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Insights From Our Team

Gen Z: How the Upcoming Generation Will Change the Way You Market

Posted by Chuck Hajj, Executive Director on Feb 1, 2018 10:03:00 AM


Look out millennials—there’s a new generation of buyers on the market.

Generation Z, or “Gen Z,” refers to anyone born between 1996 and 2010, and trust us: you want to get their attention. Gen Z is made up of approximately 2 to 2.52 billion people boasting $44 billion in buying power.

They may be young now, but over the next five to ten years, Gen Z will take over household spending in droves. Get their attention quickly—and keep it—by implementing a targeted marketing strategy. 

So how are brands reaching Gen Z? We have a few tips for attracting and converting one of the most profitable buyer demographics on the market today.


Know Gen Z’s Interests 

Gen Z has a few interests in common with millennials, but there are also some important distinctions that make Gen Z a unique audience for marketers.

Similar to millennials, Gen Zers are highly social both on and offline. Unlike millennials, they value spending time with friends and family when they’re not on the internet. They’ve never known a world without social media—they’re fluent in Snapchat and Instagram. They communicate quickly and often, meaning they’re eager to share products and brands they believe in.

Speaking of belief, Gen Z is eager to change the world. Sixty percent of them say they want to make an impact on the world, and roughly a quarter of them volunteer regularly. From a marketing perspective, it’s not enough for brands to be cool. For Gen Z, brands need to be good—morally and ethically.

Gen Z is hungry for a better world, sure, but they’re also just hungry. They spend as much money on food as they do on clothing, and when it comes to meals, they prefer fresh, organic, home-cooked meals.

Celebrities don’t hold the same appeal for Gen Z as they have for previous generations. Authenticity is key, and Gen Z prefers real people to celebrities when it comes to advertisements.


Understand Where to Meet Them—Online or In Person

Social media is a must for any effective marketing strategy today, especially for Gen Z. The peer-driven marketplace is the best way to reach them. Your marketing strategy should go beyond the traditional sales funnel and work in tandem with the loyalty loop.

Regardless of how engaging your campaign is, if your Gen Z buyers are directed back to a slow website, they’re not going to stick around. Digital efficiency is a high priority for Gen Z—60% won’t use an app or website that’s too slow to load.

Gen Z is always plugged in—they use an average of 5 devices per day—meaning there are more avenues to reach them, but also more competition to hold their attention. Creating an immediate connection is important, but maintaining engagement is vital to an effective marketing strategy.

That being said, Gen Z may start on your mobile site, but they’ll likely end up in your store if they plan on making a purchase.

Gen Z may be overwhelmingly mobile, but ultimately, they value brick-and-mortar. Surprisingly, 67% of Gen Z shops primarily in-store versus online. They may be mobile, but they primarily use the internet to research what they plan on purchasing in-person.

The Gen Z buyer journey begins online, usually on their smartphone—46% of Gen Z consumers in the US research purchases on mobile device before making an in-store purchase—so ensure that your online presence is comprehensive, efficient, and optimized for search engines.


Maintain Ongoing Engagement

When it comes to brand relationships, Gen Z values two things: participation and engagement. Modern marketing has evolved into a personalized experience for consumers—and Gen Z loves personalization.

As marketers, we strive to speak directly to our customer whenever possible, but for Gen Z, we want to shake their hand and introduce ourselves. They value responsive customer service and brand interaction. Always include opportunities for Gen Z to interact directly with your brand either online or in-person.

Interested in learning more about getting on Gen Z’s radar? We know exactly how to catch their eye. Get in touch with us today to discover how we target, reach, and convert Gen Z.

Topics: Marketing, Millennials