Marketing for Children: What’s Ethical for Businesses?

Marketing and ethics are two terms that don’t necessarily go together, depending on whom you ask. But when it comes to connecting with the right audience, you’ve got to make sure that you err on the side of caution, especially when it comes to marketing to children. Children are notoriously difficult to market to. While there’s a lot of information out there on the negative effects of marketing to children, it is possible to market to the younger members of society, but it’s not about going to the typical entertainment or fast food approaches. Instead, it’s about following a key set of strategies so you can get the desired results.

Encouraging Children to Back up the Brand

If you can appeal to a child, you have a fantastic and loyal customer base. Encouraging children to promote the brand gives them a wide variety of opportunities to engage with you. Working towards marketing healthier practices can be an instant turn-off to children. But if you are looking to promote water for kids or toys for children, what can you do to; engage their creative side? You can utilize so many opportunities for user-generated content. From art submissions to fan-hosted blogs created by the children themselves, we have to remember that they want to express themselves in a wide variety of creative endeavors. This is arguably the biggest difference between marketing to grown-ups and to children. Trying to instill that need for the product in a grown-up is akin to hitting a brick wall. When you encourage children to advocate the brand by utilizing their creative talents, it is a far more symbiotic relationship.

Communicate with the Parents

For most marketing practices, in order to get to the children, it has to go via the parents first. It is about making sure that you are transparent in your ethical practices. You can do this to appeal to parents in numerous ways. For example, when you are promoting a toy, the safety features can be more prominent on the landing page. You should also acknowledge the parents in the process. Ultimately, when our children get a product it’s because the parent has given consent. Therefore, we need to make sure that we don’t exploit children’s loyalty and be transparent with parents. Parents need to know that the product they have been pestered for is safe.

The Importance of Original Content

There is such a wide variety of scope for content these days. Downloadable content on smartphones is fantastic to help children interact with the brand, but there’s also YouTube. When you look at YouTube channels such as Ryan s Toys that pull millions of viewers with every video, it is crucial for you to understand how you can engage with a young audience when you do it right. Content that provides value to children is one aspect of being ethical but also providing means to education through your platform either through ebooks, educational videos, or digital downloads will all work to keep your marketing practices on the ethical side.

Lisa
Lisa Besserman, Founder and CEO of Startup Buenos Aires, has been named as Business Insider’s “Top 100 Most Influential Women in Tech”, and the 2014 “Business Innovator of Latin America” by the Council of the Americas.
Lisa moved to Buenos Aires from New York City to create Startup Buenos Aires, the organization that represents the startup, tech and entrepreneurial community of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Startup Buenos Aires has been one of the main catalysts for strengthening the tech ecosystem in Latin America, by bringing global startup initiatives, development projects and investment opportunities to the region.
Under Lisa’s leadership Startup Buenos Aires has been credited as “Top 3 Growing Startup Cities” by CNBC and “5 Emerging Global Tech Hubs” by Entrepreneur Magazine.

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