By Tina Vasquez
Have you ever used a beeper, flip phone…yellow page directory? If the answer is yes, then you probably don’t fit into the demographic cohort of Generation Z. These post-millennial youth, born from the mid-90s to early 2000s, is a generation like no other being the first group to grow up in a primarily digital landscape comprising of the internet, technology, and social media.
Generation Z is the largest and most ethnically diverse generation to date, comprising of more than 25% of the U.S. population. Marketing to this population is not only important due to their sheer size, but their spending power is what has caught the attention of retailers and brands who are trying to win their dollars. In 2020, they will account for 40% of global consumers with a spending power of over $143 trillion.
Generation Z is even more digital than its predecessor Millennial generation, which is likely why their attention space is roughly 8 seconds — 4 seconds less than Millennials. Optimizing your digital strategy by increasing usage of video content, thinking mobile-first, and improving UX design are just a few ways to better reach and engage your Gen Z audience.
However, this doesn’t mean that you are going to catch their attention with a flashy ad (almost ¾ of them find ads disruptive). Instead, you are going to catch their attention by speaking to their interests, goals, and values. This group is highly pragmatic and progressive, and they want to connect with businesses that also rethink traditional hierarchies.
Messaging is Key:
One critical way businesses can improve their marketing campaigns to Gen Zers is by shifting their messaging to better speak to this generation. Gen Zers put a high value on brand authenticity and they want to hear your story from real customers. More importantly, they want to be a part of something greater than your brand. About 93% have said that when looking at a company to work for, their decision has been highly influenced by the impact that the company has on society and the same goes for their purchasing decisions.
They not only want brands to be contributing to society, but they expect it. Understanding the values of Gen Z and incorporating that into your message is a critical way to resonate and engage with this generation that has the lowest attention span in American history. You need to share a purpose of your business other than making money. Gen Zers are concerned with issues, such as climate change, and they want to know that the brands they engage with have a similar sense of caring and contribution to societal issues.
According to Mention, 75% of what you sell is the intangible feeling that comes with your product. A recent Facebook study found that 77% of Gen Z reported having a more positive feeling towards a brand that promoted gender equality on social media. Identifying the right channels to reach Gen Z and sharing your values is a critical way to connect with this evolving generation. They don’t just want a product – they want to be part of something bigger.