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Youth marketing is the practice of gearing ad campaigns to target children, teenagers, and young adults. The industry is designed to target individuals in this age bracket in order to win a part of the large amount of money spent by this group every year. It relies heavily on peer influence and a strong online presence to reach the target audience.
The strategies of youth marketing involve making products appealing to a young age bracket of consumers. Virtually any type of product or company can run this type of campaign. Young people not only make up a large portion of the buying market, but they are also likely to continue buying products through adulthood that they purchased in youth.
Technology-driven teens and young adults can be reached through various online outlets. Advertisements on college sites and social networking Web sites can reach a large number of youth consumers at low cost. In addition to being seen by a large number of young consumers, online advertisements can also be easily monitored for results simply by keeping track of the number of people who click on ads. Use of social media can also give advertisers and marketers a feel for how the brand is being received in order to further guide projects in youth marketing campaigns.
College campuses are a virtual goldmine for those gearing up for a youth marketing campaign. Companies sponsor events, get logos and names of products on banners and signs, and perhaps most importantly, get the product into the hands of young adults who are not only earning and spending money but who are also establishing their own identities. Some companies even go so far as to organize their own series of events to get their brand name on campus and in the mouths of students.
One on one, face to face communication still remains one of the most popular and efficient ways to spread the word about a product or service. Some marketing agencies go so far as to recruit students from colleges or high schools and give them a crash course in why they should buy and promote a certain product. These students are then hired to go out among their peers and share the information in an attempt to get their friends and classmates to buy the product. Some types of youth marketing rely on the ability of individuals to very quickly spread the popularity of a product or service simply by word of mouth.
I work for a marketing agency and we use a lot of campus marketing to reach out to youth. This involves putting up posters on campus, handing out fliers, setting up information stands, giving out free samples of products and advertising in campus newspapers and magazines. We also organize campus events sometimes where we give out information about our company and products and have a free for all barbecue or free samples.
We try to have these activities in the beginning or end of semesters or during finals week when students really need a break. I think they really appreciate our activities and it leaves a really good impression about us. Face to face marketing is really the best way to reach out to customers, it's a personal experience and it shows people that you really care about them.
Aside from the whole bandwagon aspect of youth marketing, I think that if a product is useful, of good quality and affordable, it sort of does its own marketing.
Many of my friends buy stuff because everyone else is buying it. It's what's "in" for the moment. But a lot of us don't have too much money to spend. I have a part time job and my mom lets me do what I want with it. But she won't let me spend it all on something I don't need but want because my friends have it.
But if it's something that I really need and it's going to last me for some time, my mom is fine with
that. Most of the things I buy, I hear about from my friends or see at the mall. Sometimes I see advertisements on websites and I have clicked on several to see what it is. But, some things online seem like a scam, so I only buy from department stores' websites or sites everyone uses.
Youth marketing was a heated topic during our class discussion this week. We read a couple of articles which talked about children making up a large percentage of consumers and how much money companies spend to market their products to them.
The main point of discussion though, was on the ethics of youth marketing. I know personally that youth marketing is so successful because children are not old enough or mature enough to decide whether something is good for them or not. I have a little sister at home who starts begging for a new toy or junk food she saw advertised on TV on a regular basis.
We try to explain to her that the food she
wants is unhealthy for her or that toy is really not necessary. But she is so attracted to it and excited about it that it makes no difference.
I just wish that once in a while they advertised something that is okay for her to have, like vegetables? But I know that will never happen!
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