The SXSW panels focusing on teens have been enlightening, but I found just being aware can lead to some valuable consumer insights. Little did I know that the teen girls I was sharing a bathroom with before the panels today would end up educating me on the Internet and marketing. This group of girls was so excited and actively having a discussion on why they liked Disney.com.
Teens, typically fickle and tapped in to so many different mediums and niches, can still love big, traditional brands. But perhaps their receptiveness to marketers and advertising is not so surprising. It’s easy to think that they would bash our endless campaigns to attract them to the hottest new game or tennis shoes but no — they appreciate marketing when done in the right way. Today’s teens believe in capitalism and the marketing that supports it. They want to know about the new brand name shoe or the hottest new lip gloss—they are an advertiser’s dream. But getting them involved is what marketers needs to start and continue to do.
We know that advertising is not a one-way street anymore. Teens want to interact with brands that meet their needs and establish a connection. Teens will enter contests in which the winner’s 30-second video is the brand’s commercial. The perception is these brands care about their wants, needs, and opinions which in turn, inspires and instills trust with the younger generation.Yes, they are still early adopters and want to be in the know on the hottest websites and what is going on at school. By far, social networks are what they use the most and get the most enjoyment out of. While there is some social networking fatigue since the time that MySpace and Facebook first came out, they are still using them to stay connected with friends and family (not parents) and share who they are.
Teens today are looking for ways to express themselves, share their knowledge and entertain themselves through gaming and music, to name a few. And also books. My new favorite website is goodreads.com – basically an online social network for book clubs. Teens still read books! by MK Woltz