Speak to Young Consumers in Their Medium

Speak to Young Consumers in Their Medium

In a recent release from Forrester, compiling information from several reports and a survey of young US and Canadian consumers age 12 to 21, the summary concludes that to reach the youth market, one needs to reach young consumers on their terms and, more importantly, speak a dialect that they understand. The report addresses reaching these 73 million people under the age of 18 in the US, as well as those in the Canadian markets.

  • More than two-thirds of young consumers own PCs, DVD players, home stereos, game consoles, mobile phones, and handheld videogames. MP3 players rank first on young consumers' wish lists; camera-phones rank third.
  • Teens spend 11 hours a week surfing the Web, and 79% of them can be found visiting game sites like More than one-third visit music sites for artists like Kanye West or The White Stripes, and almost half favor sites dedicated to films like "Napoleon Dynamite."
  • More than half of young consumers rely on their friends and families for purchase advice, and 65% tell others about products they like. Electronic communication tools favored by youth are IM, mobile phones, and email.
  • 94% of young consumers own some device that they use for game-playing. More than half of young consumers prefer gaming to watching TV.
  • As rates of file-sharing decline, young consumers buy more music online. Legal alternatives to Gnutella and eDonkey, give young consumers an easy, inexpensive, and conscience-friendly way to fill up the MP3 players they plan to buy.

The writer concludes that it's important to master the tools that young people use to communicate. Young consumers prefer to be engaged in-person. In-store kiosks and other interactive face-to-face exchanges will get and keep young consumers' attention. Young consumers are open to email about upcoming online promotions and new advergames.

Items the Respondents Said They Could Not Live Without
(% of North American Online youth ages 12-17)





Mobile phone


Game console






Home stereo


Music/MP3 player


Source: Forrester Consumer Techographics, Q1 2005


More information about these studies is available from Forrester.

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