What is youth marketing?

Youth marketing is any marketing effort directed toward young people. This group is typically broken down into smaller segments depending on their age, including tweens, teenagers, college students, and young adults aged 20-34. Each market segment has products and ad campaigns that are targeted specifically for them.

This advertising strategy is not limited to any one marketing channel or technique. Youth marketing takes place on TV, radio, in print and in dozens of forms online. Companies often sponsor extreme athletes, musicians, and high school sports teams as a way to insert themselves into youth culture. Authenticity is particularly important to the young — they want the brands they support to reflect their values and tastes. 

Young people make such valuable consumers because they influence the purchasing decisions of their friends and family. In addition to being consumers themselves, teens can affect where their family goes on vacation, the car they choose to buy, and the clothes that their friends wear. If a product or brand is popular with young people, it gains an image of being “cool.”

Tips for Youth Marketing

  • Use student media – Take out advertisements in high school newspapers and on college radio stations
  • Use text ads – It is no secret that kids like to text. Send out announcements and offers straight to their phone.
  • Send out a campus rep – Go to college campuses and high school football games and hand out free samples and company info.
  • Support a cause – Research which issues and organizations are most important to young people and make a donation or suggest a partnership.
  • Make a quick pitch – Young people are impulsive and have short attention spans. Effective sales pitches should be short and direct.
  • Be interactive – Use tools like games, videos, and online apps to keep kids engaged.
  • Listen – Solicit and respect feedback from customers. Young consumers want to feel like a partner in the brand.
  • Use flyers – Place inexpensive, but attention grabbing flyers in bars, record stores, and coffee shops where young people gather.