Posted July 30, 2008 1:52 pm by with 11 comments

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Tweens, the age group between 8-12 years old are unique in that they are the first group to have grown up with computer and internet access. They are also getting mobile phones and more grow up using them.

My son who is almost 8 has grown up watching me blog and is now obsessed with Club Penguin. I admit it’s a little disconcerting of thinking to marketing to him or the kids his age. But where there is a market…there are marketers…

My son is a child, but as the article by Marketing Vox suggests, soon he may begin to explore what it means to be a teenager (which I’m far from being ready for). Being a teenager for Tweens means freedom – including freedom to make purchases. And this age group has money to spend (and they can be relentless in their requests to spend it!).

“In 2003, 33.3 million teens inhabited the US (32.5 million in Europe). Their discretionary spending power (allowances, gifts, earnings from odd jobs) totaled $42.3 billion and was projected to increase by 1.7 percent year over year.”

Youth media firm Ypulse specializes in this market.

Here are some values that motivate Tweens:

  • need to belong
  • desire for power
  • desire for more freedom from parents (though their parents approval of their choices is still important to them)
  • desire to have fun

In advertising to Tweens, go light on the themes of dating, raunchiness, or rebellion aspect of being a teenager. Focus on how they will look, feel, or act better. The article has more tips but here’s mine: talk to your children about how marketing manipulates them and use the Internet as a tool for learning not commercialism. You could start on this PBS web site aimed at Kids: Don’t Buy It and this site also has ideas.

Parents of Tweens: what do you do to protect your kids from getting over-marketed? What sites do you steer them away from or to?

  • MikeM

    Hi Janet, Go Fish ( delivers ads to tweens and their moms through their arrangements with popular sites including MeeVee, WeeWorld, Miniclips and Dics youth sites.

    If an advertiser wants to reach tweens GoFish is a top consideration

  • Warenwirtschaft

    I think 8 years is much too late to build a good marketing relationship. McDonalds starts with babys and that gives them a big advantage.
    Of course for this you need TV marketing. Internet marketing starts approximately with 6 years, when children learn to read.

  • Dr Marketing

    You will be surprised how many “Tweens” these days have their own websites/blogs/pages and are probably marketing some affiliate products right back at you.

    Dr Marketing’s last blog post..How AdSense vigilantes earn money

  • Goran Web Design

    Well said Dr. Marketing. These kids know so much more then we give them credit for.

  • Maya Karin

    I come across the site which allow to setup play date for the kids and teens in your neighborhood. Nowadays kids are spending time only in front of computer and video games, they need more of outdoor activities and the sites like this will help them to do this

  • Utah SEO Pro

    It’s a good time for “Tweens” to be growin up on the internet now and a good time for marketers to be capitalizing on that.

    Utah SEO Pro’s last blog post..Mobile SEO – SMX Local Mobile 2008 Presentation

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  • Symbian

    This is an old story, for example McDonalds targeting kids since its opening.

    Symbian’s last blog post..Free VoIP Symbian app Fring now on Nokia E71

  • J @ Online Dating Websites

    I thave seen very advanced stuff from people in this age group, but I still keep content very broad and accessible.

    J @ Online Dating Websites’s last blog post..Weak Profiles on Online Dating Websites Might Work for Women but Not for Men

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