Blog

How To Market To Generation Z

Madison Taylor Marketing

Topics: Strategic Marketing

For a long time, “millennials” has been a catch-all term for young people. Millennials were the youngest group that marketers had to worry about. But now, millennials are growing up. The youngest of them are out of college now, entering their mid-20s.

The youngest generation to enter the world of consumer goods is Generation Z. The general consensus is that Gen Z was born between the mid-1990s and the mid-2000s, but generations have no hard and fast start and end dates. So who are Gen Z? And how do you talk to them?

Who Are Generation Z?

Gen Z are a larger piece of the US population than Boomers or millennials, constituting 25 percent of the population. They’re also the most racially diverse generation in the US — only 54 percent are Caucasian, as opposed to 76 percent of the general population.

Gen Z have seen their parents grow up in a tough economic climate — burgeoning personal and student debt, the aftermath of the Great Recession, a difficult housing market, and an unforgiving employment environment. As such, they’re more concerned about student debt and the income gap than their parents were before them.

Gen Z have also never lived in a world that didn’t have the Internet in it. From a young age, they’ve been exposed to advancing technology, mobile phones, smartphones, and computers in both work and school. They don’t remember dial tones, dial-up internet, or payphones.

Gen Z and millennials are both early adopters of new technology, and their behaviors with respect to digital, social, and mobile technology are very similar. But Gen Z is far more concerned with privacy than millennials are, and take much more care to manage their online reputation.

Come to Terms With Generation Z’s Buying Power

Don’t write off Generation Z just because they’re in their teens and early 20s — according to Forbes, Gen Z is bringing about $44 billion in spending power to the table. By 2020, Gen Z will constitute 40 percent of the population.

With that many people and that much money to spend, you can’t afford to wait on marketing to Gen Z. That doesn’t mean you should abandon your current strategies toward Boomers and Millennials — they’re not going anywhere anytime soon — but you need to start dedicating your attention to Gen Z sooner rather than later.

Say Goodbye to Traditional Marketing

Gen Z buyers want to feel that they can relate to the person behind the camera. They don’t want to feel sold to — they want to feel related to. That means that paid actors, stock photo models, and flashy advertising are likely to just bounce off them.

Instead, Gen Z buyers want to feel that the companies selling to them understand their struggles and share in their beliefs and values. They want to buy from peers — even strangers on social media whom they can empathize with are better spokespeople than talking heads on TV.

Use Content to Tell a Story

It won’t be enough to simply tout the empirical benefits of your product to Gen Z buyers — you’ll need to take a storytelling pitch that explains how your product or service can help them. The tricky part is that you don’t have much time to tell that story. For Generation Z, you’ve got about eight seconds to grab their attention.

Luckily, technology has come along for the ride. Snapchat and Instagram stories allow you to break your marketing down into bite-size chunks, telling stories one simple piece at a time. If the first short clip grabs their attention, they’ll watch the next. If they like that one, they’ll keep watching.

You can tell a longer story about a more complex product or service, but you have to adjust your strategy. Gen Z buyers aren’t reading hundreds of words of copy on a website to find out if your product meets their needs, they need the information right up front.

Set a Good Example

60 percent of Gen Zers want to positively change the world through their work, and they hold the companies they buy from to the same standard. They want companies to be environmentally conscious, use fair labor practices, donate proceeds to charity, and contribute to their communities.

Obviously, Gen Z buyers can’t hold every purchase they make to that high bar — they buy from the same massive conglomerates that the rest of us do. But the thing to keep in mind is that they do care — showing them that your brand is responsible and has a mission and a purpose is a real value proposition to them.

Marketing to Gen Z, just like marketing to millennials, will be a paradigm shift that a lot of companies have trouble adjusting to. But if you’re willing to put in the work to understand your new customers, you’ll be rewarded with their loyalty, their strong social networks, and their buying power.

Next Step

Your company’s marketing should be the secret sauce, ever elusive unicorn, and magic bullet that your company has been waiting for. Bottom line, it should be bringing you that money.

Strategic Marketing Inbound Marketing
Blog
Transparency In The Age Of Data — Getting Your Customers To Trust You

You’ve heard the buzzwords all over the internet in recent months and years: transparency, privacy, data protection, ...

Blog
What You Can Learn From Marijuana Marketers

Marketing isn’t easy for anyone — trying to drum up attention for your business, find the right people to talk to, ...

Blog
Marketing Success Is About More Than Luck

Sure, everyone gets lucky sometimes. The stars align and it turns out your little idea resonates with people, and ...

Blog
What Is Market Targeting?

Market targeting isn’t completely new on the scene, but lots of businesses have been slow to adopt it. Think of market ...

Blog
Why Were So Many Super Bowl Commercials About Robots?

Robots are nothing to worry about. At least, that’s what this year’s Super Bowl commercials would have you believe. No ...

Blog
How To Determine Your Core Differentiators

For your business to be successful, it needs to stand out. You need to have an answer to the question, “why you?” ...

Blog
Our Top Marketing Takeaways From CES 2019

Every year, CES wows reporters and consumers with promises to “disrupt” this industry and become “the Netflix of” that ...

Blog
The Sales Flywheel — Rethinking the Sales Funnel

The sales funnel has been around for decades, and it’s been the go-to visual metaphor for the sales process for ...

Blog
The Rise Of The Marketing Technologist

There was a time when marketing and IT were separate areas of any business. Marketing was about the creative process of ...

Blog
Forget About Leads — Focus On Existing Customers Instead

Ok, don’t forget about leads entirely. But chances are, you’re spending too much time and energy on trying to attract ...

Blog
Just Because You Can Measure It Doesn’t Make It a KPI

Key Performance Indicators — KPIs for short — are the backbone of any marketing initiative. You can’t tell if your ...

Blog
How Generation Z Makes Buying Decisions

First of all, who are Generation Z? Obviously, the lines between generations are blurry and always have been, so it’s ...

Need More Help? Talk to the Experts.

Contact Madison Taylor Marketing