Gen C has heightened smartphone, tablet, and computer use among their generation, their families, and are creating unique opportunities for digital marketers. So, who is Gen C and is marketing to them different?
Companies that create products and services for children, adolescents, and their parents are always looking for chances to connect with their target demographic.
What is Gen C?
Gen C is the generation that came after Millennials and before Gen Z. They're the ones who don't know a world without the internet and social media, and they're used to being connected and creating content.
Gen C kids were born after the year 2010, and are prime targets for the $1.7 billion digital ad market. Companies that create products and services for children, adolescents, and their parents always seek opportunities to connect with their target demographic.
However, digital marketers must be sure to respect the data privacy of young consumers and their families to protect their reputation and stay clear of government fines.
In this article, we’ll discuss what eCommerce marketers can do to reach this new generation while keeping their sensitive information private and secure.
Marketing to Gen C and Their Families
Gen C is a diverse and dynamic generation, and they're the future.
They are the ones who make TikTok videos, post Reels and share their lives on social media.
They're also about to start businesses, create innovative art, and are generally making the world a better place.
Ecommerce retailers should consider crafting their digital marketing strategies around this young generation of internet users to enhance brand awareness and loyalty.
However, understanding what this young - and often elusive demographic of customers really thinks is sometimes difficult.
Hiring marketing professionals and copywriters who can truly speak to this generation is key to getting your message across.
Companies can expect to pay $20 to $25 per hour in the US for a quality freelance writer who is a fluent English speaker, and anywhere from $30-60 an hour for a freelance marketing professional who can help launch a kid-friendly ad campaign.
Video game marketers have been quick to provide solutions for kids who are missing their community at school.
Top video game producers Roblox and Fortnite, for example, have hosted in-game concerts that have attracted millions of viewers.
The rising influence of young consumers can’t be ignored.
Not only are they the future adult consumers, but statistics have also shown that children are increasingly playing decision-making roles within the family.
For example, parents now report that their kids influence their purchasing decisions far more than they influenced their parents' purchases when they were kids.
Therefore, brands would be wise to consider not only adults but their children as well when designing their website.
Online retailers should have a site expertly crafted for user experience with kid-friendly themes, as well as paying attention to optimizing for SEO and having a customized marketing strategy to appeal to savvy parents.
An experienced web developer, along with a marketing consultant and quality copywriter, should be able to help. Hiring an experienced developer can also come with other perks, as most developers have knowledge of other markets as well.
In fact, according to recent surveys, most developers actually began their careers in other niches, such as marketing or web design.
Responsibility Before Profit
Needless to say, the increased amount of children surfing the internet brings considerable problems.
One of them is that digital marketers must be even more vigilant about protecting consumer privacy, specifically for consumers under the age of 18.
The ethical reasons for this are hopefully obvious, but there are also significant legal repercussions and extensive fines associated with violating the privacy of children on the internet.
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) mandates that online services must not track or retain information on children under the age of 18 without parental consent.
The purpose of this law is to protect easily influenced children from manipulation by marketers and to keep them away from online predators.
The largest fine to date was issued against Google, the owner of YouTube, for violation of COPPA.
Google was ordered to pay a $170 million penalty as a settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in 2019 in a landmark case based on YouTube data collection practices.
While this was a federal case, digital marketers should note that laws can vary by state.
The California Consumer Privacy Act, for example, has tightened up restrictions about data privacy, and many more states are slated to do the same.
Marketers must pay attention to the ethical concerns and legal protections that surround young consumers.
Digital advertising infrastructure was not built with children in mind. Companies would be wise to consult marketing professionals with an expertise in young consumer demographics before launching a campaign geared towards children ages 6-16.
Gen C presents a lot of opportunities for digital marketers and companies that specialize in products and services for children and their families.
Companies would be smart to focus on this burgeoning customer demographic.
However, marketing professionals must always approach advertising with a high level of integrity, ethics, and attention towards legal restrictions.
With a full knowledge of the law, marketers can have all of the tools needed to reach young consumers without sacrificing data privacy along the way.