According to Statista, Generation Z, commonly referred to as Gen Z, is the portion of the world’s population that was born after 1997. As of 2017, 90.55 million people were classified as members of Gen Z, making it the largest generation.
Each generation has its own unique characteristics, so what makes Gen Z different? This generation grew up in the height of the digital age and has little to no memory of a life without cell phones, computers or tablets. They are heavy social media users, which many researchers point to as the cause for their characteristically short attention spans. Additionally, according to Pew Research Center, they are on track to be the “most diverse, best-educated generation yet,” oppose older generations’ views that the U.S. is superior to all other nations and challenge gender and relational norms.
With an estimated buying power of $143 billion in the U.S. alone, this generation is an important audience to target. The question is, how?
- Focus on visuals
According to a Pew Research Center study in 2018, 85% of Gen Z members say that they use YouTube. Additionally, 35% say that Snapchat is their most commonly used app. From this information, we can deduce that Gen Zers consume a lot of video content – so use that to your advantage! Using GIFs instead of emojis or still photos on social media or creating a short video about your newest product will keep Gen Zers interested and engaged.
- Provide value
Early on, this generation was pegged as “the generation that would save the world” because of their environmentally conscious upbringing. Additionally, as the most diverse generation, Gen Z prioritizes social justice and equality. When marketing to Gen Z, keep this in mind. Connect with missions and organizations that align with your company’s mission, customers or brand. Any partnership should feel genuine, not self-promotional (Gen Z is quick to call out or “cancel” phonies). Invest in diverse leaders, employees and representation because Gen Z wants to see themselves – unique, diverse individuals – in your company and in the world.
- Be authentic
According to Deep Focus, 67% of Gen Zers are more interested in seeing real people in advertising compared to celebrities. Using microinfluencers with a specific audience or focus is a great way to reach your target audience. For example, using a travel blogger to promote a new brand of luggage organizers will reach a target market that already trusts the influencer and is more likely to trust their recommendation over a celebrity endorsement.
By tapping into the Gen Z market, you’re reaching a new set of consumers – some who are about to graduate college and others who are entering middle school. This tech-savvy population is our future and will shape the advertising, marketing and social media world as we know it, and we better prepare for it.