with greg layton

The Inner Chief is for leaders, professionals and small business owners who want to accelerate their career and growth. Our guest chiefs and gurus share powerful stories and strategies so you can have more purpose, influence and impact in your career.

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In this week’s episode we meet Katrina McCarter the Founder and CEO of Marketing to Mums. She is a Marketing Strategist, Best-selling Author, Speaker and Advisor, who specialises in helping businesses sell more to world’s most powerful consumer, Mums.

An award-winning businesswoman and mother of three, Katrina founded an award winning online shopping website for mums called Bubbler.com.au which she grew to a community of 150,000.

Katrina is the author of bestselling business book, Marketing to Mums, and is a regular contributor to business media.


  1. What is the biggest mistake organisations make in marketing to mums?
  2. What are the steps people should follow if they’re thinking about starting out on their own?
  3. How can people be more influential through their own work in large organisations?
  4. What is an intrapreneur and how can professionals be one?
  5. How have you planned the future of your life?
  6. How can people build more confidence in their work and in the early stages of starting their own business?
  7. What kind of structures should they put in place to be more effective?



  • I passionately believe that mums are the most misunderstood, misrepresented, and undervalued consumer in the market. I've felt that myself, so when I became a mother I had suddenly gone from this really high powered exec to being classified and spoken to and really pigeonholed as just a mother. I really struggled with my new identity. I didn't feel very valued at all. That's something that really drives my business
  • I am very much a data driven marketer. I believe that by having the right research you can really minimise your risk and exposure, and increase your return on investment. I use research always to guide my decision making and I'm very strategic in my approach.
  • I see becoming an entrepreneur as the ultimate career test. It is the ultimate testing of your skills to see can you do it? It really relies on you. I'd first question how comfortable are you with risk? What level of inner confidence and strength do you have? You really have to … When I see a lot of the women that come to me, there's often a confidence issue. If I can assist them work through that confidence issue, then they're in a much better place. I think what's essential is that you must have the support of your family, and you must put some realistic timeframes around it. There's very few overnight successes. I see people in their third year and they're still not even paying themselves. This is pretty common. I think that you need to go in with your eyes wide open.
  • People talk about this work/life balance. I don't believe in it. For me it's all one life, how are you going to spend it? It's really about getting some goal posts really clear about, some clarity around what they're trying to achieve and how much of their time they're willing to invest in that. Then looking at some of their workflow practises. I find mothers in particular, because we're finding mums are entering business at two to three times the rate of men, a lot of them do set themselves up to not do very well because they haven't got the right structure in place and they've got too high an expectation on what they're going to achieve in a very short space of time whilst still remaining the primary carer of the children. I think that it's about getting the structure right and your expectations right from the outset.
  • People are hideously optimistic with their forecasts. I think I was too with my first business. I think that it's a learning process, but I think that the more opportunity that you've got to learn from other people that are further along the path than you, the more likely you are to be more realistic. I spend a lot of time reaching out to people
  • I really believe in being bold. In fact that's two words that I live by, is being bold and getting on the phone and reaching out to people.
  • I call them intrapreneurs, so they're internal entrepreneurs.
  • I think organisations that can allow that level of guided freedom can really encourage more of these intrapreneurs, which I believe are huge assets for organisations.
  • I think people think too small. Quite often I see that people just think within their one space and they're not taking that big enough view. I think that also relates back to that intrapreneur that we were just talking about. By taking that really big view and operating like that entrepreneur, there are far more opportunities. I think that what I see is a lot of people think very small and just within their function.
  • The number one mistake according to mums is stereotyping. Again, she said, “Reflect me as a woman. Whilst being a mother is really important to me, it's not all of me,” and she wants to be treated as a woman first
  • In terms of from my perspective as a marketer in terms of what I see when I go into organisations, I see a couple of issues. I see firstly they target too broadly. They treat mums as one big homogenous group. Now, there are 6.2 million mothers in Australia. Every year 140,000 women become mothers. We're not all the same, we have different interests, and to lump us together is a really, really key issue and a very, very common one.
  • The second issue that I see is that they don't understand mothers deeply enough. They'll tell you we target mums 25 to 45 and I say, “Well that's both millennial mums and Gen X mothers. The communication methods that you would use to interact and engage with those women are completely different. You need to drill down, you need to better understand their motivations.” As a result of them targeting too broadly and not understanding them deeply enough, they've got real credibility issues. We're seeing this really very much in the retail industry where we're seeing a lot of big names that target mums have actually closed up show, particularly in fashion and apparel. I really believe this is because they have got poor relationships, declining sales, as a result of not knowing their customer well enough.
  • I have both personal mentors, and then I have professional mentors. Most of those people wouldn't have any idea that they're my mentors.
  • Creativity is one of my biggest skills, and if I'm working too hard, it stops flowing, so I need to take regular breaks. That allows me that think time and that big picture time. I think, yeah, regular breaks is probably the biggest thing that I do.