Marketing to Teenagers

Teenagers represent one of the most powerful purchasing demographics in America, and marketing to teens is a great way to skyrocket profits. Many companies are vying for teen attention, so you must carefully plan your teen marketing campaigns in order to be successful. The tips and tricks described here will help you identify with the younger crowd and craft a compelling pitch.

Do not underestimate intelligence

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One of the gravest mistakes any marketer can make is to underestimate teen intelligence. Teens are typically a bright bunch who are more on top of current events and trends than their parents. While most adults have defined a comfortable life path, teens react to a variety of life events every day. They're quick-witted and certainly smarter than many marketers seem to think, so communicate your pitch with respect for their intelligence. They can spot a fake from a mile away, so don't pretend to be something you're not. As with any other age group, your primary goal is to demonstrate how your product or service can solve a problem, fulfill a desire or otherwise make life better for your audience.

Brand for now and forever

Teenage trends change rapidly, so your best bet is to brand for the present and the future. You can do this by developing a brand identity that has broad appeal with teenagers and that can be adapted as fads come and go. If you need inspiration, try searching for the progression of campaigns by companies such as Old Navy, The Gap, Claire's and other retail stores that cater in part to teens. These companies have been able to maintain a consistent image and evolve with teen tastes, practically guaranteeing their success.

Be where teens go

Placement is key no matter whom your target audience is, but teens present many nontraditional and creative advertising opportunities you might be missing. Teen magazines are effective but expensive, online advertising on social networks, pay-per-click ad networks, and other digital venues can be incredibly competitive. Television ad prices can be outrageous. In contrast, print marketing offers several effective and affordable options: Teens can be found at home (postcards and catalogs), at the mall (flyers, and brochures), on public bulletin boards, on backpacks and cars, and anywhere else they go.

Use star power if possible

resources imageTeens love celebrities, and they're usually more in-tune with what Hollywood and other stars are doing than adults are. If you can recruit a celebrity - even if just a minor local celebrity - your street creed immediately increases 100-fold. Marketing to teenagers is exciting, if not easy. Word of mouth is incredibly influential among teenagers. Follow the basic tenets of marketing and remember that teenagers are constantly evolving identities - generational trend changes start here, so make sure you can develop an image that will resonate with this audience for years to come.