Who is Gen Z and How Can Brands Reach Them
May 04 2021
Forget “keeping up with the Joneses,” it’s time to keep up with Gen Z. This demographic group aged 11 to 25 are streaming monsters. While we may think of Millennials as savvy digital consumers, Gen Z has never known a world without the internet. Brands need to be adept at all digital and mobile platforms to reach these potential buyers.
With Gen Z making up over 20% of the U.S. population, brands can’t neglect addressing such a huge segment of the population. While a good portion of this generation hasn’t reached buying age, over 70% of Gen Z say they are able to influence their family’s buying decisions. Gen Z also maintains significant buying power of their own. Despite their age, they account for $143 billion in direct spending. With so buying potential, you’ll want to gain a deeper understanding of what makes this generation tick.
Gen Z: Always Online
The amount of time Gen Z spends on the internet is really unprecedented. More than 74% of this generation reports spending their free time online, with a heavy emphasis on streaming. The average Gen Zer is spending about 23 hours each week streaming video, and 11 of those hours are on mobile devices. Primarily, this generation streams video content on YouTube and Instagram. While they may be spending more hours online than their predecessors, their attention span is only eight seconds long, about four seconds shorter than Millennials, so being impactful and doing so quickly is critical to your marketing strategy.
What Makes Gen Z Unique?
Adequately marketing to Gen Z starts with understanding them. For starters, they’ve been called the “socially-conscious generation.” They have a passion for social justice that comes from being digitally connected all across the globe and having access to an unlimited amount of information for their entire lives.
Gen Z also differs from older generations in many other ways. They’re the most diverse generation, with nearly half being ethic minorities. While they are more progressive, they are less partisan, with about a third declining to align with a major political party. Having been born into an economic downturn, they’re also better at saving than their parents were at their age.
It’s important to keep this in mind when marketing to this budget-friendly generation. When they’re shopping online, Gen Z says what matters most is the quality of a product. A majority also express interest in brands that offer coupons, discounts, and loyalty programs.
How To Connect With Gen Z
Once you’ve gained more of an understanding about this generation, it’s time to start reaching them. With about 69% of Gen Z finding online ads disruptive, marketers need to get creative with how they reach this younger generation. It’s important to develop a strategy specifically for Gen Z, rather than just applying your Millennial strategy to their age group without considering the differences.
Start by meeting Gen Z where they are: on the latest and most popular platforms. Brands should focus on reaching their Gen Z customers on their preferred channels, such as YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram. With video content, you’ll want to ensure you use authentic creative that has engaging imagery to make a connection.
With Gen Z, the second screen is even more critical. The vast majority of streamers, including Gen Z, already say they use their mobile device to look up products they see on while streaming. Gen Z buyers who live with their phones in their hands are ready to take action once they see your ad. The second screen also presents the opportunity for event retargeting. With the average Gen Zer having multiple devices, brands should show an ad on one device and later retarget on another device in the household. When a Gen Z buyer sees your brand in back-to-back ads, they’re more likely to take action.
Generation Z is defining themselves with their internet use, social media presence, and buying power. They require specific messaging tailored to their lives on the platforms they use most. Gen Z seeks transparency and authenticity from brands, more so than previous generations. It’s important to embrace these changes and follow their lead in order to be successful in reaching this dynamic audience.