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Tuning into Mom: Understanding America's Most Powerful Consumer Hardcover – October 15, 2011

5.0 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Tuning into Mom lives up to its title’s promise by helping readers understand the mind-set of moms. The authors “listened” to over 4,500 moms, capturing invaluable insights for businesses, marketers, and researchers across a range of consumer categories.

As a marketer to moms, it is critical to understand mom’s values and attitudes. I can complement that understanding with the rich insights in this book. I know you’ll find it just as valuable for your business, whether it’s technology or textiles.”

~ Brigette Wolf, Brand Manager, Global Oreo Innovation, Kraft Foods

“With more than twenty-five years of experience leading consumer-driven businesses and brands in categories ranging from restaurants to wireless, I know how important it is to capture the hearts and minds of moms. Tuning into Mom provides a fresh perspective for brands that recognize mom as an important purchaser or purchase influencer of their goods and services. It will certainly stimulate new thinking and generate category-specific creative solutions to better impact mom as a consumer and influencer. It’s an important read for marketers in any industry.”

~ Mary N. Dillon, President and CEO, U.S. Cellular

A very pragmatic and balanced blend of consumer and brand insights coupled with the appropriate amount of data. It covers the spectrum of “Mom for all Ages.”

 ~ Jean-Marie Dolenc, General Manager, Hospital Pharmaceutical International Marketing, Abbott Labs

 “As a marketing executive who is challenged with finding pragmatic actions in a highly competitive market, I value resources that provide deep, foundational insights. With Tuning into Mom, Michal Clements and Teri Lucie Thompson have delivered—pun intended—such a resource, a first-born winner. The book proves a unique hypothesis about children’s influence on moms’ buying behavior, and at the same time, reinforces to all marketers the importance of targeting mom, the household CFO and chief buyer.”

 ~ Pam El, Marketing Vice President, State Farm Insurance

“Whether you’re a marketer, at an agency, or simply interested in understanding the most powerful force in the marketplace, Tuning into Mom by Michal Clements and Teri Lucie Thompson give us a game-changing insight that will unlock the potential for brands and businesses for years to come. With fresh data and a savvy-smart approach, this book is a how-to manual for creating demand today. But more than that, Michal and Teri show us that when we understand mom, and create products and services that meet her specific needs, we’re not only making the world better for her, but for all those children and families she influences.”

 ~Dave Kissell, President and CEO, InStadium

“Rich insights, clever case studies, a fine blend of data and real customer stories . . . What more could a marketer want? Fresh ideas on marketing to moms based on the age of their children? Check! Tuning into Mom delivers all this and more. Kudos to first-time authors Michal Clements and Teri Lucie Thompson who really did their homework and have added to the slow-growing body of knowledge around marketing to moms. Studying and writing about gender-specific marketing for over twenty years, I gained new insights in reading this book. You will too!” 

~ Marti Barletta, author of Marketing to Women, PrimeTime Women, and Trends: Recognize, Analyze, Capitalize

“Tuning into Mom is a timely field guide for marketing-driven organizations looking to target mothers. The Theme Resource Guides provide laser focus to unique mom segments and their priorities relative to products, and the case studies beautifully illustrate how solid strategy and marketing creativity come together.”

~ Sarah Merz, CEO, FranklinCovey Products

“Tuning into Mom provides deep insight into the things that moms care about most for children of different ages, as well as for themselves. Moms are making or influencing decisions for their children well into adulthood. Marketers should leverage the practical framework in this book to position their products and services in the most relevant way to this powerful target audience.”

~ Karen R. Haefling, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, KeyCorp

“Brilliant. Methodical. Right on time. Tuning into Mom draws on a robust body of comprehensive research and a never-ending stream of marketing insights to provide an extraordinary view into the rich and diverse landscape of moms in America. Michal Clements and Teri Lucie Thompson profoundly illuminate the most effective ways for brands to reach moms with relevant solutions and authentic messaging. I highly recommend this path-breaking volume to any marketer that is committed to taking a genuine brand leadership position within this powerful segment.”

~ Eddie R. Navarrete, Marketing Director, T-Mobile USA

“One of the most important axioms in marketing is to ‘control the pathways.’ It is the marketers’ imperative to understand who influences one’s customers and make sure you are communicating to and targeting them as well. Tuning into Mom does an excellent job of explaining the roles mothers play in the decisions of their families. The book will not only allow the reader to understand this important market segment, but will also challenge the reader to better understand how they can win in the marketplace by “helping moms help their families.” I highly recommend this book for college courses as well! It is in the same league as classics like Why We Buy.”

~ Tom Hayes, Ph.D., Professor of Marketing, Xavier University

 “Tuning into Mom provides fresh insight into the ongoing influence of moms on young adults. From my experience, I also know that many moms are interested in promoting wholesome eating for their children. For a casual dining chain, this spells opportunity. Tuning into Mom is a must-read for agencies and clients that are looking for fresh thinking and new ideas on how to capture the spending of mom, as well as her young adult child.”

~ Mark Gilley, Vice President, Consumer Insights, Darden Restaurants

As a beauty writer and mother myself, I find the authors’ insights into marketing to moms in both the real and virtual worlds right on target. Their book, Tuning into Mom, offers great perspective on how and where mothers shop for beauty and fashion and how their buying habits, priorities, and sense of personal style shift as their children grow and they move through different stages of motherhood.”

