Marketing to Generation Z

Every marketer dreams of getting their products or services into the hands of young people. Why? Because young people quite literally determine what is cool and what isn’t; which products are worth buying and which are not, what sells and what does not. If you can engage with teens and young adults now, you’re in prime position to build a lifelong consumer relationship.

Generation Z, or Post-Millennials, is the name given to individuals born in the mid-90s up to the mid-2000s. They’ve never lived in a time when the internet didn’t exist. Most knew how to use an iPad before they learned to read. They want their information fast. They’re just now entering the workforce and developing their buyer power.

By the year 2020, Generation Z will account for 40% of all consumers. Let that sink in for a moment!

Once Gen Zers find something they like, they become obsessed, giving that product their laser-focused attention and creating a cult-like following. This is an excellent opportunity for a marketer, but how do you reach an audience with a short attention span and highly selective tendencies? What grabs their attention? Where are they going for information? Most importantly, what do they want to hear?

Meet them where they are

Gen Z is responsible for the wild success of social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. Social media is where they spend almost every waking minute, so it would be a dire mistake to skimp on the social media portion of your marketing plan.

Brands like Wendy’s and Taco Bell are building a loyal following by consistently and frequently engaging with users on Facebook and Twitter. You can help make a post go viral by responding quickly, creatively, and doing it in a language Gen Zers understand.

Be in more than one place at the same time

It’s hard to get the attention of Gen Zers because it’s constantly being divided and split among several different devices. On average, a Gen Zer is bouncing between a smart phone, laptop, desktop, TV, and tablet. Make sure your marketing campaign can make an impact across all of these platforms before their eyes shift to the next device.

Say it fast

Researchers say that Generation Z has an attention span of exactly 6-8 seconds, making their attention span officially shorter than that of a goldish. But unlike seafood, you actually care how long a Gen Zer spends looking at your content, so make it snappy.

Give them context before they like your photo or watch your video. Help them understand why they should care about clicking your link or why they’ll find it entertaining. And do it in less than 8 seconds.

Look the part

As stated earlier, Gen Zers have never lived in a world without the internet. This makes them the most tech savvy generation, to put it mildly. They know what looks good and what doesn’t. That being said, your website needs to be mobile friendly. Your website needs to have a clean layout. Ditch the clip art and make sure your images are crisp and clear. Update your profile picture.

If your website looks unprofessional or out of style, Gen Zers will be moving on to greener pastures faster than you can say “avocado toast”.

Create loyalty by creating value

The most important aspect of marketing to Generation Z is being open, honest, and transparent. Generation Z can smell authenticity a mile away. They don’t want to be marketed to. They want to be talked to. They want to learn. They want to engage. They want to be entertained. They don’t want to sit through ads.

The best thing a marketer can do is to be real and help Gen Z understand why they should care.

Generation Z is the generation that wants to stop talking about changing the world and actually do it. And if you can harness the buying power of Gen Z, you can help them do just that.