: Yes, I own a smart phone. I use my smart phone for just about everything and feel lost if my phone is not arms length away. I am also on What’sApp (and this is my favorite messaging app). I have a variety of different group chats set up that I use to communicate with my friends and family.
7. The Asian Mum is a social media addict
The report clearly showed that the Asian Mum is a SOCIAL MEDIA ADDICT! Asian mums prefer social media when engaging in conversation. 99% of mums in Asia, have at least 1 social media account. 96% of Asian mums are on Facebook. This makes it the most visited platform by far. Google+ is the 2nd most popular social media platform in Asia. 53% of mums have a Google+ account.
SuperMommy’s Opinion: The fact that I am a blogger means that I am on every single social media platform (FB, G+, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Utube, Klout, Stumble Upon, etc.). I do use social media to engage in conversation – with both my friends and random people. I don’t really have the time to call up my friends/family to chat on the phone – but it is easy to send a quick picture with one line of text via my phone at any time of day. My favorite platforms are Facebook, G+ and unlike Asian Mums – Pinterest.
8. Asian Mums use social media at night
After her busy day of multi-tasking, NIGHT-TIME becomes ME-TIME for The Asian Digital Mum. This is why 52% of mums visit social media primarily AFTER 7pm.
SuperMommy’s Opinion: My kids sleep around 7pm – so after 7pm is the only time I am able to really relax and be online without constant interruptions. Most (if not all) of my social media posts/activity are after 7pm.
9. Parenting sites and social media strongly influence the Asian Mum’s purchasing decisions
Before the Asian mum clicks to buy, she taps into social networks for recommendations. In order to stay up to date with her favorite brands, Asian mums follow brands on social media. 91% of mums in Asia like or follow brands on Facebook. They do this in order to, be updated on the latest products, promotions, to endorse the brand to others, and, to give feedback.
Parenting websites are the leading factor that drive purchasing decisions for mums in Singapore. 91% of mums in Singapore have made a purchase based on a recommendation received on the internet and social media. Of this, 68% of mums have actually made a purchase because a product was recommended on a parenting website.
SuperMommy’s Opinion: Parenting websites as well as brand recommendations from moms are definitely what I base my purchasing decision on. I do an online search just about everything I plan to buy. Since parenting websites have so much content and usually good SEO, parenting websites are usually appear in the top 5 of every online search I conduct – hence I do I read these websites in order to gather together as much information as possible for my future purchase(s).
10. Asian Mums are the Primary Decision Makers in the Household
Despite her busy schedule, “The Asian Digital Mum” still manages to find the time to conduct her own brand research and give recommendations to other mums, via social networking sites and forums.
It is because of this that 89% of Asian mums deem themselves as the primary decision maker for purchases in their household. She is influenced by social media fan pages and relies on comments posted on the Internet and social networks. 91% of Singapore mums have made a purchase based on recommendations they received online.
SuperMommy’s Opinion: I am definitely the Chief Household Officer in our house. I make all the decisions in our family when it comes to what food we eat, what we buy, what schools the kids go to, what vacations we take. I even get the final say in bigger matters such as what our next car will be. Moms these days have to be the primary decision maker in the household – they are in charge of the well-being of the entire family.
SuperMommy’s Final Thoughts: It is important for people, especially marketers trying to sell things to moms to realize that motherhood changes a woman. There are many stages to motherhood and once a woman becomes a mom – she changes. In addition to her responsibilities as a woman, she now has a the added responsibilities of motherhood. The amount of hours in a day doesn’t change, rather the woman must change and adapt. A mom must learn to multi-task and become a master juggler of all her many roles. Moms are turning to technology and the Internet to help them become Super Moms. Overall, I think moms are all very similar. We all want what is the best for our family, especially our young children. We like to take charge and be in control of the purchasing decisions. We trust other moms (even though we don’t know them), because those moms are the same or in similar situations as we are.