Theres a Tween In Your Future - Are You Ready?



Within 15 minutes of coming through the door from school, she has her neck crooked around the phone. A music CD tucked into the computer's drive drowns out all but the occasional giggles of that conversation. While her fingers fly over the keyboard, you risk a quick glance and countsix open "chat" boxes. She's IMing (sending instant messages with) the friends she didn't get to talk to at school.

That's just how she communicates.

Once the "he said," "she looked" minutia of the all important social event (lunch hour) of the day have been dissected, the conversations begin to move outward. Movie trivia websites are visited en masse, and the merits of a certain pair of kahkis for sale on one site versus another found the day before cause more windows to be opened, as this virtual gaggle of girls move around the web together.

Sometimes, tasks are split. Three girls visit different movie theater sites where start times for this week's chosen film are carefully matrixed against which parent might be able to drive the group to which venue.

That's just how decisions are made.

Some people call her a tween. She's between 8 and 12 and attends middle school, Sunday school, and high school football games where she and her friends pay far less attention to each other's older brother on the team than their slightly older siblings. Usually that's all an anxious parent in this group is able to watch out for. They don't know the half of what she is capable of yet.

According to brand analyst and Clickz columnist, Martin Lindstrom, 22% of these tweens have already made an online purchase on their own. Lindstrom's study excerpt didn't discuss how they were able to pay for these purchases, but it's a good bet a majority of them were done using mom or dad's credit card. That's a pretty safe assumption when you consider that tweens determine what brand is purchased 60% of the time in a typical household.

60%!
Clothes, music, accessories, gifts, games and other entertainment used to be the exclusive province of the American teenager. The 13 and over crowd used to decide where those dollars were spent. But they're passing the baton to their younger brothers and sisters while they pursue their own, more diverse, interests, also online.

That's just where the teens and tweens are spending their time these days.

Tweens are even more intensely committed to the Internet than their older teenage siblings. Teens are spending in excess of 16.7 hours per week online according to a 2002 Yahoo study. That compares to 13.6 hours spent watching television, 12 hours spent listening to music and 7.7 hours talking on the phone.

Did you catch it?
Do you see what the real difference is between these two groups? And do you understand just how large, and just how evolutionary the impact of that difference will be on your business?

That's the piece of the puzzle that I think is being overlooked. It's been buried beneath an already staggering pile of statistics.

It's not about the numbers at all.

It's about the fact that tweens have already assimilated the Internet completely. It's about the fact that tweens have already begun to filter their media differently, and process that input differently. They don't surf websites anymore, clicking their mouse to zoom in to see the pocket detail on those jeans. They "experience" a site clicking their mouse to turn 3d model images wearing those jeans, orclicking hotspots in panoramicimages designed to make them feel as if they are in a room at a store.

They don't spend 16.7 hours on the Internet, then 13.6 watching TV, then 12 hours listening to music, then 7.7 hours talking on the phone. They spend 16.7 and 13.6 and 12 and 7.7 simultaneously. They move from one media to another effortlessly, automatically typing coherent messages for up to five conversations at once, laughing at a girlfriend's joke on the phone, and tapping their foot to the relentless beat of the music. At - the - same - time.

"Tween" is not just a convenient demographic catch phrase for a bundle of statistics. It's also a very apt description of where this particular generation will fall on technology timeline. The web "experience" is likely to continue unfolding long after they have grown up and becomeeveryone'sprime demographic.

I have a tween in my house. And she really is somewhere between. Her reliance on a strong social network of girlfriends is as old as the hills. But her communication methods raise the bar on the definition of multitasking. Sometimes I watch her and wonder if we haven't finally broken through another old barrier. I wonder if she's tapping into, and effectively using, more than the 10% of our brains than science claims we use.

But probably not. It's still clear that not all of her senses have been enhanced.

She still can't seem to hear me when I ask if she has homework.


