Who calls the shots in family purchasing decisions? These tech-savvy kids do.

By Rieva Lesonsky

Many marketers (and the U.S. Census Bureau) include today’s youngest kids as part of Generation Z. But Australian social researcher Mark McCrindle has redefined Gen Z, reports Advertising Age. Generation Z encompasses people born between 1995 and 2009, McCrindle says, while younger people are part of Generation Alpha (born 2010-2025).

Worldwide, about 2.5 million Alphas are born every week, says McCrindle, who believes, “Generation Alpha will be the most formally educated generation ever, the most technology-supplied generation ever, and globally the wealthiest generation ever.”

Ad Age says Gen Alphas are “marketing’s newest power brokers. Barely out of diapers, they’re already playing an outsize role in household buying decisions.” In its report  Understanding Generation Alpha, Hotwire says 81% of U.S. parents are influenced by their kids’ needs and habits when it comes to purchasing technology.

Some big brands are already targeting this market, some engaging with child influencers who have significant presences on Instagram and YouTube. Ad Age cited Ryan ToysReview, run by a 7-year-old, which has nearly 18 million YouTube subscribers.

Kids this age are watching less TV, but Ad Age says 22% of them are still influenced by ads. You can catch their attention by advertising on YouTube. If you want to market to Generation Alpha, Ad Age warns to be “wary of privacy issues, particularly with tech-enhanced toys or digital channels that collect data and could potentially violate the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.” COPPA “requires websites and other online providers to get parental consent before collecting personal information from kids under 13,” Ad Age notes.

Julia Moonves, VP of sales and business development at Pocket.watch, a startup that partners with young influencers on content and product development, told Ad Age, “Families are consuming, engaging and buying together.” Emma Hazan, who wrote the Hotwire report, told the magazine, “The tables are turning, and the kids are the decisionmakers, or at least very powerful [influencers].”

Alphas’ influence extends beyond tech, so if you market to families, as many restaurants and retailers do, your best bet is to include Generation Alpha in your marketing plans.

Gen Alpha stock photo by Alena Ozerova/Shutterstock