March 3rd, 2009

Teens, the economy and President Obama

by sage island

Today our nation’s teens are paying attention to the issues with our economy and our new president more than ever before. Recently Scarborough Kids Internet Panel released the findings of a new study that indicates America’s youth population is highly interested in the state of our economy and very optimistic that President Obama will help resolve these economic issues. As many as 75% of those surveyed felt that Obama will help solve our current economic problems.

Many teens are seeing for the first time the impact an economic downturn can have on their lives. Teens surveyed say they have had to quit playing a sport, missed doctors’ appointments and changed their eating habits due to the economic pressures their families face. These experiences are leading to an increased interest in politics and government affairs — 81% of teen surveyed are interested in understanding more about the causes of our current economic issues. Today kids are turning to parents and teachers to learn and understand more about our country’s issues. In fact 47% want to talk more to their parents about these issues and 64% are discussing the downturn with their teachers.

What does this mean for those of us marketing to teens and their families? It is good news. This data gives us a window into what Americans are facing on a daily basis and helps give us a better understanding of how to talk to them. It helps us speak their language and develop innovative products designed to fulfill needs and be budget friendly.

Additionally, today’s messaging needs to be smarter and more aligned with what the target audience is looking for. No longer are consumers buying on a whim — price and need are of the utmost concern. Marketers need to be aware of this and focus their messaging accordingly.

Marketers can take this opportunity to stay top of mind with their consumers. Though buyers may not be able to afford their favorite brand right now, staying in front of your audience with consistent messaging will put in the right place when consumers are ready to resume their typical buying habits.