Multi-screen generations & how to properly market to them

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In a world where children aren’t being taught cursive (because, frankly, who needs it when you have a tablet?), it’s getting harder and harder for marketers to stay in touch with the younger generation.  Back in our day, we didn’t have to worry about chargers and crashing devices – in fact, we could just tell our teachers that the dog ate our homework.

The digital age marks a time where children are growing up with Facebook and using electronic devices to learn through interactive games.  Remember the years that parents spent questioning whether it was appropriate to sit our children down in front of the television for hours on end?  Looking toward the future, we’ll have the same questions about the tablet, in addition to things we never had to worry about such as cyberbullying, internet predators and other as of yet unknown cyber threats.

But, there are also a lot of positives – children who are learning how to use devices at a young age are also testing higher in certain academic subjects, at least in part due to the fact that their parents are treating their devices as tools in the education process.

So, how can this information help a marketer who is trying to reach a multi-screen generation?

First of all, it is important to remember that things are much different than they were back then.  As much as we were dazzled by cereal commercials and Smoky the Bear, children are living in a different world than we did.  Technology has changed everything; even the idea of a smartphone would have been a fantasy when I was ten years old.

A marketer who is trying to reach a multi-screen generation can work to do so by creating interactive games that create an engaging experience for a child.  Obviously, there are privacy restrictions, particularly when it comes to collecting information about children and advertising to them.  But games are typically a safety net – a company-sponsored game using augmented reality or other features helps reach a child with its high levels of stimulation.  You can also reach them by having a fun and interactive website.

Though I mostly focus on the use of technology in the digital space, hand-to-hand marketing is still one of the most effective ways to reach children.  
At our Orlando marketing agency, we often advise clients to market at events catered to children and teens, and to tie it in with a digital strategy.  If children have smartphones, there may be ways for a child to directly engage with your brand through the use of social media.  Perhaps they can unlock rewards with their Facebook check-ins, or by offering testimonials as to your product that you can post on YouTube and other media outlets.  Because our adolescents and teens have grown up in a digital world, they are practically socialized to do these things, which is why they are of special interest to marketers.

If you do engage in good old-fashioned television advertising, it may be beneficial to integrate your campaign with an interactive digital component.  Nokia’s recent Work for Will campaign, featuring  Up All Night’s Will Arnett (also of Arrested Development fame), invited people to log online to create a digital product, in order to be given the chance be Will Arnett’s personal assistant for a day.

Marketing to a multi-screen generation means thinking like someone with multitude of screens.  If your advertising and marketing campaign doesn’t reach your younger audience on all screens, then allow our Florida advertising agency to design one for you that will!

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