Just as businesses finally get the hang of marketing to Millennials, Generation Z makes its debut in the consumer market. Born between the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, this group of teens and young adults are the first generation to grow up with easy access to technology and therefore, have a very different perspective of it compared to previous generations.
Generation Z, or Gen Z, is radically diverse, entrepreneurially-driven, concise and extremely visual. They are altruistic and concerned about issues in the world. They communicate through photos and videos and multitask across devices and platforms with ease. While this generation may be young, according to Forbes they are expected to account for nearly 40% of the consumer markets by this year with up to $143 billion in buying power. If you haven’t already begun marketing to Get Z, now is the time to get started.
How Do I Market to Gen Z?
Marketing to Gen Z is very different than marketing to previous generations. Since Gen Z spends so much time on the Internet and digital devices, marketers should focus on mobile platforms and create content that is authentic, intentional, interactive and visual in order to reach this powerful new consumer base.
Raised in the era of fake news, Gen Z is often distrusting of big businesses and its willingness and ability to act in society’s best interest. They are perceptive and skeptical of flashy sales tactics, manipulative messages and unrealistic content. Instead, they value content that is authentic and sincere. They want to see real news, real people, real products and real initiatives from businesses.
To connect to Gen Z, marketers should show the human side of their business’s through their social presence. Instead of gimmicky, impersonal messages, businesses should create authentic messages using real pictures, real videos and real customer experiences. Businesses can highlight local vendors, provide customer testimonials or feature individuals within the community or company that make a difference. The tone of the message should be more casual and conversational rather than formal and informative.
Share Values and Mission
Part of being authentic and relating to consumers on a more personal level involves showing care and concern for their values. Gen Z is incredibly vocal about important issues that concern them and others around the world. As a generation of activists, they have an expectation for businesses to be conscious about these issues and have a high level of respect for those that do.
The first step for businesses wanting to connect to Gen Z’s values is to share their own. Businesses should be vocal about their story, values and mission and share that information regularly through social media. If a business’s mission includes working on initiatives towards a particular issue or cause, that information should be made known as well. This allows Gen Z to see the business’s personal side and lets them know that they are a company that cares.
Growing up surrounded by various forms of multimedia and easy access to it, Gen Z is accustomed to receiving information quickly and effortlessly. They prefer posts to be short, sweet and straight to the point so that they can move on to the next post.
Photo and video content are emerging as one of the most popular forms of media, especially among Gen Z. Luckily for marketers, apps like YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat, as well as app features like Instagram Stories, are an effective way to connect with this younger generation. These apps’ photo and video sharing features allow marketers to post attractive photos or video content that interest Gen Z and can be easily seen shared. Their short-form layout also allows for the creation of more personal and authentic messages that Gen Z users can easily connect to.
Different Platform, Different Purpose
Being the digital natives, Gen Zs are extremely social media savvy and use social media differently on different platforms. They showcase themselves through photos on Instagram, they scroll through quick news on Twitter, they share real-life moments on Snapchat, and they acquire information on Facebook.
Because of Gen Z’s specific use of media platforms, it’s important for marketers to understand that Gen Z can’t be advertised to the same way across all platforms. Instead, marketers should focus on platforms individually and create engaging content tailored to each. Considering Gen Z is the first mobile-first generation, businesses will want to begin this process from a mobile-first standpoint. Businesses must focus on content from a mobile perspective, as well as individual social media strategy from the beginning.
Gen Z doesn’t want to feel marketed to, but rather be part of the marketing effort. Gen Z is known for being active social media users and they enjoy interacting with others online. Their creativity, eagerness to share and entrepreneurial spirit makes Gen Z great candidates for influencing businesses and creating user-generated content.
The best way for brands or businesses to include Gen Z in their marketing efforts is to take advantage of interactive features on social media sites. Features such as polls, quizzes, comments or asking users to respond with their own user-generated content are great tools for businesses looking to reach Gen Z consumers. This provides Gen Z with the creative control they love while also building their relationship with the business. These interactive elements can be easily integrated through features like Instagram Stories or Twitter.
Ready to target Generation Z and evolve your marketing efforts? Let the Denim team know! Call at 770-383-3360 or contact us today to learn how you can best prepare and market your business to this new consumer group.