Saturday, May 13, 2006

Marketers no more target Parents: The Decesion Makers are the Kids

Today i read an article in ET - "Admen handle parents with kid gloves".

An extract - "Pester power of kids: This is the new mantra of advertisers. Gone are the days when kids were targeted by FMCG companies for milk and milk products, biscuits, detergents, soaps, pens and chyawanprash. If you want the purse strings loosened, target the kids, is the new theory"

I wrote a research paper on "Ethics: Guidelines for marketing to children: How young is too young?" last year. In this i would like to list few of insights.

Factors driving marketers to target children

  1. Fewer children per parent: As is seen in developed countries across the world and also witnessed at a much slower rate in India, we push forward towards development and the number of children per parent reduces
  2. Postponement of having children: Adults in urban settings tend to marry later and as society moves towards greater stress on education and urbanization of towns, childbirth is being pushed further along the age line
  3. Dual working families: With both parents working in many families, the child does not get as much attention, he isn’t ‘taught’ the ropes. He is more susceptible to messages thrown at him by marketers and the media
  4. Changing Demographics: India has a population of 350 million below the age of 15, a whopping market equal to the whole of Eastern Europe. The size of this market is one factor which decides how attractive this market is, the other is the simple reason that kids love branding. The figure below shows a comparison of India’s demographic pyramid with that of the US.
The 6 Core Values: Tween dreams for sale

A study by BrandChild (Martin Lindstorm) reveals that there are six distinct characteristics that go to make up the most successful brands and toys worldwide. These are Fear, Fantasy, Mastery, Humour, Love and Stability but above all the brand needs to ensure that the Tween is placed in the centre of a world they admire and to which they aspire.

We have seen in past that marketers have exploited the above values to increase their sales. There should always a line drawn by legal bodies to taken care of unnecessary exploitation of kids.

Strategies marketers employ to target children and teens

A) Pester Power: “A child is the best negotiator in a family”- Gavin Kennedy, author of the book ‘Everything is negotiable.’

Today's kids have more autonomy and decision-making power within the family than in previous generations, so it follows that kids are vocal about what they want their parents to buy. "Pester power" refers to children's ability to nag their parents into purchasing items they may not otherwise buy.

B) Building brand name loyalty: Marketers plant the seeds of brand recognition in very young children, in the hopes that the seeds will grow into lifetime relationships. According to the Center for a New American Dream, babies as young as six months of age can form mental images of corporate logos and mascots.

C) Buzz or street marketing: Buzz marketing can help a company to successfully connect with the savvy and elusive teen market by using trendsetters to give their products "cool" status. Idea is to find the coolest kids in a community and have them use or wear your product in order to create a buzz around it.

D) Commercialization in education: Corporations realize the power of the school environment for promoting their name and products. Marketers are eagerly exploiting this medium in a number of ways like sponsoring educational materials, supplying schools with technology in exchange for high company visibility, advertising posted in classrooms etc.

E) The Internet: The Internet is an extremely desirable medium for marketers wanting to target children. It's part of youth culture. Kids are often online alone, without parental supervision. Sophisticated technologies make it easy to collect information from young people for marketing research, and to target individual children with personalized advertising.

F) Marketing adult entertainment to kids


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi kochar
u know i was searchin through the net for kids market and found ur blog
it feels great to see u as a blogger here at this platform
keep it up
i wish u all the best for whatever u do in life
p.s->nice blog by the way

June 01, 2006 8:18 PM  

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