Millennials, millennials, millennials. This tech-savvy, game-changing group of spirited people that has everyone talking, once represented the world’s largest and most powerful consumer group. But not anymore. #ItCantBe #NoWay #YesWay. Like with all things, change was imminent. There’s now a growing force of new, all-powerful spend influencers out there who are dictating economic activities and collectively helping to drive the future of marketing. Meet Generation Z.
Born after 1997 and before 2012, Gen Z represents over 30% of the world’s population; approximately 2 billion people between the ages of 8 and 23 years old. But don’t let their ages fool you, for what they lack in years and personal financial assets, these young innovators more than make up for in influence – of culture, community, kin and all thing cool; important components that are proven to sway consumer buying activity.
In the US alone, Gen Z was responsible for influencing over $40 billion worth of spending in 2020; money that went on everything from cereal and school supplies, fashion and entertainment, to car brands, property and more. Brands that win this group over are those who understand what makes Gen Z tick and successfully build (and tweak) their business’ marketing strategies accordingly to appeal to the younger audience. Let’s examine some of what makes Generation Z special and how these demographic differentiators can help to increase brand awareness, relevancy, leads and sales.
Doing Things Digitally
Smartphones. Social networking. Wi-Fi. On-demand entertainment. Artificial intelligence. Generation Z is the first to be born into a time when all of this technology existed. True digital natives, they have never known any other world, with most of how they experience life and engage with the world done in digital spaces or facilitated through smartphone technology. Constant connectivity through social media is ingrained into their everyday lifestyle, making it essential for any business to market to them using these platforms and tools. Members of this generation prefer:
- Texts to email, and messaging apps to texting
- Communicating with emojis and GIFs
- Visual social platforms, such as Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat
- Spending more time on their smartphones rather than watching TV
While many businesses have embraced digital adoption, the process is not fixed. Technology updates and new innovations emerge constantly. Businesses that stay abreast of this and adjust accordingly are likely to connect with this market, with content and how it is delivered being a major determiner of how much audiences engage with your brand.
Quick and Effective Content
This is where things get tricky. You’ve got approximately 8 seconds to capture the average Gen Z’s attention. Relatable content that has relevancy and meaning works best – communicated in short and efficient ways that get messages across. The good news is that if you have an Instagram or Facebook business page, you can start marketing immediately, with the platforms built to deliver video and image content in snack-sized portions that audiences enjoy, with organic content staying on your feed indefinitely and paid media being consumed by audiences for as long as the budget allows.
Speak their Language
Listen to a group of young people talking amongst themselves and there’s a good chance you won’t be able to follow the entire conversation. It’ll be full of code words: Slang, abbreviations and acronyms you’ve never heard of. By the time you’ve caught up with the lingo that kids are using today, they’ll be happily speaking tomorrow’s dialect. So if you want to talk to Generation Z, keep your eyes and ears open as to how they speak and what they respond to favourably. Otherwise, seek out a good interpreter like Coffee Creative Studio that talks their talk for copywriting and communication assistance that gets your business and its products/services on their lips and social media timelines.
Sell the Experience, Nothing Else
What benefit does your product or service provide? The intangible feeling that comes from product purchases is a key driver behind why Gen Z chooses one brand over another. They don’t want to hear about why your product is so amazing; they want to know how it will benefit them; the enhancement to human life and the experience it can provide.
Video: The One to Watch
Video content is key. According to Wordstream, “YouTube is the first platform Generation Z turn to when they want to be cheered up or entertained.” One hour of video is uploaded to YouTube every second with more than 500 million hours of video watched on the platform every day. This equates to $15 billion in revenue generated each year for the platform, and billions more for thousands of brands that advertise on the platform. And YouTube isn’t the only place for video content. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter enable video content sharing (with resharing built in to extend post reach),via feed posts and stories, while websites with video content make a fantastic platform for sharing video content that can show up in Google search results.
Marketing to Generation Z is going to be completely different, in many ways, from marketing to other generations. However, with the right attitude, thinking and team in your corner to help your business understand this demographic and build content accordingly, opportunities to connect with them favourably are abundant.See related projects >