The Asian mum has gone digital with over 80% of women in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia increasing their usage of the internet once they become mothers.
A survey by theAsianparent.com, Southeast Asia’s largest online parenting magazine, with a reach of over 1.2 million readers found that digital channels attract more mums than traditional channels such as newspapers, TV and magazines.
The “2014 Asian Digital Mum” survey also revealed that mothers increasingly use their phones to check email, visit parenting sites and use social media, and are the primary purchase decision-makers of their households.
The survey, with over 10,000 respondents, offers marketeers new insights into how mums in the region engage online.
When Asian mothers need an expert, they turn to the internet for parenting advice over traditional methods, such as other parents, family members or friends.
About 31% of Thai mums rely on parenting websites, 22% use online search engines and 19% tap into other methods, such as Facebook pages. Parenting websites also top the poll for Malaysian and Singaporean mums, with 32% choosing them for parenting support.
Moreover, when buying a product, major influences on mums are product reviews or other mums’ recommendations on parenting websites or social media rather than a brand’s website or social media fan page.
The survey also revealed that Thai mothers are avid social media users. Mums were asked what they would do, given an extra hour — 29% preferred “spending time on social media”, far higher than Malaysian and Singaporean mums, with only 4% and 6% respectively choosing the same option.
Facebook remains the dominant social networking platform in the number of users in Thailand with 99% of mums using the website, but a striking number of users are now diversifying onto other platforms such as Google Plus.
For Thais, Line is the dominant player in online messaging, with 89% of mums using the service, followed by WhatsApp (23%). In addition, Thai mums prefer to chat with other mums on the internet instead of face-to-face. One-fourth, or 25%, of Thai mums use online services such as Facebook groups and web boards multiple times daily to keep in touch with other mums. Additionally, 48% of mums never meet face-to-face with other mums.
“New technology in the hands of the Asian digital mums makes it easier to surf the web on the go, chat with other mums via social media sites, get parenting advice and shop, meaning they are actively online from morning till night,” said Nuttaporn Chanchokpong, chief editor of Tickled Media, the publisher behind theAsianparent.com.
Key findings from the survey
1. The Asian Digital Mum is the primary household decision maker.
She influences up to 89% of household purchases and is the reigning CHO (Chief Household Officer) of the modern Asian family.
2. She prioritizes online over traditional media.
Once Asian women become mums, 76% increase their Internet usage, while 58% reduce their television consumption.
3. She is “mobile-first” - actively browses the web while on-the-go on her smartphone.
While the Asian mum uses a variety of devices such as mobile phone, tablet, laptop
and PC to stay connected, 99% of them use smartphones. They most commonly use their smartphones to visit parenting sites, check email and interact on Social Media sites.
4. She relies heavily on word-of-mouth recommendations on the web from fellow mums.
91% of Asian mums read parenting tips online. When they have questions which relate to their families, they demand instant responses, and, therefore, prefer the web and social media for information, advice and recommendations. Recommendations from fellow mums are especially important for them.