In business, know your customer is one of those elementary imperatives that make the difference between success and failure. To succeed, you’ve got to know what people need and offer a solution to one of their problems. The same is true in Christian media ministry. Know your media user. “What media resources do users need? What media do they want?” At ReFrame Media, if we don’t know the answers to these questions, we’re probably not meeting their needs as a ministry as well as we could be. And we’re definitely not cultivating whole-life discipling relationships. With all this in mind, we recently held two focus groups to address some fundamental questions.
In two different locations, we invited about 10 young moms in each group to discuss how media influences their lives and faith. One group were working moms, the other group primarily stay-at-home moms. These groups provided valuable information for our content production team as they develop resources that speak to real people.
Our focus group facilitator, Christy Prins, a young mother herself, led the participants through questions like: What types of media do you use and how much? What media do your children use? What kinds of activities do you do for spiritual growth and how does media play a part in that?
The attendees in both groups indicated that women ages 23-39 with young children are looking for “brain food” as well as ways to stay in touch with other women and connecting with the world. They use a broad variety of media—everything from mobile devices to car radios.
Most of the attendees agreed that as important as media is in their lives, connecting face-to-face helps each feel more fed than just receiving snippets on media. They might use media for different reasons, depending on whether they were stay-at-home mothers or working moms. The former talked much more about days of feeling isolated from the world, and leaning on Facebook and other media to keep them plugged into friendships and up-to-date on news and information. Working moms, on the other hand, shared about feeling stretched between responsibilities at work and at home; social media and video streaming provided ready options to help unwind.
The moms all try to manage the ways they use media, especially with and around their children. They look for engaging, quality programming to entertain their children or that might teach their children good values.
The women expressed a strong desire for resources that encouraged their faith, marriages, and parenting—resources that would come right to them, not something they had to go looking for. As it happens, we can meet that need right now.
This input is valuable to us in several ways. To begin with, it puts faces on our users; they’re real people with real interests, needs, and desires. It also confirms some of what we already understood about the busy lives of young moms. It provides us with a basis for further exploration through surveys and analytics that can give us the keys to better user engagement. With this information, we can more effectively shape content to meet the needs of young moms, and in so doing, help many more see God’s story in their lives.