If the events of the past few weeks are any indication, 2017 promises to be a year of change that marketers will need to closely observe to remain on the pulse of culture. Teens themselves will be at the center of the action, both spurring on certain evolutions and serving as a key demographic in determining which changes stick and which are merely fads.
Earlier this month, Time devoted a cover not to the presidential election, but to the burgeoning teen mental health crisis. The figures are staggering. Out of about 25 million teens 12 - 17 living in the U.S., about 3 million (or 12%) have had at least one major depressive episode in the past year. More than 2 million have depression so severe that it affects their ability to function. Just over six million teens (or 25%) have an anxiety disorder, with girls 50% more likely than boys to experience one. And experts consider these figures to be conservative since so ...
Millennials have been the dominant generation on the marketing landscape for more than a decade. Researchers have poked, prodded, and dissected on this generation native to technology. Now the youngsters are about to overtake them in terms of capturing the attention of brands and marketers. Generation Z, those aged 11 to 21, is the largest generation yet and, thanks to their parents, they have a remarkable amount of purchasing power.
It seems like every day there's a new study on Gen Z's digital habits. Regardless of the source, the numbers make one thing clear: It's a smartphone world. By 2020, a whopping 92% of teens are expected to own a smartphone, according to eMarketer. It's also not entirely unfair to say they're media-addicted. A study cited by the "Los Angeles Times" noted that the average number of hours spent watching media per day is six for teens and nine for teens. Nine hours. That's a full-time job!
Video gaming is big business. By some measures, it is the biggest form of entertainment on the planet. In 2015, U.S. video game industry revenue was $23.5 billion (compared to just $11 billion for Hollywood). One thing that sets video gaming apart from other media channels is the control consumers have over the product. Oh, you didn't realize players had any control over things? Let me explain.
Teens used to be mallrats, which made it much easier for companies to win their attention and their dollars, because they hung out in a space that was dedicated to brands and retail. Then came the era of social media and online shopping - and suddenly teens had little use for the mall, because they had other means to connect with friends and acquire products through digital platforms. Retailers have been struggling to connect with teens--and young consumers in general--and as a result, many are closing their doors. The much -rumored death of malls seems imminent, but teens can actually ...
Presidential campaigns often come down to a few closely fought demographics like "soccer moms" or "NASCAR dads." This year, in what seems likely to prove to be the most unpredictable election of our lifetime, one of the key battleground demographics is also surprising: Adults 18-24.
At last week's Mobile Marketing Association SM2 Summit, much of the discussion centered on the elements of great marketing campaigns. As exemplified by the winners of the annual Smarties Awards, marketers today need to create emotional connections with their audiences and drive engagement across multiple touchpoints. Using Snapchat, for example, isn't really "doing mobile." I got to thinking about marketers' missteps when approaching the teen market. Are they, for example, "doing Snapchat" and considering this single tactic to be a "teen engagement strategy?"
When there are social media channels dedicated to mocking brands that are shoehorning terms like "bae" and "on fleek" or co-opting the latest trends into marketing efforts, you know you'd better be careful when reaching out to the college audience. And if your team is diving into Google to search slang terms to find out what they mean in the first place, a word of advice: don't.
With lower attention spans and higher media exposure, brands will need to cut through the clutter to draw Gen Z's to their ads. (Generation Z, also known as "post-Millennials," commonly refers to the cohort of individuals born after 1996.) Marketers might need to refresh their ads more frequently for this group than any other generation. To get their attention, marketers can also attach their ads to exclusive content preview clips for new movies or game highlights from major sporting events.