As a digital marketer, my daily mission is to understand where people are spending their time and how to connect with them. Generational differences fascinate me, as this is one of the first things I consider when I craft a marketing message. Now that we’ve spent the last 10 years talking about Millennials, let’s take a deep-dive into the next generation on the rise – Generation Z.
Generation Z: Who They Are
Born between the mid-1990’s and mid-2000’s, members of Generation Z have grown up in the Millennials’ shadow. Comprising 26% of the U.S. population, they’re now the largest generation.
Generation Z: How to Speak Their Language
Based on their unique characteristics, here are five things to keep in mind when marketing to Generation Z.
- Think Tech Savvy: This generation is fondly termed “digital natives,” because they don’t remember a world without the internet or cell phones – let that sink in. Why would they spend any time on your website if they can’t easily navigate it on their cell phone? Why would they trust your brand if you don’t have a digital presence? When marketing to them, it’s important to have a digital-first and mobile-first strategy.
- You Don’t Have Their Full Attention: Gen Z are the ultimate multi-taskers who consistently use multiple devices at one time. With an attention span of 8 seconds, it’s important to make your content easily consumable. Stats and other impactful information should not be hidden in a wall of words.
- Be Authentic: This generation evaluates your brand based on your digital and offline actions. For example, claiming that you care about your customers in a press conference, but ignoring complaints on social media will send up major red flags. It’s vital that your brand lives up to its promises at all times and on all mediums.
- Celebrities Are Their BFFs: Thanks to social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, Gen Z has an intimate view into the everyday life of their favorite celebrity. Unlike their parent’s generation, they don’t have to wait for the paparazzi to capture a photo, their favorite celebrities are sharing updates (and influencing purchasing decisions) in real time, multiple times a day. Incorporating pop culture or industry influencers into your marketing strategy can make your brand or product more relatable and relevant to Gen Z.
- Tap Into Their Entrepreneurial Spirit: According to a 2014 study, 72% of Gen Z high schoolers and 64% of college students said they want to start a business someday. Incorporating inspirational messages and business tactics into your marketing is a great way to provide relevant content to this generation. Remember: Ideas are their currency.
What unique characteristics have you discovered from Generation Z? Want to learn more about targeting your messaging to the right audience? Contact us! We love to chat about audiences, tactics, and all things Colorado.
Olivia Ward is a Director of Digital Strategy at CenterTable. She has more than 10 years of experience helping brands find and target their audience IRL and digitally.