Did you know 15% of Virgin Mobile teen cell users admitted to breaking up with a boyfriend/girlfriend via text message? (What, are Post It Note breakups passe?) Or that 44% of teens have different friends offline than online? Welcome to the new media lifestyle of teens.
So what do teen want anyway? They notoriously change their tastes in music, fashion, gadgets, websites.... WHATEVER...every 9 months (or even less). Just enough to cover a school year. School's in, season is changing, now what?
In July -- less than 3 months ago (which means you still have another 5 or 6 months before teens next seismic taste change) -- the "What Teens Want" conference in NYC gave word on youth marketing knowledge and insight. How well you are satisfying current trends? Wondering now what's hot for the next trend wave?
Monitoring teen media choices is already difficult enough.
Parents of teens may (should) realize some of these "Teens Wants":
>> To create an identity
>> To connect with others
>> To create
>> To change the world
>> To be older than they are
>> To have fun
>> and as a driving force, they want to do this now.
As Angela Leaney from The N put it, "don't call them fickle". They are smart and savvy, multi-tasking media users, time/schedule/overload-stressed and if what you're doing isn't good, they won't like it.
yPulse is an excellent resources for what's going on in youth marketing. They posted the following thoughts about "What Teens Want" from the various presentations at the conference. You might want to double check your knowledge and your teen media strategies. See how well you're hitting the mark of these points and make your updates now:
Basic Teen Facts:To read the rest of the article, click here.
* 33.8 million teens in the U.S. (up more than 200,000 from 2005)
* Teens "spend" $209 billion per year
* Multi-ethnic: 36% are non-white
(From Alloy Media + Marketing)
* Teens look up to their parents. Seventy-one percent see their parents as their chief role model, miles above the next contender, teachers (40%). On top of that, 59% say their parent is their best friend. They are the first generation to share music taste with their parents
* Dream jobs: Entrepreneur (13%), Musician (11%), Doctor (8%). Worth noting is that service jobs like being a firefighter or carpenter are very low on the desire pole
* Decreasing interest in being famous, or "being someone else." Points to the trend of authenticity
* Very interestingly: If inherited $20 k, would spend it on a college education (by a large margin)
* Want to contribute to society through their consumer choices
* Most important item is always a "cool car." Of all items, the cell phone is the last item they would give up if forced. When money is cutback, the items and activities they'd cut back, in order include: movies, going out, clothes, and shopping
(research from Virgin Mobile)
Media consumption and the reduction of TV viewing was rightly a huge theme. 87% of teens are online and 35% of teen media consumption is online (Tagged.com)
When "passion points" were discussed, music came up time and time again as the most important. Going to a concert by their favorite band is the number one event choice. With movies, teens seem to gravitate towards either films that are wishful or films that are full of dread (Screen Gems).
Teens want to connect with their friends, carve out an identity, and be creative. Brands are increasingly a means for them to do so. And then there are mobile and online communities where teens can talk about these things really really fast - exponentially fast. It's the new reality of word of mouth; the driving force of youth marketing.
There's the importance of friends and communities. "Friends" are central to trend creation, as groups of friends are the source of comfort, support, advice, and the top way they "find out about things."
For more on teen word of mouth, "seeding social leaders", the Internet, User-generated-content (such as an online "Video Mixer" which lets fans of the network easily mashup clips from a range of shows with pre-made sound beds), teen mobile/text message/ringtone lifestyles, Social networking, media/marketing engagement, customization, Social activism through consumption, and Trend creation.
Finally, some important lessons from The N's top teen marketer (if you don't watch The N, you aren't plugged in to teens)
1. Institutionalize experimentation
2. Don't try too hard
3. Encourage participation
4. Allow your audience to inspire you
5. Better ingredients, tastier results
6. Make it easy to be an ambassador
7. Yield control
8. Being a true engagement marketer, she insisted that the audience send an email to one of her staff for the final rule.
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Tuesday, October 03, 2006,
- At 11:49 PM, Cheap Mobile said...
What a teen wants, what a teen needs...
Well they certainly are a big money spending industry.