future marketing trend - kid with iphoneImagine a kid using a smartphone or a tablet. They’re watching a video, or playing a game; they might be writing an email or a tweet. They’re sitting quietly, expertly performing tasks you found difficult at first. It’s not an unusual image, we see kids tapping away on mobile devices all the time. One question, how old is the kid you’re imagining?

The child I was describing was eight years old and according to a recent infographic released by MDGadvertising, that child is middle-aged compared to some mobile device users. The figures, based on various pieces of research into the ages of Apple device users, have implications for numerous future marketing trends.

The statistic that gives the biggest pointer for future marketing trends may also be the most surprising stat. According to theses figures, 10% of first time mobile device users are less than a year old. That figure on it’s own may not be entirely mind-blowing, most of us have seen babies in cafes subdued by a YouTube video or Netflix. But it does make you think, when you consider how old you were when you first used a computer. Or, to stick with the Apple theme, think about how old Steve Jobs was when he first used a computer.

Future Generations will Understand Tech Quicker than we do

It was already clear that future generations would be far more tech savvy than we are, but these figures indicate that they’ll be tech savvy from an incredibly young age. Future marketing trends will have to reflect the speed at which kids are adopting tech devices. The way children’s products are marketed was bound to change, but the speed of that change could catch some marketers by surprise.

This adoption of devices is being driven by the children themselves too. This isn’t a bunch of pushy parents trying to turn little Timmy into the next Mark Zuckerberg. According to the figures, 44% of children aged between 6 and 12 wanted an iPad for Christmas. That figure is probably less than the percentage of 20-40 year olds who wanted the same thing but it’s still a huge figure for a market that used to start and end with Buzz Lightyear.

One of the things that may be influencing this adoption of mobile tech may be the influx of iPads into schools all over the US. According to the infographic, there are 1.5million American students using iPads at the moment. The adoption of digital technology, particularly digital textbooks, is constantly growing.  Future marketing trends will not only reflect greater use of mobile by children, they will also reflect their use in education. Mobile devices will become technology that kids just grow up with, like TV or radio. They will become a key marketing tool.

Future Marketing Trends Won’t be Futuristic

When those kids eventually grow up, that usage of mobile technology will remain ingrained. So these figures point to more than the future of marketing for children’s products. Future marketing trends for all products and all demographics will center on mobile technology.

The community of the future will see tablets as old hat. They’ll think it’s totally natural to connect to their friends through social media while they sit at a café or wait for a bus. They will expect things to work with mobile devices. So when we market to future generations we need to understand those expectations.

Whenever you think about future marketing trends and mobile technology. Don’t think about how cool and advance your mobile app will be. Think about how normal ads on TV were when you were a kid; that’s what the future will look like to kids.