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Marketing to a teenage girl, what to consider

It seems like it should be pretty easy to market to teenage girls. Their likes, dislikes, trends, and interests are already marketed like crazy, so one would think it'd be easy to just slip in and find a niche in the teen market. Not so. Instead, marketing to a teenage girl needs to be done in certain ways and it's important to know what to consider.

Teenagers, both boys and girls, are very aware that they are being marketed to constantly. They just need to turn on the television, open a magazine, or even go to school. Schools themselves are open to companies marketing to kids at school - how many soda machines are in the cafeterias and common rooms in a typical junior high and high school? Just that one example can give an idea of how bombarded teens are by companies' marketing tactics.

Since teen girls are very aware of the competition for their attention and money, they can be a little skeptical and harder to impress. While their skepticism may be a hurdle, it is good to know about it before coming up with a marketing plan.Recognize that teens want something that feels real and believable - if you do, chances are they will be more open to what you have to offer.

Girls obviously have different needs and interests than boys. While this seems obvious, some companies market to just a general teen audience. In many cases this can seem impersonal and some teens may perceive it as disconnected and preachy. Advertisers walk a fine line when marketing to both teenage boys and girls.

Companies must be especially careful when marketing to girls - the fine line they walk is even finer when it comes to girls.This is because many people attribute the pressure to be thin, to be beautiful, to be like movie stars and models to the way companies market to teen girls. Many also attribute girls' low self- esteem to insensitive, unrealistic marketing.To take it even further, many have blamed some marketing tactics as causing eating disorders in teenage girls, due to messages sent by companies through their advertising.

Just about every teenage girl, no matter what size or shape or ethnicity, feels vulnerable and sensitive when it comes to appearance.Companies should be careful and avoid playing upon this vulnerability to get girls to spend money on cosmetics and other products related to appearance.Companies who use unreal expectations and models to market to teens risk having both the teens and their parents respond negatively to their campaigns. Plus, it is clearly irresponsible for a company to prey upon teenage girls' insecurity - any company that does so deserves all of the backlash they will most likely get.

Marketing to teens by using unrealistic models and setting unattainable expectations doesn't always work as well as other methods - in fact, there are other options that are proving to be more effective. Since the 1990's, the notion of "girl power" has really struck a chord with teenage girls. Girls like feeling strong and in control - in a teenage world of rules, deadlines, and curfews, teens find a sense of girl power as a fun change of pace.

Often, teenage girls are marketed to with movie or music stars that are much older than they are and often portrayed in ways that are sometimes overtly sexual or just more adult.While using prominent stars is appealing, it doesn't always ring true. It is okay to include some older stars (teens like to feel more adult), but also include some things that still have a teenage feel to them. Find a balance.

An example of girl power and marketing to teens with someone that is their age can be seen with the Hannah Montana craze that is taking America by storm. Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus resonates with teen girls because she's cool, she wears clothes they could wear, and teenage can relate to the lyrics of her music. She exudes confidence and girls respect and want to emulate that. One could assume that the huge popularity of Hannah Montana is because this niche, of a normal yet also glamorous teenage girl, hadn't been addressed before.

With a little creativity and sensitivity to teenage girls, companies can market effectively to this demographic. If a company can market to this group effectively, chances are that the teenage girl will stay loyal to the brand and invest their hard earned money in their products for many years.

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