Welcome to Generation Z - the generation that’s reshaping marketing and transforming advertising trends as we’ve previously known them. Gen Z, the new, intellectual, forward-thinking generation that’s succeeded the millennials. It’s estimated that this year, Gen Z stack up to an impressive 40% of the global population and they are currently the biggest consumers in the world, contributing the largest amount of overall consumer spending.
If you’re wondering why your latest marketing strategy hasn’t had the effects you were hoping for, it may just be because you’ve missed your biggest market. It’s time to rethink your ideas and freshen up your material - because Generation Z are calling out for new brands to engage with and yours needs to be one of them.
So, who are Generation Z?
Technically, the label applies to anyone born during or after the year 1997 but before the end of 2010. They are a demographic born into a digital age, where technology isn’t a privilege as it once was for millennials but instead, something they’ve always known. Research has shown that today children as young as three years old, are able to use voice recognition to control devices such as Amazon’s Alexa and are confidently familiar with touch screens and mobile phone use. The reality today is that an overwhelming number of children can use technology before they can spell their own name – and Generation Z are now young adults who have grown up knowing nothing else.
So, what does this mean for businesses and how do we effectively market to Generation Z?
The answer is simple – we first connect with them through the means of technology and then engage with them through creative digital advertising, social platforms and relatable marketing strategies that personally resonate with them. We evolve our marketing methods to match the minds of this new generation – a consumer base, completely enthralled in technology and its endless capabilities. Say farewell to traditional print advertisements and television commercials and welcome these new marketing opportunities that will effectively reach Generation Z.
Mobile optimisation has never been more imperative to marketing, with research showing an extraordinary 95% of Generation Z teenagers have access to their own smart phones. In fact, Generation Z are obsessed with their mobile phones, where they can spend up to ten hours a day connected to the internet. They’re using mobile phones for just about everything, from browsing through websites to scrolling through social news feeds and statistics show that Gen Z are twice as likely as Millennials to buy items and products through their mobiles. Considering that Generation Z are now the largest consumer base in 2020, optimising websites and e-commerce stores for mobile accessibility is a solid marketing strategy to increase interest, leads and those all-important sales conversions.
So, you’ve got them on their phones – but where next? You’ve got to get social with them. Generation Z use their mobile phones for several purposes, but not least of all, to keep up to date with their numerous social accounts. Actively present across a range of social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, it’s unsurprising that influencer marketing has become a key strategy for targeting Generation Z.
An impressive 41% of Gen Z social users favour Instagram for following brands they are interested in and are particularly engaged by influencer promotion as opposed to more traditional marketing methods. Celebrity endorsements, once popular amongst Millennials and the generations before them, are fast becoming a thing of the past with 70% of YouTube subscribers now claiming they feel influencers are more credible than celebrities. Influencer Marketing is on the increase and is now providing opportunities globally, for brands who want to make an impact on Gen Z.
There’s no denying that Generation Z are a smart demographic, continually on the look out for new, innovative advertising methods. But marketers’ need to act fast because with an average attention span of just 8 seconds, there’s a small window of opportunity to capture their attention and engage them with your efforts. Video content is perhaps the best and most effective way to target Gen Z as the majority can spend over three hours a day watching videos, online. Cisco estimates that video content will account for around 82% of internet traffic by 2022 and 56% percent of Gen Z share more video content than they do articles, or written information. It may well be time to put the pen down and get the camera out!
Be responsive on social.
Generation Z are full of social expectation and are very much considered an on-demand consumer. They’re bypassing traditional methods of contact and prefer to personally engage with brands and businesses through the means of social platforms. Features such as Facebook Messenger and Direct Message on Instagram are a popular means of communication for Gen Z. Outside of private messaging services, Gen Z are keen to engage with brands by commenting on social posts and reading online reviews, often taking the time to leave their own feedback. 72% of Generation Z want brands and businesses to respond to them via social media and statistics show they are almost three times as likely to invest in a brand if they do.
Become a leader in the industry.
Generation-Z have witnessed Millennials spend up to hundreds of thousands of pounds in Student loans and University fees. Keen to not fall into the same pattern of paying over the odds for an education to achieve the career opportunities they strive for, Gen-Z are believers in self-taught education. Statistics show that Gen Z are more likely than Millennials ever were, to bypass traditional college and university routes and instead, focus their time and attention on learning what they need to know via the internet and people already in business. They’re ready, and eager to leave school and immediately prosper in the world of work. One of the best ways to perhaps target the work enthusiastic Gen Z market is to become a leader in your specific industry. Gen Z are keen to know how to run a business and they want the inside scoop on what it takes to run a successful brand. Teach them what they want to know by regularly posting insightful blog posts, how-to-tutorials and informative videos and occasionally hosting workshops. Showcasing your own capabilities, skills and talents will undoubtedly grab their attention, lead to more interest and increase your audience potential.
So, there you have it – five trusted ways to engage with Gen-Z and take your brand to next level success. If you’d like a little help with your most recent marketing campaigns, the team at Ouma would love to hear from you.