Turner Reveals Significant Findings in Kids Compass Study

Turner Reveals Significant Findings in Kids Compass Study

Rapidly changing technology and direct access to information has changed the way children communicate. Turner understands this phenomenon and commissioned a study to learn more about children in the region and how to better tailor communication strategies for them. Kids Compass, the region’s first fully comprehensive kids segmentation study, gave kids the platform to speak about themselves without any filters – to tell it like it really is – with regard to entertainment preferences, attitudes and purchase power. Findings were formulated based on analysis of insights gained from over 3,000 children between the ages of four to fourteen years, and parents across key markets including the United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

The study was undertaken in collaboration with Clusters, a quantitative market research and segmentation agency, as well as IMG Worlds of Adventure and Toy Triangle. It involved tailor-made questionnaires, in-depth interviews and real-life observations of children and parents as they went about their daily routine. Findings indicate a shift in perception of how children across the region see the world, what they truly value, and how it defines their future. The study was unveiled at an event with distinguished speakers and panelists at Grosvenor House in Dubai.

Segmentation of Kids Personalities & Subsequent Behavior

The first major revelation from the study was that kids across the region have been segmented into key behavioral groups. This is an approach Turner used to distinguish people based on what they do as opposed to segmenting consumers via age, gender and nationality. “Segmentation ensures that the right message reaches the right market. It also tells you what to say to them and where to find them”, said George Emiris, Clusters Co-founder and Managing Director Middle East & Africa.  The study revealed six distinct segments across all three markets, offering a holistic view of the fast paced development and lifestyle changes children are experiencing today. Characterized by the terms, Eager Minds, Make Believers, Social Sharers, Perceptive Pioneers, Remote Control Gamers, and Good Listeners, insights were drawn to depict the degree of influence kids have on parents’ decision making process, as well as the levels of social awareness among kids within the region. Over the last few years, we have been seeing more and more online casino slots with $1m dollar jackpots and the good news is the good casinos love to pay out because it is such good publicity for them, you can check out helpful review of Omni Casino.

Reem Raoof, Research & Insights Manager at Turner Broadcasting and MC for the presentation

Digital & Social Media Penetration

The study indicates that TV remains the primary source of entertainment, however the rise in mobile broadband penetration means that kids are increasingly becoming digitally savvy. Over 62% of children use a smartphone and 56% of children use tablets. YouTube usage among children is relatively higher across the region; KSA emerged on top with 64% of children using YouTube for video entertainment, followed by Turkey with 61% and UAE with 45%. Interestingly, 7 out of 10 children use social media. Over 50% of kids in UAE, KSA and Turkey use Whatsapp, a cross-platform mobile messaging application. Facebook connectivity is comparatively higher in Turkey (68%), but lagged behind in the UAE (39%) and in KSA (32%).

Who uses this information and why?

Parents can use this data to learn more about their children. By identifying the segment their child is most closely aligned with, parents can gather intel that kids may not openly share. Knowing what  children genuinely like and how they spend their time can greatly improve communication.

Educators. Teaching is not based solely on curriculum. Delivery matters just as much. If you can reach them, you can teach them therefore, the study is useful in helping teachers determine proper communication channels.

Marketers can apply this information when creating kid-related campaigns. Because kids are more empowered, messages need to be tailored for them. But, Geoff Sheffield, Director of Procurement and Licensing, RM Retail (Toy Store), warns that this type of information should be used carefully and responsibly. “We don’t market directly to children. Instead, we focus on creating an in-store experience where they can come and have a good time and let word-of-mouth work for us”.

Attitudes, Improvements and What’s Next…

The report also offers insights into perceptions that affect purchases of electric rc airplanes as well as investment in themed entertainment. For example, the study found that children in the UAE have an average amount of 500 dhs pocket-money per month, while children in KSA avg half that amount per month. A second phase of research is currently underway and will focus on tracking the evolution of the six segments in terms of entertainment behaviors and spend, television consumption and Key Performance Indicators as well as overall attitudes. Some get to see a jackpot winner on a casino making us all jealous and bet more. Limitations of the initial study will be addressed as well. Interviews were conducted in person and online in the UAE and KSA which revealed that the desire to appear ‘perfect’ may have swayed parental responses.  During the panel discussion, Naeema Jiwani, Child Developmental Psychologist for Human Relations Institute noted, “Parents are a massive reference point before children reach adolescence”. Consequently, they shouldn’t be excluded as respondents. Instead there are plans to conduct interviews exclusively online with hopes that anonymity will promote more honesty. The second phase is scheduled to be complete in Q4 2016.

Children now account for a whopping $21.4 billion worth of their own purchasing power. As kids get into their tweens, ages 8-12, they have their own discretionary dollars, and they’re likely to purchase what they want with some guidance from their parents.
Trends point to the need for more engagement between kids’ brands and their target demographic groups. And parents are an important part of this equation. Failure to connect with each is a mistake. Recent push back against children’s marketing shed light on an important issue: parents are increasingly concerned about hard-sell efforts aimed at their kids. So brand interaction to gain parental trust is paramount if brands are to succeed.
In spite of their reservations, parents are spending on their children. Packaged Facts projects families spent $143 billion on children’s products in 2010. Since the recent recession, adults have cut back on spending for themselves, but they’re still spending on their children. What parents are looking for now? A reason to believe. There has been a decided shift in families and a reorientation of values since the recession. More meaning is being placed on the family as a unit, so marketers will have to get connected and stay connected with kids and parents.
A brand must demonstrate its value, showing parents it nurtures, educates, elicits their kids’ creativity, feeds their imaginations, reinforces positives or helps them to grow. Parents will gladly say “yes” to such a brand. All of this points to the marketer’s need to engage parents, not only their children.
Kids themselves are more sophisticated now than even a couple of years ago. They still watch plenty of television, and TV advertising is extremely influential on young kids and tweens. These groups make instantaneous decisions when exposed to advertising: they either want it or they don’t. And if the response is a positive one, kids “want it now” and they let their parents know it. As a result, marketers spend a whopping $15 billion on advertising aimed directly at children.
Besides TV, more kids are coming online and at an increasingly younger age. eMarketer projects that in 2011 20.2 million kids under the age of eleven will be online at least once per month. That’s just shy of 40% of this demographic. By 2014, an estimated 24.9 million, almost 48% of kids, eleven and under will be online. Since kids are tech savvy, they’re perfectly comfortable researching products and brands that interest them.  They’re also susceptible to online advertising. Since these kids communicate heavily with their friends online, they then become heavy influencers.
Besides this, access to the Internet with mobile devices continues to rise. While marketing to children under the age of thirteen is not allowed, kids are being handed parents’ cell phones to play games and listen to music. As they get older and parents give them their first cell phones, these kids, having grown up on the Internet, will use these mobile devices for more than communications. They’ll be online themselves and the target of marketing with the help of Amazon ppc management software and different technologies.
Tweens and teens are increasingly creating their own content online, influencing a wider circle of their peers as they do. Engaging tweens and teens on all communication platforms, especially social media, is a “must”. Marketers that make the effort to connect with these groups in new, inventive ways will reap significant rewards. These demographics and their friends can become true brand devotees.

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*Feature Photo Caption*

Panel of distinguished guests include: Patricia Hidalgo, Senior Vice President,  Chief Content & Creative Officer Kids EMEA and International Kids Strategy for Turner, Naeema Jiwani, Child Developmental Psychologist, Human Relations Institute, Geoff Sheffield, Director of Procurement and Licensing, RM Retail (Toy Store) and Ramzi Haddad, Managing Director for UAE, Qatar & Kuwait, Carat

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