Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Smartphones Are a Smart Choice for Moms During Back-To-School, with 85% Agreeing that the Devices Make the Season Less Stressful, According to Research from IAB & Meredith’s Parents Network

Mothers with Preschool Kids Are Biggest Mobile Phone Users During This Hectic Time of Year

NEW YORK, NY (August 29, 2012) — With mothers across the country helping their children readjust to life in the classroom, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), its Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, and Meredith’s Parents Network, the leading parenthood media portfolio which includes Parents, American Baby, FamilyFun and Ser Padres, today announced exclusive new findings from their “Moms Go Back-To-School with Mobile” survey of moms with school-age children. The results point to the opportunity for marketers to leverage mobile wisely and reach this coveted audience by helping moms navigate this chaotic time of year.

The research revealed that moms – whether smartphone users or not – experience high levels of stress during the busy back-to-school season (70% with smartphones vs. 66% without smartphones said they are as stressed or more stressed this year relative to last year). However, the majority of mothers armed with a connected mobile device (85%) said that their smartphone definitely eases the back-to-school strain, making this time of year less stressful overall. That sentiment held strong across a wide age range of moms (89% under 35 vs. 85% 35–44 vs. 83% over 45). Moreover, looking beyond the back-to-school timeframe, nearly nine in 10 smartphone-owning mothers of school-age kids (87%) admitted that having a smartphone has made being a mom easier for them.

These mobile user moms rely on their devices for a myriad of activities, including keeping in touch, organizing their family schedules and shopping. Across all U.S. moms, the top smartphone usages during back-to-school include:

  • Communication with children’s teachers and schools (33%)
  • Organizing the family calendar (30%)
  • Sharing back-to-school related info via social networks (28%)
  • Staying in touch with other parents in their circle (26%)
  • Finding coupons and store discounts (25%)
  • Building and checking shopping lists (21%)
  • Mobile shopping (20%)

“Between my personal experience as a mom of two school-age daughters, as well as my industry expertise, I know that back-to-school creates great mobile opportunities for brands and retailers to reach busy moms at a pivotal time,” said Anna Bager, Vice President and General Manager Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, IAB. “This study with Meredith points to a variety of ways that busy moms depend on their mobile devices in order to get through the hectic back-to-school season.”

“Back to school is the busiest and most stressful time of year for moms, and now, more than ever before, Millennial moms are using their smartphones to help make their lives run smoother,” said Carey Witmer, Executive Vice President, Meredith Parents Network. “They pursue the information they want and need, everywhere they go, every time of the day, and it’s our goal at The Meredith Parents Network to have branded content everywhere they are, whenever they need us.”

Digging deeper into the data, according to “Moms Go Back-to-School with Mobile,” there is a sharp difference among smartphone user moms, when it comes to their kids’ grade-level. The findings show that moms with preschoolers are more apt to be mobile-intense, than those with older children:

  • Over half of smartphone-owning moms with preschoolers (56%) use their smartphones to take photos and videos of their child, in comparison to mothers of elementary (44%), intermediate (46%) and high school students (33%)
  • A greater number of smartphone-owning moms with preschool kids (48%) organize the family calendar on their mobile devices versus those with children at other grade levels (33% elementary vs. 32% intermediate vs. 23% high school)
  • Smartphone-owning mothers with preschoolers are more likely to share info via social networks (41%) over their counterparts (32% elementary vs. 32% intermediate vs. 21% high school)

To review the complete “Moms Go Back-to-School With Mobile” study, as well as an infographic outlining the findings, please visit

Survey Methodology
This 10 question online study was fielded by EMI Surveys from August 8 -12, 2012 among a nationally representative sample of moms with kids ages 3-17 in the household. Findings are based on a total of 500 respondents, 375 of whom own a smartphone. Total sample is weighted to reflect actual smartphone ownership rates among moms with kids as reported by Nielsen.

About the IAB
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 500 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. On behalf of its members, the IAB is dedicated to the growth of the interactive advertising marketplace, of interactive’s share of total marketing spend, and of its members’ share of total marketing spend. The IAB educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City with a Public Policy office in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit

About Meredith Corporation
Meredith Corporation is the leading media and marketing company serving American women. Meredith features multiple well-known national brands – including Better Homes and Gardens, Parents, Family Circle, Ladies’ Home Journal, Fitness, More, American Baby and Every Day with Rachael Ray – along with local television brands in fast-growing markets. Meredith is the industry leader in creating content in key consumer interest areas such as home, family, health and wellness and self-development. Meredith uses multiple distribution platforms – including print, television, online, mobile, tablets, and video – to give consumers content they desire and to deliver the messages of its advertising and marketing partners.

Additionally, Meredith uses its many assets to create powerful custom marketing solutions for many of the nation's top brands and companies. Meredith Xcelerated Marketing has significantly added to its capabilities in recent years through the acquisition of cutting-edge companies in areas such as digital, mobile, social, healthcare, database, and international marketing. Most recently, Meredith made a strategic investment in London-based Iris Worldwide, a leader in experiential marketing.

A hallmark of Meredith's business model and financial profile is its ability to consistently generate substantial free cash flow by leveraging the strength of its multi-platform portfolio. Meredith is committed to increasing Total Shareholder Return through dividend payments, share repurchases and strategic business investments. Meredith has paid a dividend for 64 straight years and increased its dividend for 18 consecutive years.

IAB Media Contact
Laura Goldberg
[email protected]

Meredith Parents Network Media Contact
Colleen Schwartz
[email protected]