Marketing and your kids. Mom, I need this!

Kid’s under tmag-kids-analog_main-4_3he age of 13 are more connected to media than ever and so are marketers. Just the other evening, I am making dinner and my son comes up to me while playing a game on his iPod and says:

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Son: I need your email address

Me: Why?

Son: I am filling out this survey to get free coins and a t-shirt. How many times do we go shopping each month?

Me: You are not getting my email address, because I don’t want a bunch of spam coming to my email.

Son: No mom, that’s not going to happen.

Me: Trust me on this one, I know what is going to happen, I am in marketing!

Son: [Stomps of fuming mad.]

You see, according to him I am one of the few parents in the world that won’t let him have his own iTunes or email account. Fortunately (at least to my knowledge) he hasn’t set up his own email account, which is surprising because he is 9.  Even though he is tech savvy, he is still a vulnerable 9 year old.

This age group is known as Generation Z, the biggest up and coming generation.  The purchasing power of this group is phenomenal, ages 9-13 being $43 billion, according to CMO. Marketers are taking notice. Many parents of this age group are unaware of the tactics some marketers are using. Now, don’t get me wrong not all marketing is out to exploit children. Most are legit and follow the rules set up by the Children’s Online Privacy Act.  But it doesn’t hurt to extra vigilant.

What should parents do?

Know their marketing tactics: Remember companies spend big money to determine how kids think, a big one Pester Power also known as bothering mom and dad until they buy it (I have fallen victim to this tactic) another easy target, advergaming or offering in app purchases or questions.

Teach your kids about privacy. When downloading apps – go straight to the privacy settings and adjust them. Talk to your kids about information they are giving away online. Even the simplest information such as age, birthdate, address, phone number can be used by marketers. If you child is unsure encourage them to ask you before downloading or entering that email address. In app purchases are also a vulnerability. If you can, pay the extra fee to get rid of the advertisements. Reinforce to them not to fill out surveys or questionnaires, these are marketing gold.

Know your rights by visiting and reading COPPA.

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Emerging Media – A Sea of Definitions

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First let’s define media, according to Meriam Webster, media is “a medium of cultivation, conveyance, or expression; especially : members of the mass media.” And further reference is made as follows: “the system and organizations of communication through which information is spread to a large number of people”

Now that we have the official definition for media, stop for a minute and and think where we would be if emerging media (not digital media) did not exist.   Oh wait, you can’t do that. Why? Because it has always existed from the beginning of the human race. From the biblical scrolls and Egyptian hieroglyphics to today’s multitude of media sources, media has always been emerging. Now to be clear, the term has only been used to reference “advertising” purposes for about the last 70 years. Although, today emerging media is considered all thing technology related in the past that was not the case. Times have changed.

What immediately comes to mind when you think emerging media. Making the assumption of all things social, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat….the list goes on and on and all of those platforms are very much a part of emerging media. However, emerging media does not just mean social media, according to one definition, “Emerging media is the evolution of utilizing technology to share information in new and innovative ways. Current trends in marketing include an explosion in digital media with the development and expansion of social networks, blogs, forums, instant messaging, mobile marketing, e-mail marketing, rich media and paid and organic search all the way to offline trends in discovering the power of word of mouth marketing (WOM) techniques and strategies that become a part of integrated media and marketing campaigns.” Em Emerging Media However, as you see from the video below from Ball State University, each person has a different viewpoint of how emerging media is defined. The question is can it even be defined if we don’t know what the future holds? Yes, if you think of it not as function but as a process. This statement by Alyssa Gregory of Small Business Bonfire gives a great definition; “Emerging media is the future of marketing; it’s the future of the flow of information.” The key statement here, is “the future flow of information”.

The question now becomes are you staying in sync with the information flow?