The Buzz: The Tiny Trend Traffickers

The Buzz: The Tiny Trend TraffickersIf you thought it was difficult to launch a campaign that successfully accounts for the complexities of attention economics, then just try launching a campaign that grabs the attention of the ADD generation itself.

The idea of the attention economy focuses on the fact that consumer attention is a valued commodity, and seeks to build major marketing strategies around capturing the attention of consumers. After all, no matter how well we craft our strategies, if our consumers fail to consume, we are ultimately at a loss. How, then, can we ensure that tweens, teens and young adults take in the ubiquitous marketing that we pitch?

It's important to understand that the only way to capture the attention of trend-conscious teens is to cater directly to their consumer demands. These demands are reflected by three strong trends: global mobiles, insta-messengers and transculturalism. In turn, these trends not only explain the way teens take in the wealth of information around them, but also serve as guidelines to us for creating effective marketing campaigns.

Teens today are not simply super tech-savvy - they are global mobiles. In our portable, wireless world, teens use anything and everything to stay up-to-date with global events. The fact that any trend spotted by a teen from one part of the world can be instantaneously spread to another bends the world of youth marketing. This is great for viral marketing, and companies can make the most of their campaigns by coming up with more creative, high-speed methods of reaching out to teens.

In addition to being globally connected, teens are consuming content instantaneously and therefore require rapid forms of communication. Whether it's through AIM conversations, on-the-go text messages or Facebook wall posts, these insta-messengers demand a faster way to express themselves. Teens don't want to just chat, they also want ways to easily download and send to their friends the content they've just discovered, like songs and video clips.

What about the trends themselves? A closer look at youth trend patterns reveals that the concept of transculturalism is very much relevant to today's teens. As defined by scholar Fernando Ortiz, "Transculturalism is the merging and converging of cultures." While this term was coined decades ago, it certainly applies to today's teens, too. Culture is a universal entity that is shared by teens, even if they live on different continents. Styles and trends are conveyed globally because of this universality of culture. When a trend emerges in one region, teens on the other side of the world catch on easily and put their own spin on the trend. This is why magazines like TRACE, which emphasizes the readiness of trends to be absorbed cross-culturally, are becoming as popular as the typical mainstream teen favorites.

That our fabulous teens are global mobiles and insta-messengers may challenge your current marketing strategies, but you certainly should not be daunted. Successfully reaching the fast-paced and dynamic minds of young people requires increased creativity and cooperation. Creativity is what drives trendsetting, and teens always respond better to interesting, fresh messages. Cooperation is important in the sense that you should trust in the trend-spreading abilities of teens. Given that they love to discover new trends and pass them on to their friends, all you need to do is give them what interests them. Understanding the power of transculturalism and the potential of global mobiles and insta-messengers ensures that teens will not only pay attention to your messages - they'll effortlessly spread them.
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