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It’s Time to Say “Goodbye” to Millennials

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There’s no doubt that marketers have spent countless hours trying to figure out how to successfully target millennials with their marketing efforts. While reaching millennials is still important, brands need to start cracking the Gen Z code.
Many of today’s marketing tactics including social media and mobile apps have been heavily influenced by Millennials. However, the race for Gen Z starts now, and it’s time for marketers to start planning and preparing for the up-and-coming generation. 

Who is Gen Z?
Those born in the late 90’s and early 2000’s are part of a generation of digital natives expected to reach a global population of 2.56 billion by 2020. They have never known a world without a smartphone, without Google or without WiFi. 
Gen Z have the lowest attention span of any of the other generations totaling at only 8 seconds, and generally engage with others or find out news through five different devices concurrently. Their brains are constantly connected online within the digital environment and immersed in multi-tasking.
This independent generation want the companies that they work for as well as their jobs to have a positive effect on the world. They want to contribute to the greater good, and 6% of this generation say that a company’s impact on society would affect their decision to work there.
Gen Z know nothing else than having data and information instantly at their fingertips. Creating powerful marketing messages that are tailored each social media platform that resonate well with them is key to capturing their attention.

Why are they so important?

This rapidly growing generation will influence 93% of family spend, which translates their purchasing power into a global $44 billion a year, outpacing Millennials by $3 million. 

• 85% of Gen Z uses social media to find out about new products.
• 32% of Gen Z watches at least an hour of video content online each day.
• Nearly half of those in Gen Z will spend 10 hours a day online.
• 63%of Gen Z prefers to see real people in ads rather than celebrities.

Gen Z will be the most powerful spending generation, which is why it is a good opportunity for brands to capitalize on this and develop marketing strategies that target this generation in a way that is relevant to them.

What’s Trending with Gen Z?

For brands, reaching this digitally and socially conscious generation is a real challenge and is not just a variation of a marketing plan that targets Millennials.
Marketing to Gen Z offers dozens of examples and insights for connecting and conversing, including;
• Understanding their online purchasing habits
• Keeping up engagement and getting past the 8-second filter
• How they relate to influencer marketing and,
• Embracing social good

Online Purchasing
Generation Z is accustomed to making fast decisions due to their shortened attention span, which comes from being able to instantaneously access any information. When marketing to Gen Z, communicating a brand message in a clear and quick manner is imperative to securing a sale. Gen Z use different networks throughout each stage of their online purchasing process. 85% of Gen Z turn to social media to find out about new products and to look at product reviews.

Keeping up Engagement – Getting Past the 8 Second Filter
Gen Z communicate with friends, get their news and entertainment from a number of social networks such as: YouTube, SnapChat, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. With an average attention span of 8 seconds, Gen Z are known for jumping between scrolling through their social media and watching TV and using their laptops all at the same time. Therefore, it is essential that content grabs their attention in the first couple of seconds.
Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has become extremely popular amongst Gen Z, it’s all about building individual relationship. Celebrities used to be the only influencers, however, “regular” people are now gaining influence online based on their ability to position themselves as a friend with unique voices, opinions, and perspectives. The trick to be a “real” influencer is to be supportive and approachable. Marketers should  use this to their advantage to help promote their brand or product.
Embracing Social Good
Gen Z cares about how brands contribute to society and the world. They relate to brands that speak to them and their issues individually through creative and interactive conversation. They see through brands that are inauthentic and hold a brand highly when they have a personality and don’t just push a product. Brands may need to develop powerful strategies or programs which contribute to the greater good, resulting in mutual benefit for the brand and Gen Z’s.

Ultimately, it’s important for marketers to focus on staying relevant with Gen Z in a way that uses technology to build meaningful relationships.  It’s safe to say that soon, Gen Z will gain immense respect for their purchasing power. And to give them the respect they deserve, brands need to start aligning with how this generation responds, thinks and reacts.  Marketing to Generation Z is going to be a completely different ball game and will be a challenge to adapt to. However, the sooner brads adapt, the sooner Gen Z will reward them for being relatable and caring about them. It’s time to say “hello” in a new way, with a new voice to a new generation.

Written by: Leigh Novis, Digital Strategist