Targeting Expecting Parents on Facebook

August 16, 2012

Collective Measures
Is Mark Zuckerberg Pregnant? There is one way to find out!

Facebook announced the other day that users are now able to choose to add “expecting a baby” as a life event on their timeline.

This raises a ton of questions, of course, and as a marketer, my first question is “which of our clients can benefit from this”?! Of course we have several that will shortly get a nice email from us detailing strategy for approaching (carefully) expecting mothers on Facebook.

There are no doubt some glitches to be found in the system.  It IS Facebook afterall.

One glitch was found by our very own Peter Quale, who tested this himself by announcing that he is expecting…in 15 months.

So while it is great that you can choose to tell Facebook about your gestation period, it begs the question – why are we helping Facebook do their jobs? If they were smart, they would already know these things. Take Target as an example. Remember the kerfuffle that this NYTimes article created when it came out in February?

In this case one pitfall of marketing to expecting mothers was clearly identified when Target sent coupons for maternity clothing to the home of a pregnant teenage girl. Her father was justifiably upset because he had no idea.

We need to be cautious when going down this path. Some people may be upset about getting an ad for Pampers, but then again, they don’t have to share this information, right?

Other expecting parents may really enjoy being exposed to new brands and shopping for products they don’t even know they need. Like a modern crib! Or baby portraits! Or personalized children’s books!

My one concern is the exact timing of these ads. Right now I can’t find where to drill down to target mothers expecting in 6 months, or 3 months by using the due date; a feature that will need to be added to really appeal to a wider variety of advertisers.