What Marketers are Getting Wrong about Millennial Dads

As a young (or so I think) Dad, I’ve always told my wife that I want to be just as actively involved in our kids’ lives as she is – but even though fathers like myself are spending triple the amount of time with their kids since 1965, for some reason marketers have taken a long time to notice us.

I say it’s about time.

Marketing to Millennial Dads

Us “young” fathers (yes, I plan on including myself in this category – don’t let those few gray hairs fool you) are part of a new demographic called Millennial Dads (generally speaking, we’re talking about Dads aged 18-34) who are more likely than any other generation to be involved in the day-to-day work of childcare (why didn’t someone tell us it wouldn’t be easy?).

From the time my wife got pregnant with our first son until today (we now have two ninjas), I wanted to know everything I could – and I found that marketers had missed the mark and weren’t catering to Millennial Dads like myself.

I’m not alone. According to a new BabyCenter study, 58% (yup, more than half of us) say there is not enough dad-focused content online and 69% wish there was more content available specifically targeted to Dads online.

I’m not just talking about answering our top questions like what to do when your wife craves pickles and tacos at four in the morning (although that would be helpful) but everything from how do I know if my child is hungry or tips to put a baby to sleep when there’s construction outside your window or what every Dad needs when spending two hours with a newborn (always have an extra bottle of milk – your ear drums will thank me).

So what can marketers do to stand out to Dads online – especially considering Dads are not only playing a bigger role in raising their children but also carry a lot of influence over major household purchases (especially electronics and financial services)?

Speak their language.

Here are three ways to get started.

1. Understand what Dads want

Ever feel embarrassed when your kid asks you a question you can’t answer? I don’t actually know why the sky is blue… so I checked with NASA!

Well, so do most Dads, according to Think with Google’s latest research that reveals that many Dads don’t feel like they can ask their friends questions so seven in ten Dads go online to get the answers to their questions.

Marketers: Create digital campaigns centered around the content that Dads want to read about – things that will help them feel like better parents and be dad of the year.

2. It’s a go, go, go world

Are you reading this on your smartphone? Chances are, you might be. Or maybe you saw it while scrolling through your phone on the subway and then raced home and continued where you left off on your desktop computer.

The way all consumers access information has changed – especially Millennial Dads. Count myself in the camp who do most of their research on a smartphone (in fact, searches for baby-related terms on mobile has grown 52% year over year).

Marketers: Between work, kids, carpooling, picking up dry cleaning, grocery shopping, reading LinkedIn articles and so much more, we’re always on the go. Don’t make it harder for Dads to access the information when we want it. Mobile is a must for 2015 – and if your website isn’t mobile optimized, you can bet Millennial Dads will leave for a competitor’s.

3. Make online shopping simpler

Seven in 10 Dads help with shopping and there’s a big opportunity to win their loyalty, considering many Dads switch brand choices when starting a family.

So what do we want to see? We care about product safety, brands that provide exceptional value and have good online reviews – especially from other parents.

Marketers: Work with other influential Moms and Dads to get those authentic product reviews and showcase how it aligns with parents’ concerns (we’ve got some tips in this article).