An overwhelming majority (89%) of all kids age 6-11 in the US spend at least some time doing online activities and – though many of their basic social activities haven’t changed much over the years – they have vastly different communication styles and preferences than older age groups, according to a study from Experian Consumer Research.
The Simmons Kids Fall 2007 Full Years Study found that because today’s kids have grown up in the age of online communication, networking, the internet, cell phones, digital music and digital cable, they have had different childhood experiences compared with other generations. This makes them more likely to react differently than their older counterparts to advertising and marketing initiatives.
The study also found that while kids may not currently spend much money, they are very likely to influence their parents’ purchasing decisions.
Overall survey findings:
Online Activities are Diverse
In terms of internet use, 89% of all kids age 6-11 use online computer services. Among this group of kids, the top activities are:
Kids age 10-11 are also more likely than younger kids to be socializing online through email, instant messaging or blogs. Members of this demographic are also starting to visit myspace.com and use search engines at much higher rates than younger kids.
Toys and Candy Still Top Spending List
The study finds that not much has changed over the years in what kids are spending their money on: Toys and candy are top items among both boys and girls.
Differences in Self Perception
The research also indicates that there are significant differences in the way different types of kids perceive themselves and act. Findings suggest that kids can be segmented into four different groups based on behaviors and attitudes about video game playing, online communications, the green movement and team sports. These groups are identified by Simmons as “Gamers,” “Little Greenies,” “Social Networkers” and “Team Players.”
About the research: Approximately 2,500 children between age 6 -11 are surveyed by the Simmons’ questionnaire each year. They are asked how much of a product they consume, the brands they like best and how often it’s in their homes-reflecting the amount of purchase influence they wield. Additional psychographic questions are asked about fashion, multiple media channels, money, parents, friends, self-image, the internet, media usage and much more.