With millennials becoming the largest living generation in the United States, understandably a lot of focus has been placed on how to market to them. As important as that is, businesses should not ignore Generation Z in the process. While they are not yet in their prime in regards to buying power, they soon will be and are close in size to millennials. This makes them an important buying group which is why we want to share our Insider Tips for Marketing to Generation Z.
From a definition standpoint, Generation Z are people born approximately between 1995 and 2010. They have never known a world without the internet. That has been theorized to be the primary reason why this generations attention span is so much lower than other generations.
Insider Tips for Marketing to Generation Z
While some marketers lump Millennials and Generation Z together in the same category because of similarities, that can be a mistake. There are a few key differences between the generations that are important distinctions when it comes to marketing.
The three main differences are:
- Mobile internet – Gen Z have grown up with the mobile internet being commonplace. Due to this, their acceptance and usage of mobile devices are greater than any other generation. They also have very short attention spans, which requires marketers to grab attention quickly.
- Practical – More of this generation grew up during the recession which occurred in 2008. This directly impacted their lives which has created a more practical, sensible generation compared to generations that enjoyed more robust economic times.
- Brand preferences – Brand authenticity is more important to this generation compared to other factors. While Millennials might consider the values which a brand has or supports, Generation Z wants to interact with brands that are honest and real.
After considering these differences, it makes sense why specific strategies should be used when marketing at this generation.
- Sell the experience – Even at their young age, Gen Z has been inundated with advertising most of their lives because of their internet usage from such an early age. Due to this, they are a bit more immune to standard marketing methods. You simply can’t sell the product on the merits of the product. Instead, the focus needs to be the benefits of the product and how that will directly impact their lives. What experience will your products or services provide them?
- Connect with customers – As authenticity is very important, it is critical to take the time to connect and engage with Generation Z customers regularly. That means interacting on social media platforms, providing customer service on review platforms and social media platforms, and running campaigns focused on connecting first rather than selling. If a customer base in highly comprised of Gen Z, the customer service department needs to include social media platforms as a point of contact as this generation will use Twitter and other social platforms to voice complaints.
- Utilize influencers – Social platforms such as Instagram are highly utilized by Gen Z and as such provide a good location to market from. Rather than focusing on direct brand marketing, the use of smaller influencers has been very effective in connecting with this group. Those influencers with 100,000 subs or 50,000 subs can engage their viewers much more easily than standard advertising because they are more relatable to Gen Z. This might seem counter-intuitive compared to using an influencer with a larger following, but remember, authenticity is very important to them and when influencers get too large, they naturally lose some of that “realness”.
- Focus on video content – Anyone who is a parent with a teenager will confirm this; video is the primary method the younger generation uses for entertaining content, learning about things, or developing skills. While YouTube is the primary platform for this, video content on other platforms generates millions of views by Generation Z each month.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that Generation Z is a very viable market already and will only grow as they age into their prime. Our insider tips for marketing Generation Z showcases the differences between them and millennials. This should be accounted for when creating campaigns and designing plans so that they are as effective as possible.