Gen Z: Who Are We? 6 Tips For Marketing to a New Generation

October 17, 2019// Category: Digital Marketing // Author: Jenni Parcell

Group of cheerful friends spending fun time together

Hey! Gen Z here.

Who are we? No, we’re not just younger Millennials, or “Millennials on steroids​”. Nor are we merely selfie-taking, Instagramming fiends. We’re a brand new, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed wave of people born since 1995 or so. We are the ones currently obtaining our driver’s licenses, graduating from high school, attending college, and – most relevant to you today – getting jobs and spending our hard-earned money on YOUR products. We are just now coming into our own, establishing our brand loyalties, and becoming influencers in our own right. In other words, we’re the ones you need to start thinking about and catering to.

We are the first generation to have grown up with smartphones and Google. Sure, we might have vague recollections of dial-up modems and floppy disks, but the world we know moves at lightning speed and presents us with infinite amounts of information.

Our attention spans are even shorter than that of Millennials, at eight seconds versus twelve seconds respectively​. (We prefer to say that we’re not more easily distracted, but more selective and quickly discerning with our time.)

We continually share our lives on social media, but are also more careful about our privacy​. We’ve seen the consequences of oversharing and have learned from the mistakes of those who fumbled their way through MySpace and the early days of social media.

And believe it or not, we crave stability in our finances and our careers, much more so than Millennials. ​63% of us identify as savers as opposed to spenders, and 85% of us believe it’s important to find a job where we can stay for the long term​.

So what’s the point? Marketing strategies that worked for generations before ours may not be quite so effective on us Generation Z folks. We don’t want to be sold to, but we are open to discovering awesome brands that mesh with our worldview. So here are some tips for you on reaching out to us.

 

If you build it, we will come

We love shopping in stores! In fact, 81% of us prefer to shop in a real store versus online.​ So make it appealing for us as we Snapchat our way through your shop (seriously). We’re looking for fun experiences, live events, and in-store specials to attract us.

But don’t forget about your website

While we may prefer overall to shop in person, the Internet is still where we get all of our info and make many purchases, and we use our phones to do it. ​85% of us say that the mobile experience is the most important factor in making a purchase. Slow, clunky, cluttered, or broken websites turn us off immediately.

Socialize with us

We grew up on social media; it’s our online home and community, and we engage there not only with people but with companies. We are 59% more likely than the general population to connect with brands on social media​.

Here’s a secret: the best platform to reach us on is YouTube. We looooove YouTube, and really don’t care as much about Facebook​ as older generations do. Some awesome and snackable content on your YouTube channel will go a long way.​

Support our DIYness

You know what else we love about YouTube? We can learn just about anything! We are the DIY Generation; we’ve always had the world’s knowledge at our fingertips, and we know how to find it and use it. From fixing our cars to learning how to code to ​folding a fitted sheet, we’re eager to do the thing ourselves. 70% of us often use the Internet to research questions about the world we see around us. So if your content is not only awesome and to the point but useful as well, score another point for you.

Cut the BS

Everyone knows that Instagram influencers are a booming breed, but here’s why: they’re real people like us, showing real products used in their mostly-real lives. We don’t hold much stock with celebrity endorsements; ​63% of us prefer real people to celebrities in ads​. Inauthenticity has a funny smell to it, and we’ve got sensitive noses. So don’t be fake.

Help us change the world

We’re optimistic about the future, but we also know it’s gonna take work to get there. ​We’re willing to jump in and get our hands dirty; are you? Is your brand out there making a difference? Does your company care? If not, we likely won’t care about your company.

Thanks for listening! We’re ready and willing to work with you, if you’re ready to work with us.

Sincerely,

Generation Z

(Disclaimer: This article was in fact not written by Generation Z, nor a member thereof.)

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