Digital diversity

Digital diversity

There is no one size fits all solution when it comes to planning a digital campaign for children, which reflects the digital and media behaviour of kids in multiple markets and stretched across age groups as diverse in their consumption and attitudes as 3 - 14 year old.

Despite the homogeneity which a label such as the "digital native" implies, kids' experiences of the digital world is shaped by parental attitudes, in turn determined by culture, economy, per capita income, geography and even politics, let alone such a cognitively divergent group of children as those aged 5-9 with 11-15 year olds.

I keep my finger on the pulse in the digital kids landscape using Kidz Global's trend tracking reports on Kids' Digital and Media, to give me up to the minute insights.

The latest Kidz Global Digital and Media reports, reveal that, whilst one might expect a trend of convergence in digital and media behaviour, fuelled by a digital and media industry dominated by a small cohort of global players, in reality, the uniqueness of nations still manages to hold on to its own influence, in digital trends today.

According to the Kidz Global Digital and Media reports, countries as close in proximity as Russia or Germany, Denmark or the UK, are nevertheless distinctive in their trends enough for brand marketers to still consider localising elements of their digital marketing programmes. More kids in Germany own a portable games player or music device than own a tablet, contrary to trends in Russia, where kids have access to fewer devices overall, and focus their attention on internet mobility - smartphones and tablets. Whilst kids in the UK are also more likely to have a mobile internet-enabled device, the role of the static family TV set also remains stronger in the UK than in most other European countries. 

Factors influencing these divergent digital trends:

  • Family and Community. In countries where extended family members have more involvement in children's lives or fewer single parent households, the digital babysitter is less relied on.
  • Digital Maturity. Parents are more liberal and less cautious the more accustomed to social or purchase transactions they are, be it in online shopping, apps or social media; the next stage in the lifecycle on digital media in their lives may, however, be to combat social media stress or screen fatigue. 
  • Application in Education.  In some countries, the official adoption by schools of digital devices and media, to provide educational content, takes it beyond being a skills-based part of the curriculum. It is rapidly becoming a relied upon source of curriculum content and a day-to-day, productivity tool for kids. This reinforcement by schools can hasten its prevalence in homes too as parents seek to promote their child's learning, but also and sometimes inadvertently opens up access to social media at a younger child age and reduces control of content on demand.

Sourcing data from the Kids' Digital and Media reports we understand those differences and the trends which could predict their continuation, from the most prevalent operating systems to the shared family occasion of digital content, the usage and penetration of digital devices amongst kids, the latest app downloads by age which would fall in to the competitor set of our clients product and the potential to work with educators and the school network.