~ Andrea Pomerantz Lustig, author of How to Look Expensive and contributing beauty editor of Glamour Magazine

“Marketing and brand building can only be successful with deep understanding of the target audience. Teri Lucie Thompson and Michal Clements have done a spectacular job of peeling back the layers of the critical target audience—moms—and providing the insights needed to effectively reach them. A must-read for any marketer with moms on their mind, Tuning into Mom is the engaging and enlightening book that will open your eyes to the mom possibilities for your brand.”

~ Donna Heckler, co-author of The Truth About Creating Brands People Love, Brand Strategy Lead, Ingersol-Rand

About the Author

Michal Clements is a senior principal at the leading growth strategy consulting firm, The Cambridge Group, based in Chicago. She previously founded Insight to Action, a firm focused on building brands through insights that result in specific business-building actions. Teri Lucie Thompson is chief marketing officer and vice president for marketing and media at Purdue University. She previously served as vice president of marketing for Safeco, and held a number of marketing leadership roles at State Farm Insurance, where she spearheaded the company's efforts in marketing to women. Both women are founding board members of the Marketing to Moms Coalition and co-creators of the annual State of the American Mom survey.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 185 pages
  • Publisher: Purdue University Press (October 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155753585X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557535856
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,850,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Clements and Lucie-Thompson have created a practical approach to understanding one of our most important demographic segments. It is especially helpful that the did the work to layer the psychographic factors over the demographics. Getting into the heads of moms and their decision making processes adds a layer of sophistication and understanding that allows us as marketers to make the right decisions. The matrix that breaks down the moms by age and type of parenting scenario is especially helpful. It allows us to segment this important group even further to target the message and the mix. The amount of research is so impressive. I think every marketer will appreciate the shared stories that give such valuable insights into the minds of moms everywhere. This is the ultimate source of deep understanding and sensibility surrounding this important marketing and sales opportunity! I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Hardcover
As a mom marketer, I have spent many years researching best practices among brands, cultivating new research and statistics, and diving deep into trying to understand (and help others understand) what it means to truly know and appreciate mom as a consumer. What I feel is often missing in the marketing to mom discussion is looking at mom beyond the infant/toddler years and this book, Tuning Into Mom, fills that discussion void.

Michal Clements and Teri Lucie Thompson do an outstanding job of looking at mom based on the age of her oldest child--seeing how her priorities and purchasing decisions change as her oldest child ages. From food to fashion, Tuning Into Mom is a deep dive into what drives mom as a consumer, giving us new and relevant statistics integrated with valuable case studies and real-life snapshots of moms as they journey through parenthood. As a marketer, you will find information you can use to deepen your relationship with mom consumers at every stage of motherhood--infant through young adult. And as a mom, you will most certainly see yourself in many of these examples and case studies.

Tuning Into Mom is a must-have for your marketing library and is designed to be a quick read packed with insight!
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Format: Hardcover
If you are in marketing, you need to order this book right now. The statistics on the extent to which moms influence the buying decisions of the entire family unit are astonishing. You can't market anything effectively unless you understand moms. In all product and service categories, moms are behind the buying. This is a great book for understanding the role moms play and how to influence them.
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Format: Hardcover
What makes Tuning into Mom: Understanding America's Most Powerful Consumer so extraordinary is the validation of what we thought we already knew, sorta, maybe, kinda. Tuning into Mom adds to the small, but growing, body of research about marketing strategies which appeal to the modern American mom.

For example, it's common sense that health and safety concerns of moms for their kids change as the child grows. Correspondingly, the buying behavior of moms changes primarily with the age of the oldest child (infant/toddler: think safety gates, while with teens: think car insurance). But Clements and Thompson quantified and segmented the drivers of the buying behavior of moms as it is today. Check out the chapter on Technology.

Why is this important? It's important because marketers and retailers need to know what's going on inside the mom's head when she purchases products and services for her children. What really reaches out and grabs for those dollars? What patterns resonate across family income levels and ethnicities?

This book pulls together a wealth of information and research, and puts them together in an easy-to-read format. Actual quotes from interviews with moms, along with shortened case studies, enliven the reading. An extensive Appendix documents the research method and other sources consulted.

This book is the starting point of discussion for anyone working in strategic planning of product/service design and market planning. Mom has just stepped to the front of the line.
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As a brand design strategist who spends a large amount of time searching for solid research to help guide creative direction, "Tuning into Mom" will be an invaluable resource.

Organized into key hot-button topics, it is a quick read full of insights organized into categories ranging from food and education to beauty. The intriguing part is that authors Clements and Thompson don't just focus on moms of young children, as is often the case in marketing to mom studies, and they don't lump all moms in together.

This reference considers the full range of moms with children from 1 to 29, noting that moms don't stop being moms as their children age. Moms of teenagers and young adults continue to influence their children in a significant way; they just care about different things.

"Tuning into Mom" drills down into ages, stages and, most importantly, provides a realistic look at how she must balance what is best for her children with her personal needs, likes, dislikes and the challenges of everyday life.
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