In the past few years, many businesses have focused their marketing efforts on reaching the millennial generation. Today, the youngest millennials are finally entering the workforce making way for the next generation of influencers, Generation Z (Gen Z). According to Forbes, Gen Z is typically defined as those born between the years of 1996 and 2010. Gen Zs and millennials might share commonalities, but don’t let that fool you into thinking Gen Zs will respond to the same type of marketing. If you want to capture the attention of this influential generation, it’s important to understand their lifestyle. Here’s a look at what makes Gen Zs different and what these differences mean for your marketing strategy.
The digital world is their world
Gen Z is the first generation to grow up completely immersed in a digital environment. Having never lived in a world without the internet, connecting and engaging through digital media is not necessarily a conscious decision, but more so a part of this generation’s culture. As a result, studies have found that Gen Z is spending more time on their phones using social media apps than any other generation. Additionally, Gen Z tends to gravitate more toward video content, with 81 percent watching more than one hour of online video per day.
Take advantage of Gen Z’s mobile and social attachment by increasing your social media marketing and telling your message through video. These digital-first thinkers are available to see your ads at any given moment on their mobile devices. With social media marketing, you can target mobile users by interests, habits, age, and location to help drive Gen Zs into your local business.
They do their research
Gen Zs digital penchant might lead you to believe that they also prefer a digital shopping experience, but research shows that’s not the case. According to a study by the National Retail Federation (NRF), 67 percent of Gen Zs shop in brick-and-mortar stores most of the time, with another 31 percent shopping in-store sometimes, which indicates 97 percent of this cohort shop in brick-and-mortar stores at least some of the time. Once a Gen Z decides to visit your store, what sets them apart from other generations is how well-informed they are about the items they plan to purchase. According to IBM, 98 percent of Gen Zs know exactly what they’re looking for when they walk into a store. For Gen Zs, the decision-making process begins with online research where they look at cost, quality and user reviews. When it’s time to buy, the Gen Z shopper already knows what item they want and where they can find it.
If your goal is to attract Gen Z shoppers to your business, you’ll need to capture their attention while they’re still in the online research phase of the purchase cycle and the best way to do that is by grabbing their attention with video. Because Gen Zs spend more time conducting online research, it’s important to provide them with as much information as possible about your business’s products and services online. In addition to written descriptions and images, including informative videos on your business’s website and social media pages will help Gen Zs discover the features and benefits of using your products.
They’re more fiscally conservative
This is where Gen Zs and millennials really differ. According to Goldman Sachs, Gen Zs are acutely focused on the financial consequences of their decisions, which is a far cry from the millennial mentality to “follow your dreams at all costs.” Evidence of these opposing ideologies is also seen in generational definitions of success. According to the Cassandra Report, 66 percent of Gen Zs believe that having “a lot of money” is evidence of success, while only 44 percent of millennials believe the same (Goldman Sachs). Lincoln Financial Group’s survey found that Gen Z is saving much earlier than previous generations, with 60% already having savings accounts. The same survey revealed this generation’s top three priorities: getting a job, finishing college, and safeguarding money for the future.
The fiscally conservative nature and age of Gen Zs make them far less likely to do things like watch cable TV and listen to satellite radio. Instead, you’ll find Gen Zs streaming their favorite music, movies, and TV shows through sites like Hulu and devices like Chromecast and Amazon’s Fire TV Stick. To reach Gen Zs on these devices and sites, you can use OTT (over the top television) advertising. With OTT, your business’s video or commercial is sent through streamed media channels, rather than television cable network, enabling you to reach a massive new audience of people. Advertising your message through streaming devices comes with added targeting you won’t find with television. You can target OTT ads by user demographics, interest categories, and more, helping you reach Gen Z where they like to be.