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Generation Z: How to market to the young generation?

Generation Z: How to market to the young generation?

When planning and strategising any marketing campaign, it is important to pinpoint and target your intended audience/consumers. One of the most elusive consumer groups to target is Generation Z.

A lot of this is down to this particular generation being relatively young and untapped but there are other factors that make it difficult to target Generation Zers. We will be taking a look at why Generation Zers are so hard to market to and some potential avenues of hope for digital marketers in this aspect. 

Make no mistake, Generation Zers are an incredible opportunity for marketers: Gen Z’s estimated buying power was estimated to be $143 billion in 2019 and this is just in the US alone. 

Who is defined as Generation Z?

Generation Z is defined as anyone born between 1997 and up to and between 2012 and 2016. If you’re older than 24, you would be seen as a millennial rather than a Generation Zer.

They are also reported to be the largest demographic grouping in the world, totalling 32% of people of the world. Every marketing strategy has to take into consideration Generation Z and below we will be taking a look at the best ways to market to them.

Generation Z have developed digital immunity

Generation Z are the first generation to not have lived a life without the internet existing. As they have grown up with social media, tablets and the internet, Generation Zers have built up an immunity to digital and direct marketing tactics due to constant exposure. They have learnt about life with the digital landscape as a firm section of that and, if anything, they understand the virtual space better than those paid to manage it.

This means that if you want to break through to the Generation Zers, you have to either speak through a conduit they respect or learn and respect their language or be shunned as a result.

Generation Z value climate change

Generation Z are also the age group most interested and aware of climate change. The influence of climate change activist Greta Thunberg goes to show that brands have to be environmentally and socially conscious in order to attract Generation Zers. You have to get your messaging and your brand’s actions right otherwise Generation Zers will see straight through your PR talk.

Generation Z are not brand loyal

Gen Zers are not brand enthusiasts and very rarely stay brand loyal. If brands are slow to follow up on their promises or are timid in their engagements then Gen Zers will switch over. Gen Zers gravitate more to brands that collaborate and participate in events and challenges with their audience. They also don’t respond to direct-sales but rather to indirect marketing. If they can see they are being advertised to then Generation Zers will turn their attention away.

Gen Z’s social platform of choice?

70-74% of Generation Z members have had a social media profile since the age of 12. Social media has to be a key part of the strategy. You must understand which apps and social media channels are most commonly used by your target audience. The most used social media amongst Gen Z are TikTok, Snapchat, Reddit and Twitch. In fact, 41% of users on TikTok were defined as aged between 16-24. 

This is what we mean by being able to monetise and convert Generation Zers. You have to use the right platforms and the right content or they simply will not care. 

According to Google, 85% of Gen Zers use video when researching products. This backs up the findings regarding TikTok but YouTube is the most visited platform for Gen Zers when looking for entertainment. YouTube and TikTok must be a major part of your marketing strategy.

Gen Zers have a short attention span

Millennials have a reported attention span of 12 seconds. What’s crazier is that Generation Z has an even shorter attention span with just 8 seconds. This means you have to make sure you front load your content and social posts in order to engage from the very beginning. 

A clear example of this playing out in online content is the new, rather annoying, trend of posting film trailers with a 5-second short trailer attached to the beginning. These film companies know that they can’t front load their trailers with company logos or even ease their way into telling a short story. They have to sell the film in 5 seconds for the Gen Z viewers, whilst the rest of the trailer is for older audiences.

In conclusion

Marketing for Gen Zers means understanding that they cannot be fooled as they are tech savvy, with a hint of digital immunity, and quick to ditch brands for competitors. They have a short attention span and value socially conscious content more than any other age group.