While businesses have heard countless ways to market to Millennials, it’s time marketers focused their skills on a new crop of consumers: Gen Z. Switching up tactics is key to survival, at least in the marketing world, and it’s essential businesses and marketers strive to create innovative ideas to appeal to the masses.
Gen Z 101
The first thing to remember is that Gen Z is not the same as Millennials. While your marketing strategy likely appealed to that age group or even Baby Boomers, Generation Z is the newest generation following Millennials. They may also go by Post-Millennials, the Homeland Generation, or even the iGeneration since most of them cannot remember a time without smartphones. They’re typified by anyone that was born in the late 1990s up until now.
So, why target Gen Z?
Gen Z is an important consumer force now that their oldest members are beginning to enter the workforce. By 2020, it’s estimated that Generation Z will make up 40% of consumers worldwide, according to Forbes.
Business need to switch up their marketing strategies because — simply put — times are changing. Members of Gen Z likely haven’t experienced life without a smartphone; because of this, online media marketing needs to evolve in order to cater to a new, youthful audience.
The ins and outs of Gen Z marketing
It’s estimated by Forbes that Gen Z will account for $860 billion in direct spending while even more will influence the purchases made by their parents. In order to appeal to a new generation of consumers, you have to know what they want.
Youth culture is changing and the internet is a vital source of information, fun, and socializing in the lives of Generation Z. As such, it’s important to adapt quickly and “go with the flow.”
Gen Z is fast. While following trends might engage Gen Z in the moment, such as using memes or popular songs, it’s important for a marketing company to adopt a fluid strategy that doesn’t marry itself to one form of marketing. While Wendy’s is able to market to Gen Z through clever playlist titles on Spotify, riding the coattails of dance trends (hello, dabbing), might not provide the same longevity.
Gen Z thrives on authenticity. With smartphone in hand, they can disprove any exaggerated statistic or smell out insincerity at the drop of a hat. Your company should be proud of what it does and focus on its mission. When you market toward your company’s end-goal, it won’t seem like you’re trying too hard. Play around with marketing ideas on social media and in your company’s blog to get out information about your company in an authentic way; it’s been proven that nearly 53% of marketers rely on blog content as a number one priority. Gen Z wants to be entertained by the tech world: they don’t want to have blatant advertising to bombard their screens.
Gen Z is a generation that thrives on engagement. Even though many older folks see this generation as a detached group of youth, Gen Z cares about connecting with more people in different ways. They want to read authentic content that describes the end-game. If they don’t see the big picture, then they won’t want to engage with your business. Focus on your company’s goals, know what your product can do for your consumer. Reach out with mobile marketing, social media marketing, and in-house marketing options that connect to your consumers at a local level.
Now, this isn’t to say you need to switch your entire business onto an online platform. LED lighting in sign displays is still an eye-catching, sustainable method of advertising given its ecological benefits. It’s been estimated that LED lighting can potentially reduce the use of energy usage in the U.S. by nearly 50% according to the US Department of Energy. Just keep in mind that a multilevel form of marketing with grassroots advertising and social media marketing is the best way to get to your new Gen Z clients.