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Opinions from Rich Clark one of the UK's leading Marketing Professionals


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Teenagers Don’t Regularly Read Newspapers

Morgan Stanley Revelation

Well it seems to take a 15 year old boy to tell the corporate world the blinking obvious.  Matthew Robson a 15 year old school boy had a work experience stint at Morgan Stanley.  As part of his spell there he was asked to write a research paper on teens media consumption.

Now this isn’t a dig at Matthew Robson, or particularly at Morgan Stanley, but does it demonstrate a distinct lack of awareness at large corporations about online and other emerging media channels.  Matthew probably didn’t expect to become when he wrote a summary of what he and his mates thought.  Yet it seems his work hit the tables of analysts, investors and CEOs.

So what inspiration did Matthew afford to his six-figure salaried friends?  Well here are a few items:

Teens prefer streaming sites (e.g. Napster and Spotify) to regular Radio – as, wait for it, they don’t like adverts

Teens prefer Facebook to Twitter as it is seen as a better way to stay in touch – (apparently Stephen Fry isn’t cool for teens)

Teens also watch TV (a lot) but via internet rather than TV, so they can watch what they want when they want on channels such as iPlayer

Teens don’t buy newspapers, or indeed don’t buy CDs

Teens also find online advertising pointless

Well as I said, this is not against Matthew, I just think the stating of the blooming obvious really illustrates a lack of corporate understanding.  This lack of understanding is both lack of education of online and also most are so far out of touch with ‘youth’  the obvious becomes a breakthrough.  I just hope Matthew’s efforts opens the eyes of some corporations. 

I have thought of some other bright ideas that Morgan Stanley can get excited about:

Top 5 ideas

1. School boys like football and can often be found to wear replica football shirts

2. Very young children struggle to eat solid food, they prefer liquidised food which is easier to swallow

3. Kids enjoy sending text messages on their mobile phones

4. Children play games on their consoles

5. Girls and boys are different, as a result they should be treated differently when targetting products at them

Matthew is also quoted as saying that he is now considering a career in investment banking.  Matthew, I am not surprised, good luck.


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I can’t hear for all the Tweeting

Twitter.  Tweeting. Twits.  Whatever vernacular you use, there is know denying Twitter is gaining prominence as a media channel.

Fuelled largely by the growing exposure given to the site from celebrities such as Stephen Fry, Jonathan Ross, Philip Schofield and Chris Moyles.  Are you on Twitter?  What can you use it for?  What can you fit into 140 characters?

Whilst there is no doubt it is an easy to drop in and out of tool allowing you to communicate with friends are contacts, is it a really useful tool?  I have tried to keep my Twitter account  basic.  I don’t really want to add Tweet Decks, Twit Pics etc.  For me, that is the domain of Facebook.  I want to keep Twitter nice and simple.  Nice and tidy.  No doubt I am missing out and will probably take the plunge.

Does Twitter offer anything as a commercial medium?

In essence it can. It offers a free communication medium to enable brands to talk directly with target customers and prospects.  If a brand undertakes the correct strategy, it also enters into the realms of Vendor Relationship Management (VRM) – where users can choose which brands they like and endorse and share with friends.

However, if Twitter decides to charge (as has been mooted) is the channel strong enough to survive as a medium?  It will depend on how the charges are made and will the basics remain FOC?

My personal opinion is, although you can share latest offers, new releases, codes and discounts etc – you shouldn’t measure it on sales.  It should be measured on impact and shift in brand perception and opinion.

If anybody has any real success stories on Twitter or other Social Media, it would be great to hear from you.

Follow me on Twitter – Richard Clark

See what Dixons are doing on Twitter – DixonsOnline