No generation has been the center stage of world economies as the millennials have. The most studied, most economically empowered and the most technologically advanced generation, they deserve to be called the super generation.
While businesses are still struggling to understand and cater to the complex needs and tastes of millennials, a new, more complex and soon to be more economically empowered generation is slowly taking over.
Enter Gen Z.
Who Are Gen Z?
Gen Z is the generation born after 1995. The generation that grew together with the internet. They live, breath and eat digital.
Born with mobile devices in their hands, they prefer to communicate with their fingers than their mouths.
Digital is second nature, and it runs in their blood. Hence they have been dubbed “digital natives.”
Why The Hype?
“It’s essential to connect with Gen Z because, for the first time, young people are defining what’s cool,” he said. “Young people have always decided what’s cool for other young people, but they’ve never decided what’s cool for everyone else.”
That, Blakley argues, is the power of Gen Z. Business Insider
They are the current trendsetters. They define cool. And cool determines what sells.
Gen Z will account for 40% of consumers by 2020. That’s a large piece of the pie to ignore. So yes, the hype is worth it.
A Few Stats From IBM
- Generation Z shoppers…..represent $44 Billion in estimated buying power.
- 66 percent frequently use more than one device and 60 percent will not use an app or website if they are too slow to load.
- Gen Zers demand highly personalized interactions, value quality over price and want to be engaged with the brand across all channels.
These stats should get every marketer’s fingers itching for some marketing (and profits). In a nutshell, Gen Z is the next profit pot. Millennials still hold a lot of economic power but the scales are already tipping in Gen Z’s favor.
How To Target Gen Z Like A Heat Seeking Missile
- Think Mobile First
This one is a no-brainer. Gen Z were born, bred, live and work in the digital age. Not only digital but mobile digital.
Your first port of call in targeting Gen Zers is to go to their fingers.
More content today is being consumed on mobile devices as compared to desktops and laptops combined. Even though Gen Zers live a “Penta-screen” (5 screens) lifestyle, most of their screen time is spent on a mobile device.
That is your hunting ground.
Optimize your brand’s mobile experience and Gen Z will become your pot at the end of the rainbow.
- Talk Multicultural
With the way the world has become a small village digitally and geographically, Gen Z has become a multicultural generation. Firm believers in equality at all levels, they are a generation that has embraced the diversities of race, sexuality and economic status and have molded it into one international culture.
As you Target Gen Z as your prospects, embrace their multicultural mindset and tastes. Be open-minded.
- Target Their Influencers
When it comes to influencers, Gen Z is nothing like their millennial predecessors. Unlike Millennials, Gen Z prefers YouTube over TV.
This means their influencers are rarely your Hollywood superstars. Gen Z shuns superficial, airbrushed and fake personalities. Their influencers are digital influencers, whom they value for authenticity. These are mostly other teens who have risen to fame through social media.
This is where your influencer marketing should focus if you want to move Gen Z in your direction.
Your traditional marketing tactics won’t cut it with this technologically savvy demographic. You need equally savvy and native influencer marketing.
According to Tap Influence, digital influencer marketing gives 11X ROI. That’s a mouthwatering statistic that should get you shifting your influencer marketing gears into motion.
For a mini list of Gen Z influencers and brands, read this article I came across in Adweek.
Engage Gen Z With These 3 Tips
- Master The Art Of Personalized Content
As a generation that is born tech-savvy, Gen Z is immune to generic content. They refuse to be put in a mold. Though labeled the social media generation, they still like to get content that’s personalized. Content that is specific to their individual needs, likes and wants.
The best way to overcome this seemingly impossible task is simple: AI-powered marketing. This is a cocktail not easy to decipher in a few sentences but the keywords are:
- Proximity marketing
These are technologies that study your prospects preferences and offer personalized content based on those preferences.
Used properly this technology does wonders in making prospects and customers feel they are being addressed as unique individuals. And uniqueness is a biggie when it comes to Gen Z.
- Borrow Their Cool
The influence of millennials on the current culture of cool is fast fading. We have new thought leaders emerging who are defining what cool is. And what they define as cool, masses follow.
Gen Z is the new definition of cool.
From clothing to websites, if you can’t cut their grade of cool, you are quickly relegated to the realm of old. Believe me, old is not about age with Gen Z. Old is an antonym of cool.
From your looks to your sound, if you don’t relate to Gen Z’s standard of cool, forget about engaging them in any way.
- Cut The Fluff
Gen Z is notoriously known for their short attention span, 8 seconds and going down. This is not a fault of their own making, it’s an evolutionary trait.
What do I mean?
Gen Z is a generation with an overwhelming amount of data and information being thrown at them and they don’t have the time to digest it all. So they choose what to focus on. It’s not attention deficiency. It’s super filtering.
You need to cut out the fluff and get to the point if you are to engage this hard to attract a segment of the market. Born and bred on digital, Zers can smell fluff and fake from afar.
Instead of words, Gen Z prefers visuals. Videos, pictures, gifs, and emojis are the language of this multicultural generation. Content without captivating visuals will quickly be passed over, no matter how good.
Tip: When it comes to content, Gen Z prefers short and sweet. With visuals of course.
You Can’t Monetize Gen Z Without These 3 Deal Sealers.
- Sell Value And Quality
The demographic group also doesn’t care much for clever brand names, according to the report: Instead, they focus on price and quality of craft when choosing a product. Marketing Dive
To win with Gen Z, brands need to up their game and produce quality products. They are all about quality and value. If you can please them in that area, it doesn’t matter the size of your brand, Gen Z will be eating out of your hand.
Dubbed the most disloyal generation brand wise, they are not all into big brands but into quality products.
With the power of technology at their hands and a lot of information and products to choose from, brands are losing their allure. With a plethora of choices that offer great value for money, quality has become a major determining factor when it comes to making a purchase.
- Sell Your Wares Online
According to a study by Goldman Sachs, a third of apparel shopping done by Gen Z is done online. The future of shopping is already here and marketers and brands need to adapt quickly.
Not only should you have a strong online presence, but you need to optimize your website for speed and efficiency. Many carts are abandoned due to the inefficiency of the website and slow response. They won’t wait for you.
Data suggests that every one second of delay in page load time reduces conversion by 7%. VWO
Remember how they have a short attention span? Once you don’t optimize your online shopping process, you will lose them for good.
- Sell Them An Experience, Not A Product
The reason Snapchat and Instagram are popular with Gen Z is simple: experience is everything. These two platforms are the best for sharing and curating experiences.
When marketing to Gen Z, don’t focus on product benefits. They may work for millennials but Gen Z is a different species altogether.
Sell them on experience.
According to a report by Retail Perceptions, 62% prefer to spend their money on experience rather than material. If you can marry experience to your product, selling to Gen Z will be like stealing candy from a baby. Literally.
Ready For Gen Z?
With all the hype that has been going on around millennials, it’s easy to overlook the future of your business. The future is in Gen Z, and they are already here. They are entering the workforce at a rapid rate, starting their own businesses and most of all, ready to spend.
Are you up to date with your marketing strategies? Or are you stuck with millennial tactics that are converting less as each day passes?