Attracting The Teenager’s Mind

Attracting teenagers for marketing products is not everyone’s cup of tea. Teens can be considered to be the toughest demographic to market to. Reaching them is both challenging and unpredictable. It depends a lot on what you’re trying to sell and if they are interested in your product. Once you get hold of their attention, you may enjoy numerous benefits in the form of higher sales, their loyalty to your brand throughout their lives and a whopping gregarious publicity. This can be attributed to the income of the teens coming in from pocket allowances, part-time jobs and awards. Most of the money is solely for entertainment and things they want.

Recently, I got two questions from one of my good friends who was stuck with a case study on targeting teenager’s market. The first question wanted me to comment on if some marketers believe that teenagers do not form a distinct segment, and hence, do not need to be approached as a special group. I’d agree to this statement because I have seen companies that do not target teenagers specifically. For example, I can say that teenagers these days are obsessed with gadgets like iPhones. Now, a multi-billionaire company like Apple does not target teenagers or any age group specifically, yet teenagers are obsessed with their phones and start craving for one from their early years. Not only Apple, even other cellphone companies manufacture phones for everyone, yet the teenagers form a substantial part of their consumers. Another example to be cited here is the food processing companies, especially the frozen food distributors. Companies like McCain Foods and Al Kabeer are some of the largest exporters of frozen foods worldwide. Their products like French fries, sausages, nuggets etc are consumed by a lot of teenagers as snack items. However, they do not have any advertising or marketing policy targeting teenagers.

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The second question asked me to structure my marketing efforts to attract teenager spending if I was a marketer of food products. Well, before structuring my marketing efforts, I would first emphasize on the quality and delicacy of the food I’d market. The next step would be to develop a good advertizing strategy involving teenage psychology and choosing the right brand ambassador. For this, real-life daily incidents can be projected and beautifully executed to show the importance of my food product in the life of a teenager. Creative and interest oriented advertisements would be circulated both on-screen through TV ads, YouTube ads, Google AdSense, Twitter ads, Facebook etc and off-screen, using billboards near schools, colleges and pubs, leaflet distribution on public transport and printed ads on places frequently visited by teenagers. Freebies and discounts may be offered initially, as promotional offers. Later, the same can be offered periodically, depending on sales and profit margins.

Now there are many products in the market for teenagers, offering similar benefits. But the one who is able to reach the consumers with the right strategy is the one who wins the game of “high risk – high gain”. Strategies may or may not be consumer oriented and it would be a myth to say that only consumer-specific strategies are able to attract more profits. At the end of day, all that matters is the quality of the product you’re marketing.

© Barnadhya Rwitam Sharma

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