The young ones are a difficult crowd. They're not known for responding to traditional forms of advertising and marketing. They're not known for consuming traditional forms of media and entertainment. They use P2P networks, and listen to their music and watch their TV and films on the Web. They even stay in touch with friends and make new ones there too. A difficult nut to crack for businesses who want to get them to purchase their wares and use their services.
The truth is, teens are a lot less connected then they were back in your day. What I mean by less connected, is that they're a lot less connected to adults. Studies reveal that this demographic spends less time with adults overall, and its primarily because the adults in their lives have enabled them with devices — handheld gaming consoles, MP3 players, cell phones, and the like — that keep them isolated.
So how do you reach them? And that's assuming you want to reach them. I'm betting that you do, because their spending power is huge and it's growing — fast. According to The Teens Market in the U.S., a report from market research publisher Packaged Facts in June, the market for products bought by and for the 25.6-million-member teen market will experience a slight growth spurt, increasing from $189.7 billion in 2006 to $208.7 billion in 2011, despite an estimated 3% decline in the 12- to 17-year-old population in that same period.
With these numbers in mind, next week in San Francisco there'll be an entire conference that aims to helping brands better understand and reach that huge, elusive market. Mashup 2007, the brainchild of Anastasia Goodstein, author of Totally Wired: What Teens and Tweens are Really Doing Online, and founder of YPulse, an independent blog for teen/youth media and marketing professionals providing news, commentary and resources on commercial teen media, takes place at Hotel Nikko San Francisco, July 16 - 17.
"The 2007 Ypulse Mashup is the direct result of 3+ years of me blogging about youth culture daily for media and marketing professionals at Ypulse.com. It's an opportunity for both longtime readers as well as new readers to meet each other and for topics discussed on the blog to come alive with the top thought leaders in the youth and technology space," says Goodstein.
Fast Company readers can register with the code FSTCMP for a 10% discount.