For the past two decades, the marketing industry has been fascinated with marketing to Millennials. In fact, a Google search for the word “Millennial” currently yields around 170 million results. As a business owner, however, changes for your marketing strategies are already a necessity.
Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996. They are a tech-savvy group, who expect to connect digitally anywhere and at any time. Of course, this is a result of the digital transformation happening in society and business. But, Millennials have outgrown their image as a bunch of entitled 20-somethings. The first Millennials are now approaching their 40s. Although this age group still represents a large proportion of many marketers’ audiences, some assumptions made about their relevance have fallen short of the mark.
While Millennials were born after the invention of the internet, the iPhone was not introduced until 2007 and smartphones only became mainstream with the introduction of iPhone 4 in 2010. By their teens, these developments reached them. As a result, they embraced tech at a rapid rate. However, they were not born with technology at their fingertips. That honor goes to their successors, Generation Z. Try a Google search on Generation Z, and you get over 1 billion results!
Generation Z is a group born between 1995 to 2010. These young people grew up in a fully digital world. Because of it, they have vastly different viewpoints than earlier generations. While you may think that this generation is still too young to market to, you would be incorrect. Gen Z is growing rapidly into young adult consumers with purchasing power. Moreover, they often have a substantial impact on the buying habits of their parents. And, they are an activist generation, even supporting high impact nonprofit causes.
Here are our top 5 tips on how to market to Gen Z.
Gen Z wants to see real people to whom they could relate. Thus, the people in your content must be people with similar struggles, challenges, and beliefs as Gen Z. One thing that Gen Z despises is paid actors in commercials. As digital natives who grew up on the internet, Generation Z could immediately tell if you want to sell something. So, give up the need to try to “sell” your products or services to Generation Z. Instead, be honest, congruent, authentic, and real in your marketing strategies and campaigns.
Understanding authenticity and transparency is one reason business-people from marketers to management consultants seek to reorient their companies. In other words, they see the market size of Gen Z, understand how differently they think, and know that it can’t be business as usual. Marketing strategies must be refined and evolve for the sensibilities of Gen Z.
Social media marketing was something that came into the lives of Millennials. However, Gen Z grew up experiencing it on a variety of platforms. Thus, they are savvy on social media and run their own channels. To stay relevant, not only do you want to cover the gamut of social media, including Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, etc., but you also need different marketing strategies.
For example, since Gen Z uses Instagram to showcase their aspirational self. So you will want to create marketing content that speaks to their aspirations and nothing more. Use Snap Chat to share real-life moments, and use Facebook to publish informative content. (Take a look at how one female disruptor is engaging with Gen Z and her online learning for kids platform!)
So, you have got a great story to tell. But, can you convey your marketing message in 8 seconds or less? That is the average attention span of a Gen Z person. Research shows that YouTube is the number 1 place Generation Z goes to when they want to look up something. As a result, video has become the preferred learning method for Gen Z to obtain information. Fortunately, Instagram Stories, Snapchat Stories, and Facebook Stories all allow you to share content, whether it is a video or image.
Product reviews play an essential part today in building trust with your brand. Generation Z expects brands to interact with them actively. They want brands to respond to feedback and see such sensitivity as the secret to assessing a brand s authenticity.
41% of Gen Z read five or more reviews before making a purchase. But reports by themselves are not enough. You need to respond to the reviews. If it is a negative review, you need to acknowledge it and reply that you are taking action and doing everything to resolve it. Further, you then have to walk the walk and not merely say it, but do it. In other words, Gen Z will hold your brand accountable.
70 % of teenage YouTube subscribers said that they related to YouTube creators more than celebrities. Another research study showed that 44 % of Generation Z brought a product because a digital influencer recommended it. These realities are great news for marketers because micro-influencers are much easily accessible compared to celebrity influencers. Also, they come at a fraction of the cost compared to a celebrity. Don’t be afraid to reach out to micro-influencers and ask them to help you promote your brand.
In short, get your whole business ready for Gen Z. That generation is already disrupting how companies operate. And, it will take everything from knowing leadership that gets results to robust marketing strategies to reach this market effectively. The good news is you have time.
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