When it comes to marketing to different generations, it’s Millennials that receive the lion share of attention – but things are changing, and there’s a new generation coming of age.
Generation Z are the new kids on the block, and you’d be foolish to ignore them.
In this article, we’re going to touch on who Generation Z are, what characteristics and traits they possess and how to map out some vital strategies to market to them.
What is Generation Z?
The term ‘Generation Z’ is used to describe the generation succeeding Millennials, and are also sometimes known as:
- Homeland Generation
Although there is no specific age range, it’s generally considered that Generation Z includes those born during the mid-90s through to the early 2000s.
Essentially this means that Gen Z are today’s teenage generation and those in their early 20s. Which also means that the oldest members are now going to university, are just graduating or in full-time employment.
This is the key thing to remember from a business perspective.
It means that this generation is now starting to increase their earning power, which means they are becoming financially independent.
No matter what niche your business operates in, Gen Z offers a massive opportunity for your business to continue to grow with a brand-new generation of consumers.
Why Gen Z Matters for Your Business
In addition to this, it’s reported that Generation Z has $44 billion in buying power. However, when you consider their influence on their parents spending and the increasing number of home purchases, this figure is likely to be far higher.
In other words, you can’t undervalue the increasing influence of Generation Z.
Gen Z Marketing Strategies
So now you know who Gen Z are, and why they’re essential to your continued business growth, we need to explore how you can go about marketing to this latest generation.
1) Define Your Purpose
Generation Z care about social causes.
They’re very aware of environmental, political, and socio-economic issues that the world is facing at any given time. It’s for this very reason that 53% of those belonging to Generation Z prefer to buy environmentally friendly products, according to Nielsen.
In addition to this, a recent Google study found that teens are looking for brands which represent their values and expectations, rather than those just looking to make money.
Any business that fails to realise this is at serious risk of letting this generation pass them by entirely.
As a business, you need to clearly pinpoint your core values and find some way of giving back to your community and society as a whole. Once you’re able to communicate this clearly, your business becomes a more attractive prospect.
2) Entrepreneurial Values
The latest generation grew up in the centre of a worldwide recession, in some cases they would have witnessed the collapse of the economy and maybe even family members losing their job.
These days, there’s no such thing as a secure job, at least not in the way it used to be for older generations. Gen Zs are all too aware of this, so it’s no surprise to discover that much of the Gen Z population are looking to create something for themselves. According to an Entrepreneur infographic, 41% plan to start their own business in the future.
Despite an increasing distrust of formal education and a complete dismissal of the idea of ‘job security’, more than half of Gen Z believe they’ll make more money than their parents.
So what does this tell you?
This means your audience is very interested in the idea of running their own business, so take them behind the curtain and show them what makes yours tick on a day-to-day basis.
The entrepreneurial qualities of self-empowerment, determination, resilience and positivity are all key attributes for you to put across to this young audience.
3) Generate Loyalty Through Authenticity
For almost any business, customer retention should be a large part of a strong business development strategy. As any good business owner knows, it is five to twenty-five times more expensive to generate a new customer than to keep an existing one.
However, there is a catch: Generation Z may be trickier to keep hold of than any generation that has gone before it.
Just take a look at this graph from Statistica:
It tells us that brand loyalty is more fickle among the new generation and they are less likely to stick to a brand than Millennials.
So if you’re looking to keep Gen Z customers, you need to work far harder.
One of the best ways to do this is to generate loyalty through authenticity, which basically means encouraging interaction through open and honest means.
These statistics below tell their own story:
- Gen Zs will share twice as much positive feedback than negative on a brand
- 53% state that their favourite brand can understand them as an individual
- 76% want brands to respond to their feedback – this responsiveness is viewed as a metric of brand authenticity
- 62% find themselves relating to brands that they define as cool or fun
All statistics sourced from GenZInsights.com
If your brand is to succeed with keeping the attention of Gen Z, you need to be creating opportunities to respond and engage with them wherever possible.
4) Improve Mobile Experiences
Unsurprisingly, recent statistics from Hero Smyth revealed that 98% of Gen Z own a smartphone, and 52% of them report that their smartphone is their most important internet device.
These days, teens are more likely to acquire their first smartphone, far younger than any other generation. And part of this appeal in the main, according to Marketer Mark Dolliver, is the fact that a mobile phone is the first expensive item they’re likely to own.
This unsurprisingly means that 75% of Gen Z’s prefer to do most of their shopping online, mainly down to the fact that it’s convenient.
Having a website that is optimised for mobile devices, loads quickly, includes plenty of visual and audio-visual media and is super simple to use is now more important than ever.
5) Understanding How They React to Social Media
Understanding how Gen Z interacts with each social platform is a crucial step if you’re hoping to create content that resonates with this audience since each platform is used for different purposes.
For example, as an article on Killer Visual Strategies, explains:
- Instagram is used to showcase their aspirational selves and discover new brands
- Real-life moments are shared on Snapchat
- News is found on Twitter
- Information is gathered using Facebook
It’s important to keep this in mind when creating social media content, as there’s a chance it may not have quite the same impact that you’re hoping for.
6) Create Bite-Sized Content
The constant flow of news and online content is beginning to take its toll on our younger generations.
The attention span of a Millennial is thought to be about twelve seconds. For Generation Z, that figure is significantly lower at only eight seconds – which, believe it or not, is actually less than a goldfish’s attention span.
This means, due to impatience and the desire for constant stimulation, Generation Z dislikes non-skippable ads, pop-ups and long-form content.
So when it comes to creating video ads for this demographic, try YouTube bumper ads, which are confined to 6 seconds.
Also, try to avoid creating extended pieces of content aimed at this audience, as they are far less likely to engage with it.
These days, bite-sized content is the most popular way to consume content – that is why channels like Snapchat and features such as Instagram and Facebook stories are now so popular.
These channels are particularly useful because this generation has grown up with video, so pay close attention to video marketing when targeting them.
7) Work with Influencers
Influencer marketing is growing as an increasingly powerful way to build on your brand, and it’s a great way to market to Generation Z.
The excellent news for businesses is that influencers are more accessible than ever nowadays – micro-influencers even more so.
Reach out the influencers in your niche and offer them free samples: one for them, and more for them to giveaway to followers or review.
This way, you can tap into the trust that Gen Z places on influencers by putting your products in front of the people who matter.
There’s no doubt that Gen Z is the next big business opportunity, for companies of all shapes and sizes.
They have a spending power that will only increase as more of the Generation enters the workforce.
When marketing to them, remember these key messages:
- They care about making the world a better place, and their buying habits reflect this
- They yearn for authentic interactions, which is why you need to focus on relating to them on a personal level and show them how your business works
- Attention spans are dwindling, which means you need to focus on creating bitesize content, such as Snapchat videos and Instagram stories