Marketing to Children

Children are typically divided into these three distinct groups, based on age:

  • Kids: Although children who are 7 or younger don't always have enough independence to shop by themselves, they're influential in their parents' final purchasing decisions. Parents want to please their offspring and usually give 'em what they want.
  • Tweens: Children between the ages of 8 and 12 are now considered a target market unto themselves. These kids have outgrown “baby” items and are starting to emulate the trends made popular by their older counterparts (teens).
  • Teens: Ranging in age from 13 to 17 (and some marketers go all the way to 18), this group is typically more mature. Savvy-shopping teens usually have greater decision-making abilities with less adult input. And many teens have hefty amounts of money to throw around, from working part-time jobs or from receiving an allowance from their parents (or both!).

All three groups share at least one characteristic: Many kids are adept at using computers. Tweens and teens are particularly comfortable surfing the Internet and embracing technology for multiple purposes — including shopping online. According to research from eMarketer, 97 percent of teens (ages 12 to 17) will use the Internet at least once a month by 2015. Similar trends have been identified by Pew Internet and the American Life Project study, including these facts:

  • More than half of teens using the Internet do so every day.
  • When it comes to socializing, 73 percent ...

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