Marketers are continually trying to figure out how to capture the imagination of millennials—a generation that consumes information in ways they had never seen before. Now there’s a new generation in town, Generation Z, and they’re even more complicated than their older siblings. However, understanding them is well worth the effort, as they currently make up 40 percent of all consumers—and as more and more of them enter adulthood, that amount is only going rise.
How to Reach Generation Z
As with previous generations, Generation Z has unique qualities that marketers must keep in mind in order to successfully reach them. The following tips can help.
Understand social media habits. While being active on all social media is good for brands, if they want to reach the younger generation, they’ll need to understand their social media habits. Although older generations flock to Facebook, studies show that Generation Z by and large decreased their use of the platform a few years ago. Nowadays, these consumers are spending more time on Instagram, Snapchat and Whisper, so companies need a presence on these platforms to reach them.
Foster authenticity. Some brands think that connecting with a younger audience is only about knowing the trends they’re paying attention to and the jargon they use. But these media savvy consumers can smell a phony from a mile away and will shun brands that blatantly pander to them. Generation Z craves authenticity, so brands should present them with real people they can relate to.
Get to the point. Life moves fast for emerging consumers—so fast that Gen Z’s attention span is only six to eight seconds long. That doesn’t give brands a lot of time to make a connection. When trying to reach this generation, companies have to get to the point, and get there as quickly as possible. It’s imperative to tell them what they need to know about a product or service and how it benefits them right away before they lose interest.
Put social responsibility on display. Millennials are known for wanting to engage with brands that are making a positive difference in the world, and Gen Z consumers are no different. These people don’t want to hear how brands are concerned about meaningful issues; they want to see how companies are walking the walk—so brands need to always have their good deeds on display.
Promote value. Generation Z doesn’t want a narrative about what a product is, but rather exactly what a product can do for them. They don’t want to feel like a brand is asking them to buy a product; they want to know that a company wants to help them solve a problem, or feel empowered or inspired.
Marketing to Generation Z may take more effort than brands are used to, however, these customers value connections and love to share. Once companies make that connection, they have the potential to expand their reach exponentially as young customers talk about their experiences with products on social media.