The younger, the better

The younger, the better

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Sounds a bit wrong but, what can you do? This is the truth: online buyers are getting younger and younger every day. It's not only that they use the most social media channels, but they also search for and buy most online.

Accordingly, they are targeted mostly by online companies. It's no wonder then, that one of Australia's biggest real estate agencies has started seeing 4 year old children as the next generation of home buyers. The LJ Hooker educational app and dedicated kids website launched last week, are standing proofs.

Youth is the major demographic for online marketers, says a study conducted by Position², followed by baby boomers and women, especially mothers, as the next most important targeted audiences and social networking groups. While "youth”, as a traditional definition, doesn't really exist, lots of age groups can be considered “young” or “wanting to be young”. The "Golden Age of Youth" study, done by Viacom Brand Solutions International shows just this : adults between 18 to 34 consider staying young as a priority, so online marketers can easily target all of them.

So what are the truths and trends for the generations Y and  generation Z markets? Where and who should marketers look for, in order to find and convince young audiences to buy? Here are a few hints :


What do they do online

The highest level of social media penetration of all groups is held by users between 12 and 34 years of age (with the a rate of 85 % held by the 12-17 group), shows an eMarketer study. Indeed, teens (12-17 yrs) will mostly do these activities online:

- use a social network - 80%

- go online to get news - 62%

- buy things such as music, books or clothing - 48%,

indicates a series of studies conducted by Pew Internet .

By comparison, between the multitude of other activities that adults do online, using search engines, sending email and looking for info on a hobby, hold the first three positions on their lists.


What do they like


Engaging videos, more than inspired blogging

Videos included in advertising campaigns are more effective to youngsters. “With the exception of Twitter (which is a microblogging site), the usage of blogs among younger audiences is less popular”, it's shown on a Team Position blog post.


Shopping and searching at the same time

As a US study from Oracle shows, the 18 to 34 age group is simultaneously browsing on their smartphones and reaching for products inside stores. This means they usually rate the products while using or buying them, telling their friends the first-hand experience of it all.


Consume content, rather than create it

Always on a hurry to find out what's new, generation Y and Z buyers aren't so much content creators. Content takes up time, that they would more rapidly invest into other online activities.


The end to the never ending social media battle

Is not near, as teens and young adults are bound to use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr for a while still.

As Facebook is said to have become more annoying (with parents and relatives watching the kids every move and bullies still creating some special Facebook drama), the other networks are pretty popular among youngsters, shows a Time study, conducted this year.  Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter are seen as a supplement of fun, added to the mandatory online social life from Facebook.


Sharing private data: it's nothing!

Those are the actual good news for marketers and the reason why so many businesses have decided to target a younger demographic.

Teens today are more likely to share their photo, hometown or cell-phone number online, than in 2006. They're also accustomed to granting access to their private data in order to access apps.

On the long term, this could mean that the younger generation will be OK with companies sharing and monetising their personal info, in exchange for a free service.

Or they could be simply unaware of it all, as Mary Madden, a senior researcher at the Pew Research Center thinks instead.


Have your say!

What do you think are the advantages of targeting a younger demographic?

Photo credit: : We Heart It



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