What marketers need to know about teenagers' use of devices and media.
A U.S. teen's average daily media consumption consists of 200 minutes of television, 52 minutes of computer usage, 6 minutes of mobile voice activity, 96 text messages exchanged, and 25 minutes of console gaming, according to Nielsen. To put this in context, there are 33 million teens aged 10 to 19 in the U.S., according to the census, and teens spend 44 percent of their day on school and homework and 19 percent of their day with media only, according to the Ball State University's September 2007 "High School Media Too" study.
While Morgan Stanley's recent teen market's media consumption analysis by articulate 15-year-old Matthew Robson caused a stir, his findings are consistent with Nielsen's June 2009 "How Teens Use Media" report and Experian's "2009 Digital Marketer: Benchmark and Trend Report."
Five Ways Teen Will Be Teens
Examine Robson's teenage perspective on his peers and their activity, and you'll find five teen behaviors that haven't changed from their boomer and Gen X parents' teen behaviors. Rather, the devices and how teens use them have. These differences have significant impact on how marketers reach teenagers:
Three Ways Teens Are Like the Rest of Us
While teenagers don't want to hear that they act just like their parents, here are three insights that hold for both groups:
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Teens may not want to hear it, even if they act a lot like their parents did or currently do. For marketers, what matters most is engaging the teen demographic and building trust so that you'll have a customer for life.
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Heidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies, an interactive marketing consultancy. She has over 20 years' experience helping clients increase profitability by developing innovative marketing programs to acquire and retain customers based on solid analytics. Clients include New York Times Digital, AccuWeather.com, CheapTickets, and the UJA. Additionally, Riverside Marketing Strategies has worked with numerous other online content/media companies and e-tailers.
Prior to starting Riverside Marketing Strategies, Heidi held a number of senior-level marketing positions at The Economist, the Bookspan/Doubleday Direct division of Bertelsmann, and Citibank.
Heidi is also a popular speaker on current industry topics.
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