Why Mobile Is The Way To Target Teens This Summer

Each spring, teens begin to think about what they'll do during their summer break. They're on the go non-stop during the fast-paced school year, so taking a break over the summer may mean slacking off and sleeping in. Because of this, it's a challenging time of year for marketers -- even harder than normal to engage and motivate teens.

Marketers need to find the best way to reach teens since their attention spans are so low during these particular months. In the past, generations were targeted offline during the spring and summer. Recently, generations have been targeted online. But the newest generation of teens needs something different -- to be targeted via mobile.

Teens will spend more time texting this summer than communicating in any other way. Research by the Nielsen company shows that teen texting is on a steep rise: the average teenager sends more than 3,000 texts per month -- that's more than six texts per daytime hour!

Teens have taken texting, data usage and app downloads to a whole new level. A Nielsen study analyzed the mobile data habits of more than 60,000 mobile subscribers and surveyed more than 3,000 teens during April, May and June of last year. The facts they came up with are astonishing:

1. The number of texts being sent is on the rise, especially among teenagers age 13 to 17. The average teenager now sends 3,339 texts per month. Teen females send an unbelievable 4,050 texts per month, while teen males send an average of 2,539 texts.

2. Other age groups don't even come close; however, in every age bracket, the number of texts sent has increased when compared to last year. Texting is a more important means of communication than ever.

3. In 2008, the number one reason people got a phone was for safety. Today, 43% of teenagers say texting is the number one reason to get a cell phone. Safety is number two, with 35%, and in third, 34% of teenagers say they get cell phones to keep in touch with friends.

These numbers are almost unbelievable, but prove that texting is huge this time of year. But that isn't the only habit on the rise. As smartphones become cheaper and data options become more affordable, more and more teens are buying these phones. And the more smartphones bought, the larger the increase in data usage. Among teens, 94% say they are using Internet, messaging, multimedia, gaming and/or apps on their phones.

Teen data usage has taken a huge leap in the past year, going from 14 megabytes in Q2 2009 to 62 megabytes in Q2 2010. Application usage among teens is up, too, going from 26% last year to 38% this year. And, 49% of teens report they surf the Net on their phones as well.

Today, much of the application and internet usage among teens is for social networking purposes. Teens are using social networks more than ever. Data show that nearly 72% of teens use social networking sites, compared to 40% of adults 30 and older. This is expected as younger people tend to be digitally savvy and socially connected online.

As massive as these numbers are, they will only keep rising. Texting, data usage and app downloads are nowhere near their peak. Therefore, it's worthwhile for marketers to invest in these tactics as we head into summer, when it is most difficult to engage teens. These statistics prove that if we have one chance to get to teens this spring and summer, it's via mobile.

Tags: mobile, teens
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1 comment about "Why Mobile Is The Way To Target Teens This Summer ".
  1. Paul Myers from 540 Productions , April 22, 2011 at 3:58 p.m.

    Wouldn't it be cool if brands could reach these "disconnected" youths via their own proprietary WiFi hot spots which could be created anywhere - even if no Internet connection was available?

    Well they can!

    We recently completed testing and are launching a small portable device that creates completely customizable branded WiFi hot spots that may be deployed at the beach, at the pool, at the park or anywhere!

    Just as if you were logging in at your local Starbucks and you see the Starbucks Network, anyone attempting to surf the web within one of our WiFi "zones" would be greeted with your "branded network".

    Imagine being in the middle of nowhere, like at Burning Man, and having a WiFi zone that is compatible with any WiFi enabled device show up?

    The best part, it could be the "Ben & Jerry's" WiFi Zone - serving up not only customized branded content, but also special offers, contests or even a bridge to the world wide web...