‘I want it all… and I want it now…’

Now aside from being a fantastic 80’s Queen number, funnily enough, it resembles what a lot of marketers want in 2018 – but not me.

Marketing to teens, parents and younger audiences has never been more difficult, and we are in a time where having everything actually doesn’t help, but getting a couple of things right does.

Marketers use numerous tools when planning their strategy, but this shouldn’t distract from the basic principles when trying to harness a niche audience.

No matter what tools you have in your toolbox, they are useless if you forget the basic principles, the three ‘R’s of creating ‘real’ branded content – Ready, Reliable, and Relevant.

It seems the behaviours of younger people on social media are changing, and in order to deliver successful marketing, we need to know and predict their habits.

A recent Ofcom report showed that 28% of 10-year-olds, 46% of 11-year-olds, and 51% of 12-year-olds now have a social account.

Some say the answer to this problem is marketing on platforms like YouTube kids, and FB Messenger for Kids. However, I disagree. All this creates is sanitized, monitored content, which I know my kids hate. Teens and younger audiences want to feel more grown up, and if the right content is pushed, and reaches the right audience, there is no need for them to be ‘protected’.

So, how do advertisers and brands reach their target audiences when those audiences are teens and younger?

‘The Content State of Mind’ is a piece of research conducted by The Big Shot which identified the best way to market to parents of younger audiences and teens.

This uncovered new insights on how to harness the attention of younger audiences and let me tell you, it’s not through parents – those days are over.

The only thing that results from targeting parents with teen products is hindering the consumer journey at moment one – exposure. Why? Because parents don’t have to tell their child about the latest new gadget! Therefore, the advert is wasted.

It’s known that advertisers spend billions on digital advertising, but the reality is their eyes are elsewhere. Our research shows that traditional media consumption by parents increases by 31% as children grow.

But, while traditional media may be used for news, entertainment is consumed via live streaming. The research shows that this has a bigger impact on purchasing decisions for parents than other mediums, and it’s where their attention lives.

In fact, 1 in 5 parents browse live streaming on their devices, and there aren’t many parents who can’t admit to letting their children have a peek over their shoulder – mine certainly do.

As a result of this, children are accessing more and more media, and are developing brand awareness. For example, my boy Fred watches Paw Patrol, not so much for the show, but because he knows the toys are coming up, and where to get them. He understands advertising, and he is 6!

Due to this interaction, children end up consuming more media content, less so for the show, more so because they realise there is a new toy or gadget to feast their eyes on in the break or pre-roll. Therefore, the content served across platforms needs to entertain both audiences while remaining non-offensive, and still drive to purchase, and that’s the challenge.

Unbeknown to most it’s actually painfully simple, but it seems it’s often overlooked. When delivering children based campaigns, you have to be meticulous. Check the sites you are delivering to, the videos they are against, and the audience you target.

This may create a tiny ad group, but at the end of the day what’s worse? A fluffy bear ad placed next to a gambling site delivered to a few million people, or the same ad delivered on a Nickelodeon stream to a niche, targeted audience?

In short, advertisers need to make sure that their ads are being shown in the right place. And this doesn’t mean employing more tools; it needs a human eye. At the end of the day children will see content made for parents, so let’s not fight it – let’s capitalise on it.

Let’s start creating campaigns which are suitable for BOTH parents and children, and bring the media family together.