It’s time to think about how you’ll reach people born between 1995-2015 and keep them engaged.
Capturing Their Attention
It’s important to capture the focus of all your key demographic groups, but Generation Z will be crucial. Engage them young. Keep them for life.
1) Who Are They?
Generation Z includes adults who’ve already graduated from university. Pre-teens and teenagers. Even toddlers currently learning the power of screaming ‘No!’ in the middle of a grocery store. They’ve been dubbed the ‘Internet generation’ in Canada or ‘Digital Natives’ in Japan. Tech savvy doesn’t begin to describe them. They’ve evolved beyond mere aptitude into complete ingenuity.
2) What Do They Have In Common?
They are the first generation raised in the smartphone era and aren’t aware of a time that didn’t have social media. This generation is the most ethnically diverse to date and the most likely to be formally educated.
Generation Z is coming of age in a time filled with economic recession, political instability, and war. They’re paying attention to current events and spend more carefully than previous generations. When Gen Z’s decide to spend money, they research the back stories and values of the various brands they support.
3) What Do They Want?
Gen Z craves experiences that are instantly shareable – whether it’s a meal, city break or quirky product. If it’s not shareable, it might as well have not happened. They are also likely to use social media to curate their personal brand.
4) What Do They Value?
They value creativity and diversity. They don’t care as much about conforming to social norms, they are more interested in being unique. Remember – this is the generation that coined and embraced the insult ‘basic’ .
When job seeking, they are looking for fulfilment, excitement and flexibility. They want to work at companies that will help move the world forward. They want to give back, not only in their spare time, but at a company whose ethos they can believe in.
5) How Do They Interact With Their World?
Your typical Gen Z is a heavy user of social media and it’s woven into the foundations of their daily life. Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and YouTube are heavy hitters. Facebook is still relevant, although Gen Z are less likely to use it than the ‘olds’. Sorry Mom, joining Facebook probably made your teen roll her eyes and look for other ways to socialise with her friends. Gen Z still uses Facebook though – just less often.
Even their TV watching habits are different – they are more likely to browse the internet on their device rather than just (yawn) watch something.
6) How Do They Interact With Companies?
Given the choice between brands, they are more likely to support the brand that focuses on sustainability, environmental awareness and social responsibility. While shopping they are likely to use online feedback before purchasing, check in with their friends on social media while they’re considering an item, and are comfortable leaving reviews. Even bad reviews. Especially bad reviews.
And don’t forget about Gen Z’s parents. You might as well just market to Gen Z instead as they will most likely be a major influence on their parents’ household purchases.
Keeping Them Engaged
1) Keep Things Brief And To The Point
If you think millennials have short attention spans, Gen Z’s are even shorter. And even that is a bit misleading. It’s not so much that they have a short attention span. It’s more that with so much going on at any given time, they can instantly spot anything that smacks of advertising. They will just as instantly dismiss anything not perfectly relevant to their needs or values.
2) Use A Broad Digital Approach
When creating or refining your digital strategy, plan for a broad approach to digital marketing. Use as many social media platforms as possible. Because they are discerning social media users, it’s a good idea to fine-tune your social content to optimise each platform.
3) Stay Ahead Of The Curve
Keep learning about their habits, values and preferences. Keep examining your stats and metrics. Your marketing department should tweak their digital strategies and social media calendars regularly. With Gen Z’s desire to be perceived as unique, they are likely to be changeable and resist easy definition. Enjoy the ride!
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