Marketing To Gen Z: What's The Difference

Who is Gen Z?

Born between 1995-2015, Gen Z are also known as post-millennials, or IGen. They make up roughly 25% of the population and are well known for being the highest consumers of media and electronic devices. Most of Gen Z received a mobile device at around age 10 or 11. This makes them unique because they are the only generation to have been immersed into the technological age from birth.

Gen Z is thought to be a generation that will learn from Gen X in their mistakes with finances, and also benefit from their parent’s ability to lean in and put into practice self-care and knowledge surrounding mental health awareness. 

When it comes to who Gen Z is, we are of course still finding this out since many of them are still in school, but we can use the knowledge and data about how Gen Z are navigating the media and world as a whole, and use it to market to them effectively. 

Marketing to this generation is lucrative and essential since studies show that although Gen Z is young, they make up the largest proportion of the market spend right now. Due to the fact that this generation is quite knowledgeable when it comes to the Internet, and uses technological advances to their advantage without a second thought, it is easy to know their likes and dislikes. 

They are also very heavily into apps and fast access to information. Gen Z isn’t afraid to speak their mind and explain what they expect from the world around them, which makes marketing that little bit easier. 

That being said, there are some difficulties when it comes to attracting sales from anyone in Gen Z because they are keen to avoid financial mistakes. 

Gen Z are quick learners and are known to be entrepreneurial. It’s also been reported that even though Gen Z do follow trends, they are also very careful to do their research before jumping into anything. This makes them much more levelheaded and thoughtful. On an individual basis, it is often said that GenZ is always thinking about how they identify, and take clear steps to avoid becoming stereotypes or conforming to “traditional“ identities.

Experimentation is the key for someone coming from Gen Z and this means that more opportunities are open to this generation. In addition to this, Gen Z are quick to put differences aside and are very much more likely to accept others on an individual basis rather than based on anything to do with their looks, or identity as a whole. It’s a refreshing situation and something that marketing companies and small businesses should consider when marketing to this generation.

How Gen Z is Different

Gen Z are much less likely to pick a brand and stick with it, it’s not necessarily about loyalty with them. However, it is more about the fact that they are very individual in their nature, as well as independent. Choosing an item doesn’t necessarily mean sticking with the brand.

Most millennials are keen to align themselves with a brand and a message, which is why they are different from Gen Z and that means that businesses have more opportunity with Gen Z to get it right. Millennials are forgiving if they find something doesn’t go too well with a brand, whereas Gen Z is happy searching for the best customer service product or service for their needs. And they aren’t afraid to do the research first. 

Meaning that marketing needs to be much more clever if it is to work with Gen Z. Even though millennials prefer to shop online, and Gen Z prefers to use the Internet for most of their Interactions and entertainment, when it comes to shopping, Gen Z are more likely to shop in stores.

Studies have shown that even with the best intentions and research, you can’t beat an in-store shopping experience for a Gen Z-er.  When it comes to authenticity, Millennials have always looked for honesty in marketing, but Gen Z is always looking for real-life before and after photos, photos that are taken by customers, and imagery that connects them to the experience.

Authenticity is a much more focused experience for Gen Z and marketers will need to work with and understand this. It’s also important to a Gen Z person that they choose a brand or company that is either actively supporting or encouraging change for good, improving the environment, or taking care of injustices around the world. GenZ is much more aware of problems that occur and they’re looking to connect with businesses that feel the same. 

How These Differences Mold Marketing Efforts

So with all of these differences and changes to the way in which this generation navigates technology and the way they make decisions, it goes without saying that digital marketing strategies and methods will need to evolve with them. 

It’s no longer good enough to create a pretty campaign and put it in front of Gen Z and expect it to work from the offset. Marketers have to think about what exactly a Gen Z person Is looking for and expecting. Taking into account that this generation is looking for authenticity, will pay more for better customer service, and are much more likely to choose a brand or product that helps the environment or a cause that is important to them, means that going back to the drawing board is essential for the marketing effort required to sell to Gen Z. 

Tapping into the common likes and dislikes of Gen Z can be a game-changer. Fortnight and Roblox may seem just like children’s games, but they can be an insight into what this generation appreciates about entertainment. Not only is someone from this generation likely to consume and share content, with camera phones being the norm, everybody has the opportunity to create and edit their own content.

Many Gen Z launch their YouTube channels and share their streaming online, with the hopes of becoming famous, signing contracts with big brands or using TikTok to try and make it on their own.  This requires a huge amount of creativity, so remembering to speak to these creative minds through digital marketing is a great idea. Simplicity and authenticity are at the forefront of their minds. While feeling as though they are getting information quickly, a resolution from their efforts, and some high-quality products and services are some of the ways to a positive interaction with Gen Z.

It’s also worth noting that even though Gen Z didn’t experience the 90s fully, they are willing to buy into nostalgia. For a young generation this is unusual, but certainly something that businesses should be aware of and remember when thinking about how to market their products or services to the Gen Z generation.

How To Put This Into Practice

From everything that we know about Gen Z is that it is important to remember a few key points when marketing to them.

First and foremost is engagement and responding to questions and queries in a quick and effective way we will win Gen Z over and help to convince them that they are heading in the right direction by engaging with the brand. This can obviously show a potential customer that your brand is caring and responsible and that they are going to receive a positive experience from spending their money with you. 

Authenticity is key and ensuring that you have positive reviews is also going to nudge the sales in the right direction. In addition to this, videos are the main way to share information and gain attention to your brand. Gen Z spends a lot of time watching videos via social media so sharing your product via video ads and getting your product placed within videos that are already being viewed by your potential customers and clients, is a great investment. 

However, brand influencers on a large scale can cost a huge amount of money, and studies are showing that smaller influencers drive 60% higher engagement levels and more weekly conversions than those compared with large influencers. So your money may be better spent on micro influencers. 

Knowing your customer is always the first step to marketing and if your products or service are aimed at Gen Z, then taking some of these points on board will see you taking strides in the right direction. Seeing results from your offline or digital marketing efforts is always positive and it’s great to know that with Gen Z you are selling your business to a generation that loves authenticity, great customer service, and know their way around tech like no other generation before them. 

Darya Jandossova Troncoso is a photographer, artist and writer working on her first novel and managing a digital marketing blog - MarketTap. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, creating art and learning everything there is to know about digital marketing. 

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