How Is Marketing to Gen Z Different Than Other Generations?
Generation Z is the youngest group of consumers today, and they tend to respond to marketing efforts very differently compared to previous populations. Since the youngest consumer generation usually drives the latest trends, understanding them will be significant for any brand that wants to stay ahead of the curve.
Things to Know About Gen Z
- Born between 1997-2012
- Aged between 11-26 in 2023
- They are sophisticated with technology
- Values include curiosity, going against convention, ethical practices, and diversity
- Buying power was at $360 billion in 2022
How to Effectively Market to Gen Z
Here are some key factors to consider:
1. Digital marketing all the way
This generation is truly the "digital natives" of the world. They've used technology all their lives. Many find it difficult to imagine life without Wi-Fi, smartphones, or tablets.
Since Gen Z is most comfortable with technology, it makes sense for brands to reach them with a digital omnichannel approach.
2. Short content is best
Gen Z is often stereotyped as impatient young people with short attention spans. While this is a sweeping generalization, it can't be denied that most are used to having any information they want at their fingertips, just a click or two away. You must make your messaging short and to the point to capture their attention. Also, communicate in their language, using terms and pop-culture references that they'll understand.
3. Reach them with over-the-top advertising (OTT)
Only 45% of this generation watches cable TV, and eight out of 10 stream TV content. Using over-the-top (OTT) advertising to reach them is your best bet. This may include ads on streaming giants like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc. In addition, they are heavy users of YouTube — so pre-roll and mid-roll ads on that platform present a golden opportunity to reach the younger demographic.
4. Humanize your brand
Gen Z places a high value on personalization. They expect brands to provide authentic, realistic marketing content tailored to their preferences. They also want to interact with brands that feel relatable and human. When you make it a point not to blatantly "advertise" to Gen Zers, they'll appreciate the space you're affording them. When you position your company as an entity that contributes to a worthy cause, you'll also attract more of them to your brand.
5. Social media micro-content
While this generation is avid social media users, they typically prefer platforms that feature short-form video content. For example, over half of Gen Zers are active on TikTok. Other social media favorites include Snapchat, YouTube, and Instagram.
Most in this age group prefer "snackable content," such as short stories or videos. They also are highly attuned to influencer marketing, with an impressive 29% of respondents from one survey saying they prefer interacting with brands that way. Therefore, it's a good idea to keep your social media content brief and leverage influential personalities to promote your offerings.
6. Cause marketing is key
Many young people are heavily involved with social, political, and environmental causes. Not only do they ardently support causes that matter to them, but they also support brands that uphold similar values and morals. To elicit a passionate response from your Gen Z consumers, you must position your brand as a champion of a noble cause.
7. Make marketing creative diverse and relatable
Images should resonate with young people’s values and life stages, and many are deeply concerned with the future. This generation is interested in supporting diversity and wants to see more brands contribute to this initiative. Develop marketing creative that addresses these interests and concerns. Deliver content that reflects the world's changing scene and encourages young consumers to use the world to the fullest. Of course, you'll need to demonstrate how your product can help them to do just that.
Let CoxNext Enhance Your Marketing to Gen Z
Gen Z may be the youngest consumer generation as of this writing, but they are the way of the future. Understanding Gen Z now will help companies stay competitive for decades to come. If you invest in digital marketing, short-form content, and OTT advertising, your messaging will reach and engage with this curious, advocating generation.
If you'd like to learn how to take your Gen Z marketing to another level, reach out to our team of experts at CoxNext today. Our end-to-end digital marketing solutions will empower you to convince and convert members of this youngest generation, both now and for years to come.
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