Magazine article American Banker

Study Gives Tips on Marketing to Teens

Magazine article American Banker

Study Gives Tips on Marketing to Teens

Article excerpt

Financial services companies have not found the right language to reach teenagers, a study says.

Eighty-nine percent of more than 2,000 teens surveyed said they turn most often to their parents for information on investing in the stock market or financing college. Sixty percent said their schools were a primary source for financial information.

But financial firms have had little success marketing to teenagers, said Tony Rizzo, the vice president of sales and marketing at Liberty Marketing Services in St. Paul, a credit union marketer that participated in the study.

The reason, Mr. Rizzo said last week, is that "we're not teenagers and we're not cool."

Eighteen and 19 are the critical ages for marketing to teens, the study found. That is when they begin looking to carve out their independence by turning to sources other than their parents and schools for financial information.

Mr. Rizzo offered several pointers for financial firms in marketing to the youngsters.

Stay in touch with trends and speak their language. Constantly update marketing messages to remain relevant.

Express interest in teenage issues such as drinking and driving or child abuse.

Tune in to teenagers' interests, such as music and computers, and market products and services that address their interests.

Offer practical incentives that focus on what most teenagers like to do in their leisure time, such as shopping, listening to music, or talking on the telephone.

Liberty said it conducted the study, whose results it announced June 9, in conjunction with Teenage Research Unlimited of Rockford, Ill. …

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