Fish where the fish are: Media Habits of 20 somethings

For many markets, the primary target market is 18-14 year olds. They are plugged in, social, follow or start new trends and if the marketer can convert them to customers, many will remain customers for life, extending the lifetime value for the marketer.
Thee questions I ask when looking at the promotional component of the marketing plan are:

  1. 1.Who am I talking to? What is the target and what do I know about them?
  2. 2.Where are they? What mediums can I market with that this target market uses? What are they reading, watching, and doing?
  3. 3.What is the most important thing to say, when I find them? What do I want them to remember about my brand?

I tried to tack the second question, where are they, so I could effectively use a very limited advertising budget. I wanted to make sure my limited funds were spent in the media that would get me the most market attention. I knew who I was looking for and what I wanted to say, and needed to confirm my theory of where to find them.
I surveyed 18-22 year olds on campus using Survey Monkey about their media consumption habits. What publications they read, how long are they online and what websites do they visit. I expected that most of the target group would not read newspapers on a regular basis, and would spend a lot of time online at , and other online sites. There were no surprises there, the survey results demonstrated that the target read newspapers infrequently and revived most of their news, information and entertainment online. Almost half of the respondents read a newspaper less than once a month, and visited at least once a week.
But, there was on pieced of data that struck me, and it is a very important aspect of online media and online marketing, credibility.
In the survey approximately 30% of the respondents valued ads in newspapers and ads online. When asked if they trust ads in newspapers and online, 30% trusted the ads in newspapers, but only 10% trusted the ads online. Online media and marketing has to develop credibility, and it is an ongoing process. Traditional media still has credibility with this age group.
The take away is that to get this key target market’s attention, marketers have to use online tools and social media, but to earn credibility, marketers must still dedicate part of the budget and the media plan to traditional media outlets to develop their credibility.
The results of the survey are available at my page here.

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