If you work in the marketing realm, you’re probably more than familiar with the infamous millennial. This cohort has been the talk of the town for many years now, and while they’ll remain an important demographic to reach for years to come, savvy marketers are already turning their attention to the new kid (or kids) on the block – Generation Z.
Don’t know much about this powerful group of consumers? You’re in luck! In this blog, we’ll be unpacking everything you need to know about Gen Z and the strategies you can use to appeal to them.
Who Are Generation Z?
Generation Z is the term used to describe the generational cohort born after millennials. Sometimes referred to as the iGeneration, Homeland Generation and/or Post-Millennials, this group is more ethnically and racially diverse than any previous generation. They are also on their way to becoming the most well-educated generation yet.
What Age Is Generation Z?
The Gen Z cohort is considered to be anyone born between 1995 and the mid 2000s, though there is some debate over the exact date range. Having grown up around cell phones and iPads, they are extremely technologically savvy.
Now that Gen Zers are in their teens and early 20s, they are starting to join the workforce. As their earning power increases, their buying power will follow suit, making them an extremely important demographic for marketers to target.
Why Should Marketers Focus on Generation Z?
With Gen Z representing 25% of the Canadian population and holding $50 billion in buying power, this group represents a huge opportunity for growth. Gen Zers are starting to make purchasing decisions on their own, and as a marketer it’s in your best interest to get a headstart on appealing to them. Tapping into this market now can lead to long-term sustainability.
5 Strategies to Use to Market to Gen Z
1. Prioritize Corporate Social Responsibility
Generation Z cares deeply about environmental, political, and socio-economic issues. A recent Forrester study found that 51% of 18 to 23-year-olds surveyed will research a company to ensure their corporate social responsibility aligns with their values before making a purchase. According to the Forrester report, Gen Zers are also less trusting of brands.
In order to gain the trust of this socially conscious cohort, you need to align your brand’s values with theirs in an authentic and actionable way. Once you’ve established what values your brand stands for, you’ll want to clearly communicate your purpose to Gen Z in your messaging.
Ikea is a great example of a brand that’s making their corporate social responsibilities align with their younger consumers with their mission to reduce waste and become 100% circular by 2023.
2. Have Meaningful Interactions
Engaging with your customers will help to build brand trust and loyalty. 76% of Gen Zers view “responsiveness” as a measure of a brand’s “authenticity.” Gen Z consumers are also eager to interact with brands, with 44% of them stating they would submit ideas for a product design if given the opportunity. Making Gen Zers feel involved in your business by asking for their ideas and feedback is a great way to gain consumer loyalty with this group.
Speaking of feedback, 41% of Gen Zers will read a minimum of five online reviews prior to making a purchase. Replying to both positive and negative feedback with tailored responses is extremely important to these consumers.
3. Focus on Video Content
Video content is more important to consumers than ever before, and this is especially true for those that belong to Gen Z. In 2020, TikTok experienced meteoric growth, and a whopping 60% of users are comprised of Generation Z. A YouTube survey also revealed that 50% of people in Gen Z stated that they “couldn’t live” without having videos as a part of their daily lives.
Evidently, there’s no getting around producing video content when it comes to this cohort, but not any old video content will do. Gen Z only has an attention span of about eight seconds, which is significantly lower than millennials’ 12 seconds. For marketers, this means that you only have a few seconds to convince Gen Z that your content is worth their time. Creating stimulating short-form content, whether that be through 6-second YouTube bumper ads or Instagram Stories, is definitely the way to go.
4. Make Use of Micro-Influencers
If you’re thinking about running a major influencer marketing campaign filled with macro-influencers, you may want to reconsider your strategy. Micro-influencers, defined as individuals who have a following somewhere between 1,000 and 100,000 on social media, drive 60% higher engagement than their counterparts with a bigger audience. This can be attributed to the fact that Gen Z can relate more to micro-influencers.
ASOS is an example of a brand that was able to leverage the power of micro-influencers with their #AsSeenOnMe campaign. They’ve partnered with 29 micro-influencers that are of different ages, sizes, and backgrounds, each of whom has ASOS-branded Instagram and Pinterest accounts. Having style advice come from real and relatable people is something that has worked extremely well for them.
This inclusive tactic of using micro-influencers who are more representative of society at large is something that’ll fare well with Gen Zers who have made it known that they deeply care about diversity and inclusion.
5. Put A Spotlight On Your Dedication to Privacy
Having grown up on the internet, it’s hardly surprising that Generation Z knows the importance of privacy. According to research from NGen, 88% of Gen Zers agreed with the statement “protecting my privacy is very important to me.” An IBM survey also revealed that less than a third of teens expressed that they were comfortable sharing personal details other than contact information or purchase history.
To attract and retain Gen Z consumers, transparency around privacy matters is key. If you’re going to be collecting information, be upfront about it and highlight the steps you’ll be taking to keep their personal information safe and secure.
Like with every new generation, marketing to Generation Z will require some shifts in your tactics. By following these strategies, you’ll have the opportunity to appeal to this unique cohort and build brand loyalty. Given the fact that Gen Z presents such a big opportunity for businesses, directing your attention toward them is one of the smartest moves you can make- and there’s no time like the present!