In the ongoing quest to appeal to traveling families, tweens have evolved into a worthwhile segment for travel brands and hospitality marketers to pursue. This segment consists of the 20 million U.S. children from ages 8 to 12 who have become known as Generation Z, and are extremely different from teenagers and other groups of children. As a result, the hospitality industry must understand the unique characteristics and needs within the various segments of the youth market in order to advertise to their families most effectively. MediaPost.com offered some valuable insight on how brands can target their hospitality marketing efforts to both tweens and their parents.
Research has shown that today’s tweens play a significant role in their parents’ choices. A BRAND child study revealed that tweens affect 80 percent of their parents’ brand purchases, while a YTV Kidsfluence study found that 40 percent of tweens believe they impact the choice of vacation destination, and 61 percent say they influence the hotel selection.
The difficulty arises in meeting the needs of a market that’s too young for teen pastimes and too old for childish activities. Hospitality marketing had traditionally separated the teenagers from the children, but this in-between segment has been long overlooked yet can no longer be ignored. Travel brands must take the time to learn about marketing to tweens or risk missing out on the major hospitality marketing opportunities they present.
First of all, it’s important to realize that tweens are looking for experiences rather than products. They also want to experience what adults are enjoying, whether it’s exploring different cultures or learning new things or simply escaping from the everyday. They’re also more similar and connected to their parents than previous generations and tend to prefer the same brands and interests. Now that parents are recovering from the recession and rediscovering the joys of travel, this is the ideal time to reach out to these families by offering vacation experiences they all can enjoy.
Tweens have also been raised in a highly digital age that has made them incredibly tech savvy and computer literate. They spend a great deal of time on social media sites and the Web in general, so hospitality brands marketing to tweens would be wise to have a strong digital presence filled with media-rich content that tweens can share with their families and friends.
In addition, hospitality marketers must know that tweens have very different attitudes, interests, and purchasing habits than other segments of the youth market. The best way to truly understand their desires and distinctions is by talking to tweens directly and involving them in the brand’s hospitality marketing planning.
Like what you are reading?
Follow MDG Advertising and always be in the know.
Some travel brands have been ahead of the curve and have been segmenting the family market for years. One example is Smugglers’ Notch in Vermont, a resort that has divided the children’s market into six distinct groups and even split tweens into two groups, with one for ages 7 to 10 and the other for those ages 11 to 15. Through this highly segmented marketing approach, the resort has been able to develop a large range of activities to please every age group, which the kids can mix and match based on their interests and maturity levels.
There’s no denying that tweens have taken on an important role in the family’s travel planning. Now, they need to be taken just as seriously by the hospitality industry as competition for the family’s travel dollars grows harder than ever.
At MDG, our 360° marketing approach uses just the right mix of traditional and online media to reach your hospitality marketing goals. While some industries may fare better in print and others online, we strive to create a balanced approach where digital and traditional advertising efforts support each other and your marketing message is tailored to the medium. To stay on top of the latest hospitality marketing trends that will make an impact for your brand, contact MDG Advertising today at 561-338-7797 or visit mdgadvertising.com.
Read more at MediaPost.com.