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‘Bumping’ Up Targeting Of Mobile Moms

Baby-centric site TheBump.com redesigned its native app and mobile site in a hyper-personalized way, creating new opportunities for both moms and marketers in the process.

Over the past few years, the XO Group has expanded from serving pre-newlyweds with The Knot, the online wedding planner, to what often comes after: parenthood, with The Bump.

The Bump, which XO Group acquired in 2008, appears to be growing: The company is unveiling its redesigned mobile app and website with a nod toward keeping new and soon-to-be moms better connected with their pregnancy and their personal needs.

Josh Himwich
The Bump’s Josh Himwich

As Josh Himwich, The Bump’s VP of Product, puts it, “As soon as baby arrives, you forever have only one hand free.” In other words, most moms are literally reaching for their mobile devices. And while so-called “Millennial Moms” show some of the highest rates of use, moms from all generations are more likely to use mobile than their non-mom counterparts.

The Bump allows these women to register in-app or on the site individually, stating if they are trying to conceive, pregnant (and at how many weeks), or already a parent. Their unique trajectory is then guided from there, with tools like a week-by-week guide to pregnancy, tailored stories, and other content, including a checklist for to-do’s such as ultrasounds and the like.

This “hyper-personalized” aspect aims to provide an advantage — and comfort — to moms. But it also provides ample opportunities for ad targeting.

Messaging Moms — At All Stages

Himwich asserts that The Bump’s goal is “to move beyond the banner ad.” The new space will have several native ad opportunities for marketers, including sponsored content posts aimed at moms going through a particular phase of their maternal journey.

For physical retailers, location-based ads could be served in-stream to nearby women who are at a precise moment of pregnancy or parenthood.

“Let’s say you’re a baby [goods] retailer, and you’re starting a big educational series in all of your stores,” Himwich says. “We know because of your phone that the retailer is 10 blocks from you. As you scroll, we could show you, [a mom with a young child], an ad for that retailer or as part of an educational program at that retailer 10 blocks from you and then you sign up.”

Himwich says that The Bump plans to refine its targeting capacities beyond location by probing into what works week-by-week. For example, does an ad to come in and buy diapers before baby arrives resonate more at week 36 of pregnancy, or at week 38? Himwich expects this highly specific positioning to pose an advantage, because many sites in the baby retail space can only target by pregnancy trimester at best.

“We could really look at the performance and then spend just for that one particular week, because we know that that’s the one that’s going to perform better for that retailer,” Himwich adds. “There are other things we’re currently planning to add later on, too, like also creating all kinds of behavioral targeting. Like based upon the kind of content that you’re reading, we can deduce that you’re having twins or know that you are interested in lots of active gear for your baby.”

They Grow Up So Fast

Going forward, Himwich expects a continued focus on physical retail.

“The physical retail is, of our retail advertising [including e-commerce and m-commerce], probably the biggest focus. And those retailers that we support currently from a brand point of view, we’re now having those conversations with them about how we can localize some of those business issues. To [drive] people not just a store, but this store nearby at a specific time.”

And while The Bump team can’t specify any dates for future offerings, the world of possibilities seems quite open: “For us, we’re in that wonderful moment of creation where we have almost too much capability,” Himwich says. “What we’re trying to figure out is really what the marketplace is most eager for right now.”