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Who needs men when you’ve got Facebook?

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According to research done by Draftfcb, a desire for independence is driving today’s township mom. The research revealed that a mom doesn’t need a man, and that many moms see men as just nice-to-have.

A fierce desire for independence is the driving force behind today’s township mom. Independence defines her, she doesn’t only rely on men. In fact, a man is just a nice-to-have.

This is one of the key findings of research conducted by Draftfcb Johannesburg’s strategy department into the needs, wants, desires and values of the average mother living in one of South Africa’s predominantly black townships.

According to Draftfcb’s head of strategy, Rita Doherty, the research both confirmed and destroyed several perceptions today’s marketers have when it comes to this important target market: especially when it dealt with their lives within the digital and social networking environments.

This, says, Doherty, has far-reaching effect on the way that marketers communicate with this market, and in the way that the owners of these technologies plan for their own future.

‚Many of today’s township moms believe the nuclear family is over. They think women are stronger than men, and that it’s up to them to look after themselves and raise their children. In fact, unlike the previous generations of working moms, who often sent young kids home to grandmothers, these new moms are increasingly choosing to raise their own children. The pride they feel in providing for their kids, keeps them motivated, despite hardships,‚ she said.

Doherty added that, while earning money is a key motivator for this target market, it is not proactive or knowledgeable about investment. For example, despite their keen interest in their children’s education, many moms are only planning to take out education policies when the children are older.

They do, however, tend to respond positively to financial institutions that come to them. This suggests that banks that invite them to meet a consultant or attend a workshop, or offer to call them if they respond to an SMS are likely to be well received.

When it comes to social norms and interactions, their role models are independent women that inspire them to achieve success through hard-work. Oprah is a powerful favourite, and there is usually an independent female relative they look up to who led the way.

‚These moms are also naturally spiritual, with God or the ancestors offering a sense of solace. They are generally quite happy and proud of themselves, but not complacent,‚ said Doherty.

‚They’re not too judgmental about personal choices, and while many moms don’t like homosexuality, they would accept it in their children. Inter-racial love and friendship is embraced with ease.

Health consciousness is starting to grow, but the emphasis is more on feeling well that is, living a life disease-free life, than on weight loss.

‚And, contrary to popular belief, they don’t socialise that much, but when they do, it’s usually with girlfriends, red wine and ciders!

‚Many township moms work long hours. Housework and kids fill up their personal time. There is not much time for TV (except Generations). Instead, these new age moms have discovered Facebook ‚ they Facebook on their phones while they cook, in the bath and in bed. On-the-go media certainly suits their lifestyle, which is why radio continues to be an old friend in their lives ‚ on the taxi, at work, on their phones, at home while doing other things.

‚21st century township moms still love many cultural traditions, with one big exception though ‚ the man is no longer the head of the household. The women wear the pants now, and marketers better take note.‚

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