Marketers’ Dream Demographic: The Smartphone Mom

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Moms are buying iPhones at a rate faster than any other group. They’re also more likely to use smartphones to their full capabilities during any snippet of downtime—browsing for a nephew’s birthday present, updating family calendars and grocery lists, and otherwise sharing info and staying connected. Is it any wonder, then, that retailers and marketers are desperately trying to connect with all these connected moms?

Moms have historically been in charge of household spending and organization, and now moms have a favorite new multi-purpose tool to carry out plans wherever they go.

Representing one in five online users—and growing—is a group referred to as “power moms.” They’re the ultimate multi-taskers, typically working two demanding jobs (one at the office, one at home), and throughout the day and night they constantly whip out smartphones on the commute, at the playground, in the supermarket, during coffee-shop catch-ups with friends, and while waiting to pick up kids at piano or soccer practice.

The Washington Post profiles this rapidly-growing demographic of women, and why retailers and marketers are so eager to reach them. The answer is simple: These moms aren’t only the biggest users of smartphones and social media, they’re also among the biggest online spenders.

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Marketers have always wanted to reach moms, of course, but now these moms are easier than ever to reach, 24/7, no matter if they’re at home, the office, on a train, or at the pediatrician’s office. Moms have always been social as well, and now they can gather and share info more quickly and from more sources. Candace Corlett, president of the marketing consulting group WSL Strategic, tells the Post:

“What the smartphone does is allow women who are hungry for information to get what they want from the Internet instead of calling up a sister or friend for advice.”

Retailers and marketers are now on a mission to get the information that benefits their businesses onto the screens of all these moms:

Web firms are collecting personal information about moms, including what times of the day they’re logged on, if they are connected from home or on the road, and how often browsing turns into a purchase. Firms such as Procter & Gamble, Walt Disney, Comcast and AT&T, which recently commissioned a study on online moms, want to use that kind of data to tailor ads to that demographic.

So moms, beware: The marketers are after you, and the smartphone you hold close and bust out dozens of times before lunch may be your device, but it’s being used by the marketers as well. They know how often you update on Facebook, what you listen to on Pandora, and where you buy soccer cleats. They also probably have a good idea that you’re concerned you work too much—and that you’re apt to being tempted into spoiling yourself with minor indulgences and buying guilt purchases for your kids. They know all this, and the more you use your smartphone, the more they know.

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Brad Tuttle is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @bradrtuttle. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.