Marketing to Teens Means Targeting Ethnic Heritage

As the digital universe increasingly consumes the time of teens and young adults, is there any reason for marketers to use traditional media when they introduce new products and brands? The results of the Cassandra Multicultural Report 2009 indicate that traditional media continues to 604006_shoppingcenterinfluence teens and there’s a big difference when it comes to ethnic heritage. A couple of top-​line statistics from the report may come as no big surprise. The Internet and TV ads both serve  as sources of information about new products for over half of all consumers between the ages of 14–24.

But these aren't the only information sources used by teens and young adults. For example, Asian-​American consumers in this age group report the following sources of information on new products:

  • Retail stores 37%
  • Social networking sites 27%
  • Direct mail 17%
  • Blogs 18%

The chief information source, after the Internet and TV ads,  for young Black consumers is entertainment. Over 1/​3 (35%) of this group learns about new products through TV shows and movies. For young Hispanic consumers, retail stores serve as the information source (32%) on new brands.

Marketers may wonder whether using celebrities makes a difference when marketing to younger consumers. The only ethnic group that weighed in with double digits for this source was Blacks (10%).

This report indicates that while the Internet reigns supreme as an information source, marketers who might want to stand out or reach a specific demographic should also use alternate media forms that are important to  young consumers with ethnic heritage.

[Source: The Cassandra Multicultural Report 2009, Reprinted in Youth Markets Alert, epm​.com, 10.1.09]
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.