If Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott are serious in their attempts to woo working mothers, then research reveals they should be spending more time targeting them online.

The research from pregnancy and parenting sites Birth.com.au and Kidspot.com.au has shown when asked how their media consumption had changed since becoming a mother, the majority of respondents had increased their internet usage but had reduced consumption of magazines and newspapers.

The survey, which questioned 2,891 mums and mums-to-be, found that 82% of mums seek opinions online to help them make a purchasing decision, while 75% regularly research products online (‘regularly’ defined as more often than once a month).

When asked to rank various websites by the level of trust they place in them, specialist sites that understand and engage their audience with a unique, non-commercial relationship are trusted twice as much by mums as a brand’s own website.

For marketers this means that they should still continue to invest in their own website – over a third of mums put some level of trust in the product information available there.

According to the research, however, the brands that partner with specialist editors that are experts in the audience’s subject matter enjoy far greater cut-through in user engagement (82% of mums feel some level of trust in specialist sites versus 53% in portals).

Although mums have been quick to embrace sites like Facebook, online forums continue to win the majority of mums trust – 79% of respondents said they either somewhat trusted or completely trusted mum’s opinions posted on a forum while only 44% trusted opinions shared on social networking sites like Facebook.

“(Mum’s) penchant for online is triggered by a persistent hunger for information and advice during pregnancy that shows her the merit of the medium in a whole new way. She quickly learns the value of specialist editors plus online forums full of mums that have done it all before. Her fondness grows, her dependence deepens and the trust she puts in websites exceeds any other option – online or offline,” said Kidspot CEO Katie May.