As new generations start to pop into the market, it's always a challenge to learn how to reach them. Especially with the rate that technology continues to grow and new tech consistently appearing, every generation becomes receptive to new products, services, and businesses in different ways. While Baby Boomers and Gen X may have been receptive to television commercials and billboards for local businesses, Gen Y and Gen Z have grown up seeing those and subsequently become numb to them.
What is one thing that nearly all Gen Y and Gen Z have in common?
They pretty much always have their phones in their hands. Marketing to their mobile device is the main way you're going to get their attention.
It's all about getting creative and thinking about how Gen Y and Gen Z are consuming content, where they're viewing media, and what makes them want to buy a product or service.
We're talking more specifically about Generation Z (also affectionately called iGen) right now, the generation growing up right after Millennials. Although sources vary on what years make up Generation Z, the general consensus is around the mid-1990s through the 2000s. For purposes of this article, we'll say 1995-2010. That makes Generation Zers about 8-23 years old.
Obviously 8-year-olds are not making their own purchases, but it's still important to know how to market to this generation as a whole, both to pique the interest of the younger ones and get them to ask their parents to buy them your product/service, and to market to the older ones who are starting to earn their own money and make their own purchasing decisions.
Here are a few ways your business can work on successfully marketing to Generation Z.
1. Understand their values.
Understanding Gen Z's values, and what they care about is essential to be able to successfully market and sell to them. This can help you construct entire campaigns and advertisements surrounding what you know will matter to them.
Gen Z is different from past generations in how they make purchasing decisions. They want to make a difference in the world, they're incredibly plugged in to what brands are doing, and they know they have options when it comes to where they spend their money. So a business's values are important to them.
This generation's values tend to center around human equality, individuality, authenticity, humor, and personal success.
2. Work with influencers.
One way to grab the attention of Gen Z is by working with a variety of influencers who essentially promote and sell your product/service for you. Influencer marketing has been around for years, and it is a great way to introduce your business to new audiences.
Essentially, you work with a blogger or social media influencer with a large audience. You can provide them with free products/services or pay them a marketing fee in exchange for a certain number of posts about your business. Gen Z loves to find out about new products and services from people they follow on social media, so this can be a great way to get your brand in front of them.
3. Be where they are.
Gen Z is not enticed by traditional marketing strategies anymore. TV commercials, magazine ads, billboards, and the like aren't as successful with this generation. Instead, they consume most of their media online, on platforms like Twitter and Instagram. They love digital publications, so having a presence online, using social media advertising, and investing in display advertising are all great ways to have a presence where Gen Z is spending their time.
4. Be transparent.
Gen Z doesn't care as much about the things that other generations have cared about, like cost or convenience. Instead, they care about businesses who are transparent and authentic with their business decisions. Being transparent with your customers is a great way to earn their trust, and that's important to Gen Z.
5. Cater to their high expectations.
Generation Z has high expectations when it comes to speed. Having grown up in a world with high-speed internet, smartphones, and near-instant gratification, they expect things to happen quickly. They're accustomed to brands being available online and on social media to assist with issues, and they expect to hear back from your business quickly should they reach out.
Make sure you cater to this generation's high expectations if you want to earn and keep their business.
6. Work for a cause.
Gen Z loves businesses who stand for something. For example, TOMS is an incredibly popular brand with them because for each pair of TOMS shoes bought, the company donates a pair to a child in need. Ugmonk has partnered with Rice Bowls to provide a meal for a child in need each time a product is purchased.
This is something that Generation Z believes in, and figuring out a way for your business to work for a cause is a great way to stand out to this audience.
7. Optimize for mobile.
Last, but not least, focus on mobile. Generation Z uses mobile more than any other device to access social media and the internet, so it's essential to optimize your website, content, and campaigns for mobile use. Make sure your website design is mobile responsive, create native ad experiences that users can interact with through their mobile devices, and focus on vertical photo and video content.
Marketing to Generation Z doesn't have to be an entirely new playing field. You may be employing some of these strategies already. Learn more about your target audiences and how to market to them by contacting us today.
Written By: David Carpenter