How Adult Children Influence their Parents’ Growing Technology Demand
With the holiday season upon us, new technology is high on everyone’s wish list. For example, I previously explored “Why iPad is #1 on Kids’ Wishlists.” According to eBates.com 2014 survey, teens want tech gear, with 6 out of 10 wishlist items focusing on technology. Meanwhile, adults are looking for tablets, laptops, headphones, and wearable tech like the Samsung Gear smart watch.
This means there will be a lot of new tech to get ‘up and running’ over the holidays.
Enter the family Tech Doctor. The family tech doctor is the person in the family who is called upon to get the tech working (and to fix it when it breaks). As I was chatting with a friendly Apple Genius during my Genius Bar appointment, he pointed out:
“When we get together with family over the holidays, everyone asks me all their tech questions. It reminds me of how the doctor in the family always gets asked all the health questions. And since I work in technology, I get these questions throughout the year, particularly from my mom.”
Many parents, especially moms, save up their tech questions for their adult child’s return home for the holidays. Nathan Cullen, a 35-year-old software engineer, adds:
“Usually, around Thanksgiving, my mom will ask for gift recommendations on gadgets for my dad. I’m careful to recommend only the best tech because I want them to be happy with it, and if they have problems with it, I’ll have to fix it. Because of my background, they place a lot of trust in my suggestions.”
Family Tech Doctor Lynn Lipsig, age 46, concurs:
“Even though I am not a technology professional like an Apple Genius, I’ve always been interested in figuring out how to get things to work. I’m the first one my parents call when they have a question or for advice on which product to buy. At work, I frequently help colleagues optimize their tech and make recommendations.”
Both Lipsig and Cullen provide instances of influencing their parents’ tech purchase decisions. Lipsig convinced her parents to try Apple TV and to switch to a more user-friendly universal remote control. Cullen educated his parents about the new iPhone options, and his dad upgraded to the larger, more expensive iPhone 6 Plus.
Make the Family Tech Doctor Part of Your Market Strategy
What does this mean for tech brand targeting and market strategy? Family Tech Doctors are highly influential and thought should be given to maximizing their loyalty, especially as adult children affect (and sometimes make) their parents’ tech purchase decisions. Smart tech brands will help with Tech Doctors’ technology outreach efforts and perhaps smooth the process of educating family and troubleshooting their issues.
For the Tech Doctor, recommending a technology is more than a simple referral. It’s a commitment to setting up the device, educating family members on its use and handling future troubleshooting issues. This process is the definition of brand ambassador, so this holiday, tech brands would be wise to set out their cookies for the Tech Doctor instead of Santa Claus.