Born in the mid-90s and 2000s, Gen Z can be summed up in one phrase: tech-savvy. Having grown up with virtually uninterrupted internet connectivity, they switch effortlessly between multiple devices like smartphones, tablets, laptops and smart TVs. However, Gen Z is not just about connection but interconnection - they are nodes in a vast network of family, friends, associates, colleagues. And brands. Marketing to them must take into account this relationship but also factor in their markedly shorter attention span.
Gen Z is more altruistic than its predecessors and brand marketing built around a higher purpose resonates with them. Weave topics like environmental responsibility and socio-economic equality into your product or service to capture their attention. Short-term gimmicks are likely to do more harm than good - Gen Z can be unforgiving if they think they are being manipulated.
Gen Z is not a fan of reading - they would rather watch a video than read a block of text. If video is not practical or too expensive, consider infographics. They are an effective and affordable alternative to deliver information quickly and in a fun way. Most visual strategies are best applied via social media.
The key difference between traditional brand-consumer interaction and social media marketing is that the latter allows for two-way conversations. Gen Z isn’t a fan of the generic – they want personalized solutions, quick responses to feedback and to be part of the conversation. In fact, many companies find that leveraging user-generated content delivers phenomenal results.
A few years ago, Facebook was the essential marketing platform. Now, it has fallen significantly in terms of engagement potential behind Snapchat and Instagram (also owned by Facebook). If Facebook ads featured heavily in your previous marketing campaigns, a shift to these alternatives will boost your connection with Gen Z who will make up 40 percent of the population by 2020.
Gen Z wants to buy it now and receive it today. Emphasize on your speed of shipping and delivery to maintain an edge over your competitors. Free shipping is always welcome but cutting-edge options like drone delivery that transform the buying process into an event are slated to dominate within the next few years.
Compared to previous generations, Gen Z is less brand-consistent and has no qualms about switching to an alternative company for a product or service. Marketing to them means having your ear consistently to the ground and addressing rumblings before they morph into something bigger.