Children Consumers: With great power comes great irresponsibility

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I can haz iPad?

There’s no question the marketing to younger cohorts is attractive—according to research for FutureM in 2012, kids and tweens have buying power of virtually $1.2 trillion dollars.

Yes. T, trillion.

With the rise of new media there are so many possibilities to market to children. As marketers, we are able to flash messages and branded images and memories in front of little ones before they are cognizant of it even happening. Don’t forget how much they love spending time playing games on the computer and tablets. Yes it’s all fine until suddenly we realize they’re draining the bank!

I came across blogger Jonathan Maziarz’ story on The CMO Site and had to share the reality of growing up in emerging media:

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So as you can see new technology is making life easier for us grown-up humans but it’s also giving young people access to a LOT of resources that is could potentially lead to parents paying the price—literally!

As ethical marketers in the digital age, should we consider children even more vulnerable? With a tablet at their fingertips, are children able to determine exactly what it means when they grant access to in-app purchases or innocently Google-searching and buying online? Children are in a world raised by the power of technology but are unaware of the consequences of that power.

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2 thoughts on “Children Consumers: With great power comes great irresponsibility

  1. This was a great post. I just recently purchased a Tablet for my grandson-he is 2 1/2. He knows more about the tablet than I do. One thing I did have to do is take off all the credit-cards associated with my Amazon account because he would click on the account and then just start clicking on every link. If I disconnect my Amazon account from the Tablet he will not have access to the apps I downloaded for him. The Tablet has no way of allowing me to choose to keep the account active on the Tablet without linking it to my Amazon purchasing account. So, all credit cards associated with my account have been removed.
    I think Tablet companies or even online stores, such as Amazon, should let us create a child account that will limit what the child is able to do on that account. I am sure, if enough unexpected purchases are made (and there will be many, I am sure) then either the Tablet makers or online shopping stores will need to come up with alternatives to resolve the issues.

  2. I agree that it is important for companies to be conscience of mobile friendly websites, not only because of its growing use of non-traditional PC’s, but because the cohort aged 18-29 are glued to their smart phones. They are called the Generation Y subculture and they consist of the 71 million children of the original Baby Boomers and they are the next generation of skeptical consumers that marketers need to learn how to reach. They were born between 1977- 1995, and they are named Generation Y, Echo Boomers, Millenials, or Net Generation.

    They make up 20 percent of the population, and are expected to increase at twice the rate of the rest of the population over the next decade. To continue to grow in any market share, the future is mobile, and marketers need to understand how reach out this young demographic now so it can create brand loyalty for the years to come and before their competitors do so before them.

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