Targeting Young Consumers?

Are your corporate partners targeting teens, young adults, and college consumers? Are you looking to provide your partners with vital consumer behavior information on young consumers that will help guide their sports strategy?

Here are a few interesting nuggets of information on young adults:

Video Game Purchases/Activity (Source: Brands Increasingly View Videogame Placement as Viable Ad Platform. Youth Markets Alert, 7.15.08)

  • 75% of teens own at least one console or portable gaming system and intend to purchase 3.1 games in 2008 (up from 2.5 games in 2007)
  • Teens want video games to mirror their real world environment, so they expect to see brand placement 
    • Note: The cost of entry for Videogame integration can range from a couple hundred thousand dollars (i.e. billboard ads in-game) to $3-$4MM (customized games, static immersion)       

Translation: Video gaming is a booming industry that provides marketers with an engagement medium where consumers are receptive to advertising. Marketers must get in early before demand drives prices high. 

Mobile Marketing (Source: Mobile Marketing Partnership Targets Urban Multicultural Youth. Youth Markets Alert, 7.15.08)

  • 20% of young urban multiculturals say they contact 50 people by text message every day, compared to 1% of non-urban Americans
  • African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian consumers are more likely than Caucasians to buy products using mobile texting (e.g. text "food" to 1234 to order pizza). Caucasian consumers tend to purchase either by visiting a company's website via their mobile phone or by using a traditional computer
  • 56% of teens are receptive to cell phone advertising if they get something in return (in comparison to 37% of adults)
  • Cash is the most preferred incentive among teens (70%), entertainment-related downloads ranks second (61%), free music ranks third (57%), and complimentary minutes ranks fourth (53%)  
  • Teens prefer to receive ads via text messaging (64%) or picture images (47%)
  • 70% of teens are interested in receiving sports, entertainment, and travel mobile ads (in comparison to 46% of adults) - this is the highest category among teens

Translation: Mobile advertising is an extremely effective medium for engaging young adults; however, marketers must be aware of the cultural differences (target text redemption at minorities; target online/mobile redemption at Caucasian young adults). Marketers can develop highly effective programs by offering reimbursement for the time and attention of our targeted consumers.

Financial Interests / Payment Processes (Source: College Kids Most Likely to Buy Products Using Debit Cards. Youth Markets Alert, 7.15.08)

  • 72% of college students say they are "likely or very likely" to use a debit card while making a purchase, according to a study conducted by online bank Higher One (In comparison, just 16% use credit cards)
  • 70% of college students go online to check account balances at least once per week; 33% check daily
  • 22% of college students own stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or money market accounts
  • Students take charge of their own finances at an average age of 18.8 years

Translation: Gear financial programs targeting college students are debit card usage and create unique ways to integrate offerings into online banking

Gift Cards (Source: Teens Not As Eager to Use Gift Cards. Youth Markets Alert, 6.1.08)

  • 52% of teens redeemed a gift card within one (1) month of receipt in Spring 2008, representing a decline from 2007 (Fall 2007 - 58%, Spring 2007 - 59%)
  • 89% of teens redeem their gift cards within nine (9) months (87% within six (6) months, 77% within three (3) months)
  • The top gift cards that teens prefer to get in Spring 2008 are: Mall gift card (10%), Hollister (8%), Best Buy (7%), Nordstrom (6%), Abercrombie & Fitch (4%), Target (4%), Forever 21 (4%), Wal-Mart (4%)

Translation: While demand for gift cards has shown a relative dropoff, the industry overall is still strong. Count on young adults redeeming gift cards in their possession, just not within the first six (6) months. Align gift card initiatives with brands that young adults perceive to be "cool" and "fashionable".

Travel (Source: College Kids Flee the Country. Youth Markets Alert, 6.1.08)

  • 64% of college students have a valid passport (Note: College students are nearly twice as likely as the general population to have a passport)
  • 89% of college students have traveled internationally at least once in the past five (5) years (24% have traveled internationally four (4) times or more in the past give (5) years)

Translation: Creating promotions that offer college students an international excursion or international trip with friends may not be a bad idea... They are more well-traveled than you might expect. Consider this when aligning with corporate partners like Orbitz, Expedia, and STA Travel.

Car Purchasing Decisions (Source: Factors in Car Purchasing Decisions, Then and Now. Youth Markets Alert, 7.1.08)

  • Fuel efficiency and reliability are the two (2) factors that young adults aged 18-23 are most interested in when purchasing cars (Note: adults say that car appearance and style mattered most to them when purchasing their first car)
  • Only four (4) percent of young adults say they care about the look and style for their first car
  • The largest number of young adults (37%) plan to pay $10-25K for their first vehicle

Translation: Car makers know their brand and target market better than anyone. When you pitch a proposal or piece of signage, make sure that you realize the exact purchasing interests of consumers. Gear automobile promotions targeting young adults/college consumers around fuel efficiency and reliability; once the economy changes, these interests may also change.

 Print Interests While in College (Source: Print Still Rules on College Campuses. Youth Markets Alert, 7.1.08)

  • 76% of students read their college newspaper at least once per month; only 20% have accessed their campus newspaper online during the same timeframe
  • 50% of college students read at least three (3) issues per week; 30% read their college newspaper daily
  • 53% of college students read their school's paper while on campus (just 29% read at home)
  • 61% of college students tell friends about articles or promotions they see
  • 78% of college students use coupons or promotional codes featured in their newspapers

Translation: Print remains an effective way to reach the college populous, especially if you can find creative ways to target this demographic through promotional offers, coupons, and promotional codes. There may not be a need to advertise daily, but it may be wise to invest enough to capture the attention of the "3-times-per-week" crowd.

Gas Purchases (Source: Teens are Charging Gas. Youth Markets Alert, 7.1.08)

  • 69% of teens use credit cards to purchase gas (in comparison to 52% in 2007) - gas is the item most likely to be charged by teens
  • 10% of teens use credit cards (approximately 15% say that their parents pay the bill)

Translation: Targeting teens at the pump is probably not a wise idea for sports marketers (since their parents foot the bill anyway), but if it is done, gear it around a credit card promotional program.