Niche Marketing Keeping Up With the Joneses' Kids
By Tracy A. Gill
Children's marketing is enjoying a good deal of attention right now, and with good reason. As the Yankelovich Youth MONITOR 2005 study reports, kids increasingly are involved in their families' buying decisions. And with Generation Y outnumbering the boomers, a loyal kid customer today can mean money in the bank for years to come.
Kids today are media savvy, and to reach them, your marketing communications have to be spot-on, explains John Page, youth insights manager for Yankelovich. Page offers three touchpoints you'll want to hit when marketing to these young consumers:
1. Authenticity. Your messages should be a realistic interpretation of who kids are today and the world they live in."Kids know when hype is happening; they know when exaggeration is happening," asserts Page.
2. Reciprocity. There are two sides to this concept: Providing something for them, such as entertainment, and something for the community. "Kids today are really focusing on philanthropy. And it's not just what they like to do, but also what they expect from companies," explains Page. "Reach out to them by offering benefit to the causes they care about."
3. Relevancy. According to the Youth MONITOR, 70 percent of teens feel the advertising they see has little to do with the things they care about or are interested in. But at the same time, they are still interested in marketing as a way to stay on top of what's cool and cutting edge."It's not that kids are pushing back, it's just that they are looking for relevant advertising," advises Page.
And if you aren't sure what is authentic, relevant or important to kids, just ask them. According to the survey, 81 percent of kids agree that companies should ask kids their opinions. A "contact us" button on your Web site, market research and surveys are good ways to learn what kids want. Page also suggests monitoring blogs and opinion-based Web sites, such as www.epinions.com, where kids might be talking about your product.