Liz Micik has been an Ordinary Marketer for nearly 25 years, helping companies tell their story to the right people in the right way to sell their products and services. Visit www.ordinarymarketer.com/">www.ordinarymarketer.com to sign up for the Inside Edge, a free monthly multimedia newsletter, and find out how you can get extraordinary results from marketing you can live with.


MORE RESOURCES:
iStock photo If the last couple of months has taught us anything, it is that, in the words of the Bard, one swallow doth not a summer make. There have been many days when stocks have opened significantly higher, bringing hope that we have turned the corner, only to plummet again the next day, or even later in

We see the other shoe drop this morning on one of the most important domestic inflation metrics there is the 160 Consumer Price Index CPI the flip side to the Producer Price Index PPI released yesterday before the opening bell The CPI for November was unchanged from the previous month

Twin economic reads from this morning and next are among the highest weighted indicators of U S economic inflation the 160 Producer Price Index PPI 160 released ahead of today s opening bell and tomorrow s Consumer Price Index CPI Both sets of figures arrive before next week s

Shutterstock photo After over thirty years in and around financial markets, I feel that I have seen most things. I am certainly no stranger to volatility, having spent nearly twenty of those years in interbank forex dealing rooms around the world. Even so, this year feels unusual. The two bouts of chaos in the

By Avi Gilburt, ElliottWaveTrader.net This past week was quite interesting, as well as volatile. On Monday, we had a huge gap up right into the initial resistance region we had on our charts in the 2810-15SPX region. In fact, the futures struck a high of 2813ES, and then turned down. Well, when the trading day

We start a new week of trading waking up to lower market closes across the Pacific with Asian indexes like the Nikkei in Japan 2 and Hong Kong 1 2 This came on the heels of big drops in Chinese imports and exports which fell precipitously from the month of October to November

US Census says manufacturing new orders declined in October. On the other hand, the Federal Reserve says Industrial Production subindex manufacturing improved in October - but the year-over-year rate of growth slowed. Part of the difference between US Census and the Federal Reserve's views on manufacturing:

Fresh economic data in the form of new 160 non farm payroll numbers 160 for November have been released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics BLS and the results have swung pre market futures into the green This is interesting considering the headline number of 155K new jobs

If you have a set of specific set of skills, look no further than the Midwest for your next job. With lower unemployment and higher job-opening rates that the rest of the country, the Midwest now finds itself in a situation in which it significantly lacks skilled workers. Although the economy in nine Midwestern and

Over the last few days, there has been some talk about an ominous sounding technical chart pattern that has looked imminent for a while, and if the S&P 500 closes anywhere close to the levels indicated by futures this morning, will be achieved today. This thing is known as a “death cross,” which, admittedly, sounds

New private sector 160 ADP 160 ADP 160 payroll numbers 160 for November have come out this morning one day before non farm payroll results from the BLS government survey will be released and for the first time in recent memory these figures have come up a bit short of

The oil market is understandably in a state of suspense this week, eagerly fixated on the events unfolding in Vienna. But regardless of what happens, the market is in for a potentially rough ride as we head into 2019, with a series of economic headwinds threatening demand. The S&P 500 is set to peak, corporate

By Avi Gilburt, ElliottWaveTrader.net Recently, one of my members of  Elliottwavetrader  was in attendance at the 32 nd  Economic Outlook Symposium hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. On the first day, he sat in a room with 150 economists. When asked how many see a recession in 2019, all of two hands

Shutterstock photo So you think you're having good times With the boy that you just met Kicking sand from beach to beach Your clothes are soaking wet But if you look around and see A shadow on the run (on the run) Don't be too upset because it's just a paper sun - Traffic, Paper Sun Paper Sun was the

As Wall Street keeps its doors closed today in remembrance of George H W Bush the U S s 41st president and father of George W Bush the 43rd Tributes abound as market activity ceases for the day including a planned speech by Fed Chair Jerome Powell this afternoon which has been cancelled

Alopa.com ©