Profile Of A Teen Technology User

When I was a kid, the first personal computers were just coming out. We had our beautiful Packard Bell that had less storage space than my flash drive, and (gasp) a floppy disk drive. I grew up in a time when consumers had to adapt to evolutions in technology, and brands had to find ways to use technology to reach consumers.

In 2010, the sides of the scale are slightly shifted. Technology is abundant, the Internet is cluttered, marketing is everywhere and consumers have more options than they'll ever need. The audiences that technology grew up with (Gen X, Boomers) are all but captive to brands. The audience that grew up with technology (teens, Millennials) are not wooed by glitz and glamour. They're used to technology, because it's always been there.

If you're a marketer trying to reach teens, take some time to think about technology from the teens' perspective, because to teens:

Devices Have Always Been Portable

Teens have grown up in the portable era. Their first computers were laptops. Their first music players were iPods. Their first gaming systems were handheld. Because teens are so adept at using portable devices, they expect experiences to transition across them. Marketers shouldn't create fragmented experiences on different platforms, because teens are never tied down to just one device.

Mobile Phones Have Always Existed

Because teens are a texting generation, many of them prefer BlackBerrys and other phones that provide a different experience than touch-screen phones. Teens grew up with lots of options for mobile phones, so they're not as quick to buy or try the next hot new thing -- especially if it's not connected with what they're already using. If you're marketing to teens on mobile, don't abandon their platforms when the next hot new one comes out -- they'll probably be one of the last to try it out.

Technology Is Always Evolving

To teens, there are always new mobile platforms and devices being created. They're open to new technology more than any other generation and are savvier with new devices, but they don't just buy it 'cause it's new. If you want to sell them your new technology, make sure it works better than what they have and doesn't just look better than what they have.

Brands Have Always Been Online

Brands have been online as long as teens have. There's nothing new about it, and that makes them harder to engage. Teens don't want to engage with your brand in social media just because it's cool that your brand is in social media. They want to engage with your brand if they're getting something in return.

Tags: technology, teens
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