Internet Overrules TV when Marketing to Teens

Economists have been using the term bifurcated when they discuss the recovery lately. Yes, some consumers are spending more on some items. But other consumers are looking to save whenever possible. And this purchasing behavior extends to the teen market. Merchants should keep this trend in mind when they are developing ad campaigns.

Piper Jaffray’s latest Taking Stock With Teens survey has analyzed spending behavior in this demographic group and found reason for optimism. While average income teens are closely watching their budgets, upper income teens are buying more of what they want. In both groups, the influence of the Internet has now surpassed TV.

Apparel continues to be a top item in teen budgets, accounting for 38% of total spending. About 13% of upper-​income teens are now purchasing their fashion items online. And after a slowdown during the recession, teen interest in food and restaurants is rebounding. The survey revealed that spending in this category is now approaching early-​2000 levels. Portable electronics will be a top item for teens. Over 80% of this demographic group plans to purchase a smartphone. And Apple appears to be the favorite brand with 36% of teens wanting an iOS device and 38% planning to purchase an iPhone within the next 6 months. An additional 22% of teens also want to purchase an iPad. Teens allocate 6% of their budgets for games. This group is keenly interested in online gaming experiences and over 1/​5th spends $75 a year on this category.

While teen spending is back after having fallen during the recession, marketers should know that some of the rules have changed. Not all teens can afford to spend like they used to. And, to reach this demographic group, there is no better place to be than online.

[Source: Bifurcated Recovery. PiperJaffray​.com. 6 Oct. 2011. Web. 18 Nov. 2011] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.