September 11, 2017
Every major business publication has written dozens of articles on the Millennial generation over the last few years. Topics range from how Millennials are transforming the workplace to what they expect from their favorite brands. Marketers have spent countless hours trying to figure out how to appeal to this generation so they can earn their loyalty. But, these marketers have failed to acknowledge the importance of the next generation of consumers, Generation Z. By 2020, Generation Z will account for 40% of all consumers, yet marketers are still hung up on targeting Millennials. This unique generation will present just as many challenges and opportunities for marketers as their predecessors. Here’s what you need to know to market to Generation Z:
Make it Quick
It seems as if the average attention span is getting shorter and shorter with each generation. Industry experts estimate that Gen Zers have an average attention span of eight seconds, which means you have eight seconds to make a good first impression on these consumers. Whether a Gen Zer is reading your blog, watching your videos, or simply browsing your website, they need to know what your brand is about within eight seconds or they will lose interest.
Social Media Influencers
Generation Z does not respond as positively to celebrities as other generations, which means brands should think twice before paying for a big name to promote their products. However, Generation Z does respond well to social media influencers such as famous YouTube beauty bloggers or Instagram models. Generation Z views these influencers as more trustworthy and relatable than celebrities since they are real people. If you want an influencer associated with your brand, choose one of these social media stars instead of a traditional celebrity.
But if you don’t have enough in your budget for an influencer, don’t worry. A recent survey showed that 63% of Gen Zers actually prefer seeing real people in ads instead of celebrities and influencers. Using real people to promote your brand could help you come off as authentic to this generation.
Generation Z may be one of the most open-minded generations of all time. These consumers truly believe that everyone can get along if we all just accepted one another’s differences. They often look to their favorite companies to lead the way and promote this message of diversity and inclusivity. Consumers within this generation do not want to do business with a brand that doesn’t accept people of all different colors, ethnicities, faiths, and sexual orientations. They also aren’t interested in buying from brands that set unrealistic body or lifestyle expectations. If you want to appeal to this generation, make sure your brand messaging does not exclude certain groups of people.
Change the World
Over three-fourths of Gen Zers are concerned about how humans are destroying the planet. This generation is passionate about making a difference, and they want the brands they do business with to share this passion. For this reason, it’s important for brands to be vocal about what they’re doing to protect the planet. Are you switching to recyclable materials? Are you donating a percentage of your profits to a reputable charity? What are you doing to reduce your company’s carbon footprint? Generation Z will want to know the answers to these questions. To win Gen Z’s loyalty, show them how you are just as dedicated to changing the world as they are.
According to a recent survey, nearly 80% of Generation Z is interested in virtual reality. Brands who are planning experiential marketing events should keep this in mind, since virtual reality can easily be incorporated into experiential activations. For example, brands can use virtual reality to give Generation Z a behind the scenes tour of how products or made. Generation Z loves when brands pull back the curtain to let consumers in on a side that they typically don’t see, so this approach would be incredibly appealing to them.
Social Media Networks
It’s no surprise that brands need to be on social media in order to reach Gen Z, but do you know which platforms you should focus on? Contrary to many marketing experts who have declared that Facebook is dead, Gen Z is still active on this network. In fact, two-thirds of Gen Zers check their Facebook pages at least once per day. But, Gen Z’s favorite social media platform is Snapchat. Nearly 80% of Gen Zers who were surveyed said they use Snapchat at least once per day, and over half admitted to using this platform more than 11 times per day.
What are Gen Zers looking for on Snapchat? According to the Gen Zers who were surveyed, they enjoy seeing how-to videos, behind-the-scenes snaps, and a-day-in-the-life-of stories. Brands should keep this information in mind when planning an experiential marketing event. All of this content can easily be created and sent to Gen Z followers to build buzz around an upcoming event.
Of course, brands shouldn’t ignore all other social media platforms just because Gen Z’s favorite is Snapchat. Remember, this generation has a very short attention span. They often split their attention between their smartphones, TVs, laptops, and tablets, which means they may not see your 10-second Snapchat story. Make sure you get their attention by being everywhere that they are. The messaging across the different platforms should be consistent, but not identical.
Millennials still have the purchasing power to make or break your brand, but Gen Z is a powerful and opinionated generation that should not be ignored. Do you want to reach Generation Z? Let us plan an experiential marketing event targeted at these powerful consumers. Contact our experienced team of experiential marketing experts today to discuss your needs!