When you scan the headlines today, most stories are dominated by millennials. What are millennials doing? Why are they doing it? The focus has been on this young generation for so long that the millennials aren’t really that young anymore. Millennials were born between 1981-1996, which means that even the youngest millennials have graduated from college and are working, getting married, and having kids.
So, who comes next? Gen Z.
Generation Z represents people who were born between 1997 and 2015. Marketing to Generation Z doesn’t mean you are creating kids toys and promoting your brand to four-year-olds anymore. The first members of Gen Z are ending their college careers, and they are prepared to take on the buying power that comes with adulthood.
Here’s what you need to know about Generation Z if your brand plans to market and sell to them.
A Quick Snapshot of Gen Z
Before you can start marketing to Generation Z, you need to know the people who you are trying to connect with. It’s easy to get swept up into a “kids these days” mentality, where you assume that the younger generation relies on Snapchat to communicate and can’t look up from their phones, but Gen Z might surprise you. At the very least, they’re not to be ignored.
This generation has already contributed $44 billion to the American economy, and their strength is only going to grow.
- Gen Z in the workplace is entrepreneurial. Roughly 72% of high school students say they would want to start a business someday, compared with 64% of college students.
- They are digital but prefer face-to-face communication. More than 70% say they prefer to communicate face-to-face at work.
- Members of Gen Z believe in equality. Not only are these members of society highly vocal on social media, but they are outspoken on how underrepresented groups like the black and LGBTQ+ communities should be treated equally.
- Gen Z still uses email. Roughly 58% of Gen Z members check their email messages multiple times per day, and 81% check their emails at least once per day. Don’t give up your email marketing plan just yet.
- The next generation faces reality and rejects false notions and standards. This generation is less likely to accept photoshopped models and false representations than other generations. Similarly, this means they’re more likely to reject ideas that a single product could solve all of their problems.
Gen Z makes up a large part of the population. By 2020, 36% of the global population will come from Gen Z. Underestimating (or underpreparing) for this generation will hurt your company – and there will be plenty of entrepreneurial Gen Z’ers to step in and disrupt your business.
Marketing to Generation Z
As you learn more about Gen Z, your wheels can start turning for how to reach this group of people. Every generation has disrupted the marketing industry before it, and Gen Z will be no different.
While technology will change and brands will have to adapt, not every company needs to go out and post on Instagram and TikTok. Instead, look at the core of how you market to Gen Z, and develop a plan to communicate with them on their terms.
Be Real About Your Products or Services
Gen Z doesn’t want to see an idealized photo of your products or services, they want to see what they are really getting. First, if you try to deceive them, they will leave your business and go elsewhere. Next, this is a generation of digital natives. They can research your competitors and learn how their products compare with yours. They are fact-driven, not idealistic.
Put this into practice by showing your products as they are and providing realistic information about what they can do. Let people know when a product wouldn’t be right for them. This generation will appreciate it.
Connect Your Business to a Purpose
This generation expects brands to give back, and this needs to move beyond small donations and the occasional philanthropic drive. Brands need to have goals beyond their products and services. How does your work make the world a better place? What does your company do to improve society?
Gen Z is also cognizant of stances that brands take. They expect brands to be transparent about where they stand politically or ideologically, and they will buy or boycott your products depending on how they feel about them.
For example, more members of Gen Z are calling out companies that change their logos to rainbows during Pride month but then donate millions to anti-LGBTQ politicians or organizations. To this generation, money and actions speak more than symbolism.
Invest in Personalization
Members of Gen Z are realistic about their personal data. They know that if they share information about their demographics and interests, then they will receive better brand communication.
Unlike past generations, tailored marketing and data-sharing is a part of life and not as much of a threat as it is to millennials, Gen Xers, and baby boomers. As a result, members of Gen Z have no patience for brands that take their data and then still provide a poor experience.
Your company doesn’t need a large marketing budget to better connect with customers. Basic customer segmentation and better messaging can help you personalize your content. This helps you reach Gen Z better – and will improve your ROI overall. Both parties can benefit from the expectations of the next generation.
Improve Your Customer Experience with Spectrio
Your customer base might not consist of many members of Gen Z just yet, but this group will take the economy – and the marketing world – by force over the next decade. The better you adapt, the better off your organization will be.
In the meantime, check out the Resources section by Spectrio. Learn how you can create exceptional customer experiences and take steps to engage buyers from the moment they walk through your door. You don’t have to be a promotions expert to wow your customers, you just have to cater to their needs, goals, and traits.