AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerThe Modern Family

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The Modern Family

Last night, I heard several news talk-show hosts talk about “working families.” And that made me wonder, what is a “working” family? And even more importantly, what is “family” today from a marketing perspective? Happy family walking in the park

Two out of every 5 households do not fit the traditional family picture. That is from a report called “Family Diversity Is the Norm” by BabyCenter and YouGov. How we depict the “family” in advertising can say a lot about us as companies and organizations: 80% of the parents surveyed said they like seeing diverse families in marketing materials. Two out of 3 parents say a brand that realistically reflects parenting today is an important factor in their purchasing decisions.

I stumbled on an article in Adweek with some good facts that need sharing:

  • 52% of moms say they pay more attention to advertising that features real moms (not actors or models)
  • 66% of parents say a brand that respects all types of families is an important factor in their purchasing decisions
  • 80% of parents say they like seeing diverse families in advertising
  • 70% of Millennial parents chose not to purchase something because they didn’t believe in what the company stands for

The family is changing and more importantly our perceptions of “family” are changing. Knowing all this, what would Norman Rockwell paint today?


Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.