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  • Writer's pictureDillon Kalkhurst

Schools Take Note - Thanks to Millennial Moms, Coupons Rule

Today's Millennial moms are amazing multitaskers; most have the same critically important job of being the CFO - Chief Financial Officer for the family household. A majority have to do this job and another one that helps pay the bills. This generation was severely affected by the great recession, and this experience has taught them to be the most financially savvy consumers we've seen since the waste-not-want-not silent generation.

Being an expert in the generations, especially Millennial parents, I wondered how different generations value discounts and coupons. I assume savvy Millennials are bringing coupons back with so many online and mobile platforms offering deals on everything from groceries to vacations. What I found was interesting and good news for marketers using coupons especially when it comes to Millennial parents. It is also good news for schools that utilize coupon book fundraising programs with 75% of their parents being Millennials today and an additional 9,000 more Millennials becoming moms and dads every day.

Recent research from PRRI-US consumer Surveysshows that Millennials are using coupons more than their parents, but they are not getting them from any one source and favor online coupons and promo codes over paper coupons. Online coupon usage among Millennials has risen 48% over the past two years. The number of Millennials who reported using mobile coupons to make a purchase rose to 33%, outstripping other generations by a large margin. Another survey by Valassisfound that 92% of Millennials use coupons. In the past year, 51% of Millennials said they are using more coupons than the previous year, which is more than Generation X and Baby Boomers.

Millennials also shop with as innate skepticism. They don’t organically trust brands and can easily see through slick marketing and ad campaigns. Mass distributed coupons alone are not as effective as they were for their parents. Millennials, especially Millennial moms make purchases based off peer reviews from loyal customers within their trusted centers of influence or social circles.

I recently had a chance to interview my friend and mentor Maria Baileyfor my book, Intergenerational Engagement: Understanding the Five Generations in Today’s Families, Communities, Schools, and the Economy. Maria authored the book "Millennial Moms: 202 Facts Marketers Need to Know to Build Brands and Drive Sales,"a must-read for any who interacts with Millennial moms as employees or customers.

Ad Age called her “One of the Must-Follow Women on Social Media” and credited her with creating the Marketing to Moms niche. Her company, BSM Media is a full-service marketing and media firm that specializes in connecting brands with mothers. She has worked with over 300 brands across the globe including Walmart, Huggies, HP, Disney Parks, and many more family brands.

While researching Maria's blog, I came across this great article about Millennial mom's love of coupons and savings. She calls them Mom Frugalistas.

Originally Posted: April 18, 2017 BSM Media Blog

There’s a new breed of mom – and she’s here to stay. Meet the Mom Frugalista. She’s a savvy, price-comparison shopper who utilizes technology, offline media, and most of all her peers to stretch her buying dollar. She was once a mom on a budget but the recent shift in economic climate generated a conversion of moms from disposable income queens to coupon divas. She’s tasted the thrill of saving, the fulfillment of reclaiming control of her checkbook and the excitement of hearing the clerk say, “You just saved $101 today.” Sixty percent of moms surveyed by BSM Media said they have used coupons for the first time in the last year. Although the economy seems to be turning around, she’s not turning back to her old spending behaviors. Why would she? She’s learned that if she visits, she can increase her arsenal of savings. If she reads‘s blog before leaving the house, she can design a road map between retailers who are all competing for her business. The Mom Frugalista is here to stay and it’s time for retailers and brand managers to win her loyalty.

Before I share the “How to Connect” with a Mom Frugalista, let’s understand the “why” behind mom’s desire to share news of a great deal. Moms share money-saving opportunities because it’s a way to nurture relationships with other moms. It deepens their relationship to save another mother a dollar or two. It also demonstrates a mom’s outward ability to demonstrate her shopping prowess. If she finds a deal and shares the news, it demonstrates her personal skill in shopping thus elevating her status among her peers. It’s friendly competition at its best, the kind that nurtures relationships and fulfills her need to share. Here are a few tips to leverage these innate behaviors and connect with the Mom Frugalista.

-Engage the mom influencers. Sounds basic, but it’s amazing how few marketers are engaging with coupon, consumer and frugal social media mom influencers. Each week these women communicate the best deals for moms in their blogs, tweets and facebook pages. Developing a relationship, one with a real dialogue, with Moms like ConsumerQueen, PennyPinchingDiva and Deal Seeking Mom can give marketers the opportunity to have influential moms deliver their message.

-Search Twitter for your consumer. It doesn’t take much effort to find moms who are looking for your product. Go to each morning and search your brand’s name or solution. When you find moms seeking your product or one like it, offer them the opportunity to try it at a discount. Let’s say you are a dinner solution product- pasta for the sake of examples. A search of “dinner ideas” may reveal a mom tweeting to her peers asking for a suggestion. Here’s where the pasta brand jumps in. A smart marketer might DM that mom and offer her a link to a recipe. However, a great marketer would offer to send a link to a recipe and a downloadable coupon. Relevant and valuable content delivered in the nick of time to provide a meal planning solution to a busy mother.

-Recognize that all types of moms love to save, then put your money saving deals in the right hands. Seek out fitness fanatics like and if you are a brand offering low fat or low sugar solutions. These women can be a great resource in distributing your saving information to other health conscience moms. They don’t have to be savings bloggers to help you spread the word.

It takes a coupon to persuade today’s mom who is loyal to a brand. Eighty percent of moms in a recent BSM Media survey of 3000 moms said that it takes a coupon for her to try a new brand. Moms know that they can find the means to save on the brands they love so it takes the same value to motivate her to test a new product. Find a way to get a sample or coupon in her hand if launching a product is in your marketing plans.

The Mom Frugalista is here to stay. She’s smart and savvy and is looking for the savings on your products.

To summarize:

  • Millennials are the largest generation of consumers.

  • Most new moms and dads are Millennials.

  • The majority of k-12 parents and most nearly all new teachers are Millennials.

  • Millennial parents reward companies that give back to their child's school and community.

  • 92% of Millennials use coupons.

  • Schools that are not offering coupon book fundraisers to their parents are missing out on a lot of funding from a program their parents will thank them for providing.

  • Merchants and retailers that want Millennial business should be offering discounts through organizations that give back to schools and the community.

The largest orgaization providing this service is Coupons That Care by SaveAround who provides local coupon books and an online discounts app in 170 U.S. cities. In addition to providing great savings, they also give back to schools and the community addressing two of the most important things Millennial moms seek.

I encourage schools and any organization that needs to raise money to look into this organization. It will feel good to provide your parents an opportunity to save while helping their schools. The timing couldn't be better.

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