Why Teens Matter, Part Two: Targeting Tomorrow’s Money Demo

Contributors:  Larry Rosin, Co-founder & President, Edison Research;  Megan Lazovick, Vice President, Edison Research;  Laura Ivey, Director of Research, Edison Research

We last left you with the findings from the latest study commissioned by the Country Radio Broadcasters in recognition of the 50th Country Radio Seminar, Understanding Parents, Teens, and Country Music. To refresh your memory, the study focuses on the nature of relationships between teens and their parents, how they bond over music, and how each one influences the other.

How can radio stations, advertisers, and agencies attract and engage with tomorrow’s “money demo?”

Research and reach out to teens. We can’t count on today’s teens aging into radio listening as in years past. They have grown up with smartphones in a world where radio is not the only way to listen to music and commercials are optional. Recognize that they are indeed the “money demo” of tomorrow and use the limitless creativity of audio and promotion to find teens.

Partner to promote to teens in their native habitats. How are you currently reaching teens with your marketing messages? Market directly to them! Radio stations can harness the power of their logos and music to find student ambassadors through social media, and those ambassadors can promote the station at their high school with merchandise and swag. Teens see logos every day for streaming services and other ways to hear music, so radio stations and advertisers should partner to get their fair share of facetime with teens.

Use existing opportunities, such as staging a concert at school. Old school is cool and retro is in. Let teens know that their local radio stations can get them up close and personal with an artist coming through town, and local advertisers can benefit from being part of the promotion.

Create parent-teen experiences. Leverage how close parents are with their teens today. Find the places that teens are with their parents – for instance, shopping, or create events for parents and teens. Stations and advertisers can talk to your 25-54 target and at the same time extend a hand to the future.

Become part of the in-car time with parents and teens. Parents + teens + music (all in the car) = your opportunity to connect with them. Target them specifically in carpool times with promotions, special programming or sponsored content. If every AC in town can do “Battle of the Sexes,” maybe stations can do the same with Parents competing with their own Teenagers, and advertisers can sponsor.

Consider your positioning. Think about what teens are NOT saying about Radio or Country radio stations. Teens can be entirely unaware of any of the value radio brings to their markets beyond playing Country songs and playing commercials. How is your station positioned in the market? How is your product or service advertising to teens? Radio and advertisers can work together to promote the local, local, local power of the medium.

Benefit from radio’s position as the creator of the playlist. The radio industry invented the playlist. Some are curating playlists for their listeners and even publishing them  Advertisers can benefit by sponsoring the playlist allowing both station and advertiser to stand out from today’s new competitive environment.

Listeners are learning how to find their radio stations on smart speakers. In-car listening is moving back into the home and into a shared listening experience as stations begin to tell their listeners how to find their station on their smart speaker. Stations and advertisers both benefit when radio content can be heard on additional outlets, such as smart speakers. Remember that the teens are leading when it comes to tech.

Continue to serve the community. Teach teens about your local connections and service and why they are valuable. They might not need traffic and weather today, but they probably do want to know about the latest concerts, restaurants, and local hot spots. And the civic-minded teenagers of today should hear about the good you are doing in the community. Your station provides more than just music and commercials! Teens aren’t getting what you are and why you’re good. Find ways through social media or in-person events that target teens to get this message across.

Click here to access the complete Parents, Teens, and Country Music presentation.

Today’s teenagers are the “money demo” of tomorrow.  How have you targeted this important demo?


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