If you are involved in youth engagement or marketing to teenagers you will know that it is a difficult process and requires much more thought than simply selecting the ‘Graffiti’ font in Word.
With increasing pressures to demonstrate effective youth engagement and ROI across all activity, the engagement of young people is moving from the shadows of ‘CSR and non-core business’ to ‘funding-dependant boardroom-reporting importance.’
This means that whilst effective youth engagement is now business critical, the audience is still very hard-to-reach and for many people finding the time to do the job properly is impossible.
This is why you need a #TeenStrategy.
Align young people with your organisation
Address and overcome the barriers to engagement
Identify the most effective ways of reaching them (either directly or via third-party influencers such as schools, parents or youth organisations)
Today’s teenagers need a set of 21st century skills to equip them for the challenges ahead and organisations need a modern, up-to-date approach for reaching them. With traditional approaches no longer effective – organisations and departments need a team of youth experts with a suite of solutions at their disposal.
So how do you go make the leap from ‘doing it yourself’ to ‘getting somebody in’?
The first task is the hardest – overcoming the obstacles. Employing the services of a youth engagement agency is fraught with worries. “Will it look like I can’t do my job?” “What if they don’t deliver?” “Will it be another thing to manage?”. And then, even when you have addressed these issues you get to the question of “How much will it cost?” Phew, that’s a lot to think about. Probably the reason it gets put off until tomorrow!
A good youth engagement agency will be much more than having a spare pair of hands around the office. A good agency will provide you with access to a comprehensive set of professionals who will ensure that every aspect your product is working as hard as it can to engage young people. In terms of what they will do – they will fill in all the gaps you have between planning, delivering and reporting on the activity.
Engaging young people is a complex process and requires a great deal of planning and understanding. Young people are not a homogenous group. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes. How they will engage with your product will depend on a multitude of geographic and demographic factors. Spending time to understand this and incorporate it into your campaign will make a significant difference in how successful it is.
You can do it yourself, but when you are already clocking up 50+ hours/week the allure of a data analysis spreadsheet starts to lose its lustre. Adding new skills to your bow is virtually impossible when you are running just to keep up with the current workload.
So should you take the plunge?
If you think this article has described you then definitely. Most of our projects take 3-6 months to start from the first contact. All you need to do as this stage is find 10 minutes in your diary. Drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact details and a couple of lines outlining your requirements or alternatively visit our website at www.fourteen19.co.uk
Graham Sykes is the Head of Agency at Fourteen19®
Fourteen19® are exhibiting at YMS LDN - make sure you catch them there.