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Breakdown of teen demographics and how to target them

Breakdown of teen demographics and how to target them

Jockettes and young metrosexuals are two of the largest teen segments and marketers should be looking at ways to target them, according to a new report from Euro RSCG Discovery.

The ‘Teen Segments’ report, compiled in conjunction with the  American Student List, identified 11 key teen markets based on demographic and psychographic characteristics, which are meant to help marketers better target direct marketing communications to teens.

The segmentation is comprised of six male and five female groups. When it comes to teen males, the report found that "young metrosexuals," those classified as individuals who focus on their outward appearance, make up more than 25%.

The other male segments include "big man on campus," "technosapiens," "red-blooded boys," "tuned inward" and "under construction."

"Jockettes" are young women who embody active lifestyles and participate in sports and are the most common female segment that makes up over 25%. The report also categorised girls as "in-style socialites," "most likely to succeed," "style meets thrift" and "traditionalists."

The segmentation data found that gender influences teen buying habits. Fourteen percent of both male and female teens shop online, but are more likely to make in-store purchases.

Despite increases in teen internet usage, most still rate traditional media – TV, radio and magazines – as their most trusted sources of information; however, online sources did dominate some male segments, according to Adweek.com.

But how can marketers actually effectively reach these fickle consumers?

Teenagers have strong opinions and views that they want to be heard so catering to their need to express originality is key. This is where this ‘segments’ come in handy – target niche interests.

Teens these days are also heavy users of the internet and social media. Using marketing techniques that ask for their feedback, or allows them to express themselves, has often created great brand awareness and alignment.

Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace have become an outlet for advertisers to get teens involved and create two-way channels of communication. Not only are they responding to your product, but they are also providing you information about preferences, needs, and wants when coming up with new ideas.

Teens are often more likely to follow trends and celebrities. Take advantage of trends and big-named people in pop culture by finding ways to connect your brand to the phenomenon. A great example of this was Bacardi’s tie-up with Groove Armada and Orange with its Orange RockCorps, the music-led volunteer programme.

If you have established yourself online, offer cool downloads (iPhone Apps too), or connect yourself to websites that teenagers enjoy. Finding a way to incorporate your brand into their everyday interests will produce positive results in image awareness.

The tastes and attitudes of teens are constantly changing. Trying to target and create a new message with every different change that one teenager may go through within a year is impossible. Create one solid message that has several different angles you can use to update with. This makes the brand more flexible, which will help you withstand the changes in preference or attitude in your target market.

Furthermore, because there are many niche markets and tastes are constantly changing, do not assume that you know what teenagers want. They are, above anyone else, the ones who will actually openly tell you what they want.

AJR


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