Our #Kidtech podcast provides insight into the ever-changing world of kids digital media. SuperAwesome CEO Dylan Collins spoke with Michael Rinzler, EVP and Partner of the toy company Jazwares, to discuss how to successfully pilot the transition from linear TV to digital platforms, the evolving definitions of play, and the digital tools that make these upgrades possible.
Check out the highlights of their conversation below, and learn how to quickly improve your kids digital strategy with these three tips.
Earn kids’ attention by delivering your message in the proper context
“There’s a lot of new, interesting ways to engage and interact with customers,” said Rinzler. “Digital marketing, influencers, social media…that’s where [the kids audience is] at now.”
Rinzler does acknowledge the challenges presented by what can feel like too many options. “It was a lot easier [before] because the marketing mix for toys back then was, ‘All right, put this thing on TV’…there’s so much more stimuli out there, and so many different tactics that you can take,” said Rinzler. “There are not always easy answers. It takes a lot more careful planning today than it used to.”
Even with those obstacles, Rinzler encourages brands to embrace digital and reach kids where they are most receptive. “I think if you’re looking at it, just big picture, it’s a lot more, ‘Hey, less than half your [marketing/advertising] mix to TV,’ and a lot more going to digital, including social media and influencers…while you may not be able to measure it precisely, you are able to measure it and understand that it’s working.”
Learn from other brands how to differentiate yourself in the crowded kids market
With so many brands competing for the attention of the kids audience, Rinzler points out the popularity of Hollywood reboots aimed at younger audiences as an example of how to earn kids’ attention in a crowded market.
“Similar to the movies that you constantly see coming back and that are being remade, a lot of it is the same thing, just repositioned for a new demographic or marketed in a different way,” said Rinzler. “They figured out a niche, a way to stand out from the rest of the pack, a way to have a product that was differentiated enough to make people go crazy for it.”
Add gaming experiences to your kids engagement strategy
“Toys seem to follow tech,” said Rinzler, noting that toy companies were among the first to offer audiences interactive consumer experiences inspired by video games. In the future, “you will see more of an intersection between toys and games… and as technology continues to evolve in play, it’s much broader in terms of what that means.”
Rinzler believes that gamification will create a longer, more involved customer journey. “We see [the kids demographic] getting younger, but by doing things to interact more with the gaming side, I think that’s a way to extend it…that’s the precursor to seeing more true interactive experiences between the physical and the digital, as things continue to evolve.”