Young consumers in the new marketing ecosystem: An analysis of their usage of interactive technologies

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Executives from some of the largest companies are calling the interactive technologies (IT) young people are using "the new marketing ecosystem." Very little is known about the perceptions tweens, teens, and young adults have of their usage of these IT. In addition, marketers whose segmentation strategies are for products specifically targeting young consumers need to understand just how these young consumers are using the various technologies to share information. The most sophisticated apparel retailers know that to sell products to young consumers means they must be connected to them electronically at all times. In order to better understand young consumers' IT usage, tweens, teens, and young adults completed 428 useable surveys pertaining to their perceptions of their own usage of IT for social and academic networking purposes. Four factors labeled 1) Immediacy, 2) Entertainment, 3) Social Interaction, and 4) Self-Expression explained 63 percent of the variance in perceptions of usage. One-way analysis of variance tests revealed several significant differences. Recommendations are made to marketers to help them strengthen their segmentation strategies for products targeting tween, teen, and young adult demographics.

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