It’s here: Generation Z. Feels like they’re getting cell phones at age 2 and half. BUT don’t freak out yet, marketing to Gen Z isn’t as crazy as you think.
Making up a whopping 25.9 percent of today’s U.S. population, Gen Z-ers are the youngsters born between the mid 1990s and the early 2000s. But they’re more than just today’s teens and tomorrow’s trend-setters. They have a projected buying power of over $200 billion.
Needless to say, marketing to Gen Z is next up for social marketers. We’re here to aid you in your hunt (get it? Wolves). Here’s everything you’ll need to know.
Marketing to Gen Z requires a few things.
Gen Z-ers have grown up in a digital world. They don’t remember a time when Amazon didn’t offer 2 day shipping and 1 click ordering, and if they do, they don’t have patience for it. Smartphones and cyber connections are a daily thing for them, so your only option is to personalize your targeted ads and posts. They ain’t buyin’ any BS, and anything short of a killer digital experience where they get beautiful design and an easy path to their goal won’t fly. AND you’ll need to give them a deep down reason to buy, so don’t forget…you have to make them care about the Why behind your brand. Tell the story, make it personal, and give them a reason to care.
A recent Google report indicated that 26% of teens expect retailers to offer personalized experiences based on their shopping habits. On the contrary, only 22% of Millennials and 11% of Baby Boomers said the same.
So when you’re marketing to Gen Z, just remember: make it simple, make them feel things, and make it personal.
But don’t invade their privacy.
Don’t be shy when marketing to gen z. But don’t be invasive, either.
Gen Z-ers have grown up hearing, “What you put on the internet stays there forever”. S they like to know how their info is and isn’t being used. They typically create multiple social channels each with multiple personas, and they also tend to keep those accounts private rather than public. They usually browse the internet as anonymous voyeurs, and they’re even more likely to cover the webcams on their laptops.
Like many other aspects of their online personas, teens prefer to keep their shopping habits and preferences private. So don’t go blasting those recommended products all over Facebook for their friends and family to see. They love the little messages that say “don’t worry, we’ll keep your info to ourselves”.
To make those connections without invading their privacy, focus on private and direct channels to engage with them one-on-one. Stats are showing that Facebook Messenger is a great way to accomplish this. Sending a direct message not only keeps the conversation private, but it also makes your brand seem a little more human.
Keep up with all of their networks.
Gen Z-ers love to venture into the world of online shopping, and they make a lot of stops along the way.
Over 85 percent of teens today hear about products via social media, with Instagram being one of the most effective platforms for brand discovery. But before making a purchase, Gen Z-ers will turn to YouTube.
YouTube is their go-to platform for shopping recommendations. This is where they’ll go to learn about the company, the product, and the consumers who have purchased that product.
And when they finally make a purchase, they’re more likely than Millennials to document their opinions on Snapchat.
When you understand how your target market uses social media to shop, you’ll know how to engage with them effectively. So when your Gen Z-ers embark on that shopping journey, be sure to greet them at every pit stop.
And remember: they embrace (and expect) diversity.
When marketing to Gen Z, know that they consider diversity to be the new norm. And they expect social marketers to do the same.
But it’s not just about which role models are “woke” and how many times they can “YOLO” in a day. As a whole, Generation Z stands as the most ethnically diverse population in history.
That being said, inclusivity is key when you’re marketing to Gen Z. When asked about their workplace values, 76 percent of Gen Z-ers indicated that they deem diverse and inclusive companies as more important. This means that companies that are inclusive of race, gender, and sexual orientation are more valuable in the eyes of Gen Z-ers.
Inclusivity seems pretty straightforward. But today’s teens are quick to let companies know when they’ve gotten it wrong. Keeping up-to-date with the latest controversial topics and media backlashes will help you get a picture of what not to do when marketing to Gen Z.
No matter which way you slice it, marketing to Gen Z is no small task. But don’t fear the age gap! Everyone said millennials were impossible too.