June 1st, 2018 by Mandy Napierala
In the technology driven society we live in today, no one understands technology like Gen Z. They’ve had it from the beginning. They’re the kids that played with iPads as toddlers, and watched TV for hours after school. Gen Zer’s rely on media and technology like it is oxygen.
Now I may not have been the child playing with an iPad at the age of 2, but I am a fellow Gen Zer. I am in the group of early Gen Z that may have some characteristics of a millennial, but I do indeed qualify as Gen Z. I can’t say I rely on media like oxygen, but I will admit, as per my generation, I am connected in many ways through social media.
Who am I?
A little more on myself: I am the newest Level 7 intern! I am going into my senior year at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. I’m a Communication major, and am minoring in marketing (and DI volleyball pretty much). You may be thinking I know absolutely nothing since its basically in my title, Intern. You’d be wrong there though, because I AM Gen Z. I AM who you are marketing to, so my insight might just be valuable.
Gen Z is predicted to make up 40% of all consumers by 2020. Almost half of literally all consumers. And on top of that, they will have a buying power of $44 Billion! That is a whole lot of buying power that marketers absolutely need to reach in order to succeed.
This generation is full of surprises, though. They’re the activists, routing for equality for anything and everything imaginable. They are interested in human connection, as crazy as that sounds with their screens acting as a barrier in most cases. They are interested in genuine interaction. Those things may come as a surprise, since everyone knows that Gen Z’s eyes are glued to screens 24/7. That is the key right there though: screens and technology and immediacy.
So how do you do it?
To make things easier on marketers everywhere, I’ve compiled a list of quick suggestions on how to best reach my fellow Gen Zers:
- Make it quick. – This generation has an attention span pretty similar to a goldfish, yes, a goldfish, with a maximum of 8 seconds. 30% of this generation leaves the content after 5 seconds, so in order to reach them, it HAS to be quick. This generation is not interested in reading a detailed paragraph of information. They don’t even read the whole thing when it’s necessary… they’re scanners of information. Gen Z wants to get everything they need from a quick statement, or visual.
- Graphics are key. – As I just mentioned, Gen Z doesn’t want a paragraph. They are an entirely visual demographic. Images, or even GIFS (graphic interchange format, or a moving image for the rest of you not so tech savvy folks), and most definitely video. Capturing the essence of the message in some kind of visual will help ensure that Gen Zer’s even glance that way.
- Positive, world changing, messages. – This is the generation that was born into a world of wars, terrorism, and discrimination unlike others. Gen Z see’s the world as corrupt and wants to do anything and everything in order to lessen the corruption. They want equality for all. To reach this generation, create messages that look towards change and benefit the entirety of society. They want to be a part of the change.
- Instant gratification and rewards. – Back to the whole goldfish attention span concept, this generation wants everything immediately. They are driven by instantaneous rewards and incentives. They don’t have the “trust the process” kind of mantra. Gen Z is looking for something to reward them for what they do, immediately. Offer rewards or incentives that come immediately after a purchase, app download, or after telling a friend, and you’ll have them hooked.
- Stay relevant. – Facebook is not the right platform for this group. They are interested in Instagram and Snapchat. They appreciate the genuine authenticity and personal connection that snapchat and Instagram offer them (even if no one else believes that authenticity). Those are the two most important outlets to market with to Gen Z. When you see the Gen Zer’s eyes glued to the phone, chances are they’re scrolling through Instagram, or snapping a selfie to a friend on Snapchat. Bring yourself up to speed with those two platforms.
- Humans are important. – Gen Z doesn’t want to see a random model on their ad, they want a real, human face. The personal connection and authenticity they appreciate can be relayed via a brand face they relate to. Gen Z wants to see someone they know and someone relatable on the ad. Maybe someone like latest internet yodeling sensation, Mason Ramsey, rather than random Old Spice man.
Gen Z is a unique and interesting generation. They are interested in genuine connection and authenticity, but would rather text a friend than call them. They want equality and peace, but also are interested in instant gratification, something that does not come with the fight for equality. They want trust and humanization and to be able to personalize anything.
With their growing prevalence in society, it is crucial to market to Gen Z. By utilizing media and creating a trustworthy relationship with the generation, the result will be loyal customers for your product, for years and years to come.