4 Tips for Marketing to Generation Z

Category: Business Advice

Maybe you’ve got an ingenious new product or service, and you’ve just begun mapping out how you’re going to speak to your audience. Or perhaps you’ve been in business for a while, and are starting to think that your marketing tactics could be more targeted.

A strategy including both traditional marketing (like print, broadcast, or direct mail) and digital marketing (think anything digital, such as social media ads or email campaigns) casts a wide net to drive traffic and conversion, right? But who is your marketing speaking to? There’s one audience that you definitely don’t want to overlook: Generation Z.

Not only are they the largest subgroup in the US (26% of the total population), it’s estimated that by the end of 2020 they will account for over one-third of the U.S. population.

Ok, let’s take a step back. Who exactly falls into the “Zoomer” group (yes, Gen Z is also called Zoomer. I checked). Here are the facts on who makes up what generation:

visual representation of Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y, Generation Z

Baby Boomers: People born from 1944-1964. Currently 55-75 years old.

Generation X (aka Gen-X): People born from 1965-1979. Currently 40-54 years old.

Generation Y (aka Millennials): People born from 1980-1994. Currently 25-39 years old.

Generation Z (aka Gen-Z): The newest generation, and the generation after Millennials. People born from 1995-2015. Currently 4-24 years old.

Gen Z has a ton of buying power. Seventy-five percent of Generation Z spends more than half of the money available to them each month. Gen Z is also extremely persuasive within their families and social circles, and influence 70% of family food purchases and 80-90% of other purchased items.

Because of this, it’s important to start thinking about how to establish meaningful relationships with Gen Zers now. Here are 4 things to consider when pulling together your next campaign:

Gen Z was digitally raised.

Forget about sending them a postcard in the mail. This group communicates mostly through social media and texts. They are the first consumer to have grown up solely in the digital space. On average, they got their first cell phone by their 12th birthday (I didn’t get mine until freshman year of college, and it was a flip phone, with no screen on the front #techsavvy). But they’re not dialing up to access the internet, it’s all done on their smartphone, so if your content doesn’t work on mobile, it may not get seen as much. Easy mobile experience is the most important element for making a purchase.

Gen Zers are truth seekers.

Drop the facade. Do away with labels. Gen Z is extremely progressive and sees racial/ethnic diversity as a good thing. They are purposeful and conscientious with their spending and consume as a way to express individual identity. Almost four out of five of Gen Z trust a company more if the images they use are not Photoshopped and 84 percent trust a company more if they use actual customers in their ads.

Make it personal.

Gen Z won’t buy your product or service just because it’s considered “cool” and they don’t respond well to companies that don’t customize the experience. This generation has grown up with personalized offerings (think Spotify playlists or Netflix show recommendations). Personalized service only comes from knowing and understanding each individual customer. Personalized service means a real relationship, not simply putting their name at the top of an email.

Be honest and transparent.

Gen Z can smell if you’re just trying to sell them something, and it’s a big turn off. Make sure that when you are brainstorming ideas for marketing, you have a diverse team that listens to and is part of the online conversation. Gen Zers will mobilize for all kinds of causes and think it’s important to defend causes related to their identity. Is there a cause your company cares deeply about? A charity where you donate a part of your profits? A volunteer initiative that your employees participate in? Share it! Gen Z puts their money where their beliefs are and vote with their dollars.

Bottom line, Gen Z is a consumer powerhouse, and their influence will continue to grow in the coming years. With your marketing efforts, try to focus on building authentic relationships and going where they already are. In doing so, you’re engaging with a savvy consumer base that will remain loyal in the years to come.

Author Credit:
Naomi Oriol is a Customer Experience Specialist with over seven years in her profession. Her expertise include customer experience design, service recovery, quality and training, customer insights, self-service programs, leadership, and project management.

Resources:

Are You Ready for Gen Z? – Forbes

Under Employers’ Gaze, Gen Z Is Biting Its Tongue On Social Media – NPR

Generation Z News – Business Insider

On the Cusp of Adulthood and Facing an Uncertain Future: What We Know About Gen Z So Far – Pew Research Center

‘True Gen’: Generation Z and its implications for companies – McKinsey & Company

15 Effective Ways Marketers Can Connect with Generation Z – Forbes

Everything Social Marketers Need to Know About Generation Z – Hootsuite