Marketing to Generation Z

More than likely, you’re from a generation that remembers a time when smartphones and computers weren’t around. But the generation you’re marketing to can’t imagine what it was like back then. They were born with this ubiquitous technology at their fingertips. They’re known as Generation Z. 

Who is Generation Z?

Forbes categorizes Gen Z as “the generation after Millennials, Generation Z, which they defined as people born from the mid 1990s to the early 2000s, making up 25% of the U.S. population, making them a larger cohort than the Baby Boomers or Millennials.” The up-and-coming, tech-savvy generation is more receptive to social change, social media, and social commentary. Sensing a theme here? Generation Z-ers are the social butterflies of the century, but not in the traditional sense. They still socialize with face-to-face contact, but they absolutely thrive in the digital space. 

Generation Z is quick to absorb knowledge and even quicker to disprove it. Those who are a part of Generation Z are incredibly self-aware and aren’t afraid to take action regarding things they’re passionate about. The Atlantic states that “84 percent of [Generation Z] made a charitable donation in 2014, and 70 percent were volunteering for a favorite cause or charity.” Make sure you’re included in that group.

Know the Platforms

Traditional media channels are too slow for the digital age. Most Gen Z-ers get their news from Twitter, trending topics, Buzzfeed, etc. They spend more time watching Youtube than television and know more memes than any other generation.

They utilize Snapchat and other “quick” stories that allow for anonymity and short “bites” of information. They don’t want the nitty gritty details until they’re convinced that the 30,000 foot view will be worth the flight up. So make sure you’re succinct and to the point with your messaging.  

Use Every Resource

Advertisers typically garner 8 seconds of engagement or less before your audience moves on. With Generation Z, you should prepare for less. They are notorious for skipping ads, using adblock software, and finding ways to divert their attention elsewhere. If there’s an ad on television, they’ll switch their attention to their phone. If there’s an ad on their phone, they’ll switch to their tablet. So on and so forth. Make sure your message is enticing and most of all, engaging. Generation Z is least receptive to ads that are impersonal or do not evoke emotion for social change or self-betterment. Your message needs to make them want to do something. (See for reference: The Shia Labeouf “Just Do It” Meme)

Acknowledge and Validate

Generation Z is the most diverse, open-minded generation to date and they are going to change the world. They have the numbers and mental and emotional drive to do it. The sooner you embrace it, the better. If they don’t see you as genuine or feel that you don’t believe in them, you’ve lost them as an audience. This isn’t meant to scare you. In fact, the symbiotic relationship between your brand and your audience can be incredibly helpful. Tap into their passions. Generation Z has one of the loudest voices on social media. If they favor you, what they say about you will be beneficial to your branding. 

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By Jessica Yeh

Former Digital Marketing Specialist

Published on March 30, 2018