Move Over Millennials–Marketing Is Becoming All About Gen Z
Make Way For (And Prepare To Market To) The Mid-90s To Late-2000s Babies–Generation Z or Gen Z
With today’s millennials reaching a population of over 70 million in the U.S., it’s no wonder why marketers spend so much of their time focusing on this group. Afterall, they have proven to be an extremly lucrative market. Millennials hold the most buying power of any generation–for now that is.
Those who were born in the mid 1990s to late 2000s, categorized as Generation Z, are redefining society. Gen Z makes up the largest population segment at 25.9 percent of the total U.S. population, and by the year 2020 is expected to make up one-third of the U.S. population.
Generation Z is resourceful, innovative, future-focused, technologically savvy and educated. They’re growing up in an age where information is accessible at the touch of a button. They search for solutions on their own, and if they can not find a solution they make one themselves. They work towards goals and have grown up with uncertainty, making them realistic and practical.
Gen Z is the next wave of consumerism.
Generation Z itself spends roughly $44 billion a year. As they get older, they are making more of their own purchase decisions and becoming key players in big markets. Generation Z is also having an influence over the purchase decisions of their parents and those who provide for them financially. These combined powers make this group attractive to marketers, who must understand their behaviors in order to prepare brands for the future of consumerism.
Who Are These “Gen Z-ers”
Generation Z has changed the buying process. As a generation growing up in the digital age, they depend on technology for information, thus influencing companies’ increasing need for online marketing platforms.
Almost half of Generation Z spends 10 or more hours a day online. This poses a new opportunity for brands to connect with these consumers via ecommerce and through various digital media channels. Social media and email are dominant channels in facilitating brand communication, as 85 percent of Generation Z uses social media to learn about new products, and 68 percent use email according to a study conducted by Marketing Charts.
And How Can I Reach Them With My Marketing Efforts?
Social media is a standout marketing tool among this generation, with popular platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat that engage users with content relevant to their interests. Generation Z wants personalized experiences. They don’t want to feel like they are part of the mass, but as though they are an individual receiving one-on-one attention. Social media offers Generation Z this experience with the chance to customize their accounts by deciding what to post, and more importantly for brands, who and what to follow.
Brand messages must be customized to their platforms and audiences. Each platform serves a different purpose. For example, Instagram is used to show users’ aspirational selves, Twitter for quick news, and Snapchat for real-life moments. Brands must adapt their messages to the purpose of the platform. Appeal to their target audiences with a message that will resonate.
Generation Z wants their information to be short, simple, and to the point. They process information faster through quick interactions, giving brands only a few seconds to grab their attention. Brands must be able to condense their messages into brief blurbs while keeping their key points in tact and engaging.
A rising social media trend among Generation Z is the effectiveness of social media influencers. Real people, rather than celebrities or models. This generation is more practical and realistic than those past. Market Wired reports that 63 percent of Generation Z prefers seeing ordinary, everyday people in advertisements versus those with fame or extraordinary attributes. They want brands to be a reflection of them. This desire gives rise to YouTube and Instagram stars who Generation Z looks to for product information and reviews. Brands can use these social media personnel to leverage their status among their younger audiences.
Keep Up With The Times. Market To Gen Z Accordingly
As a generation that relies heavily on technology, Generation Z has changed the marketing game. As audiences change, brand communication must change. It is imperative that brands keep up with the newest trends in order to be effective in reaching their target audiences. Make sure you are targeting your audiences in the most effective way possible to benefit your brand.