If you have never heard the term Gen Z, you have a bigger issue than marketing to them wrongly. Because it means you are not aware of an increasing population of potential customers.
Every generation is unique, and there have always been differences in the consumer behaviour of each generation. But we live in a time when these consumer differences are more pronounced than ever. The world has never been this connected with cultures all over the world interacting and influencing children's development, value formation and economic choices.
There is no consensus on the exact year of the generational break, but many sources cite 1995-1997 and the end year between 2010-2012 for Generation Z. Children born in the same generation have similar formative experiences, they tend towards a similar understanding and interpretation of the world.
Gen Zs account for 26% of the global population and are expected to make up 27% of the workforce by 2025. In the US alone, Gen Zs are projected to make up 40% of the consumer. Now compare that to other parts of the world. It's very important to understand them, isn't it? Here are some of the commonly agreed characteristics of Gen Zs.
-They are the biggest digital consumers
-They are tech-savvy
-They are politically progressive
-They esteem diversity
-They are well-educated
-They are practical, and
-They value financial security
The development of Gen Zs is largely shaped by Tech innovations and Digital media presence. They grew up with Fintech innovations disrupting traditional banking and are more likely to perform online transactions. Now, if this describes your target customers, here are five ways to start targeting them right.
Short Video Marketing: emphasis on short. Gen Zs typically have an attention span of 8 seconds, so you have to get the most important thing out before that time elapses or at least convince them to stay for the next 8 seconds. They interact with audio-visual content a lot and are more likely to be on Youtube than reading a magazine.
Mobile Friendliness: an average Gen Zer grew up using a smartphone or with access to the internet. They spend a lot of time on their mobile devices and make major purchase decisions there. You should optimize your website to be mobile-friendly. And it greatly helps to have a mobile app.
Privacy Protection: always highlight your stand on privacy and your commitment to protecting the privacy of your customers. Gen Zs generally care about their privacy, and it informs their decision to interact with a business.
Influencer Marketing: they are digital natives with a strong sense of loyalty to their online communities, so it logically follows that they follow the recommendations of the top people in their online communities.
Build Online Communities: Gen Zs spend a lot of time on their phone and have more loyalty to their online communities than physical communities. They are always looking forward to new communities, so building or facilitating an online community is a sure way to get Zers on your side. They're more likely to choose your brand based on the review of the members of the community you have created. And the advantage for you as a facilitator in this community is that you can control the narrative or correct the narrative, as the case may be.
Project your values and mission: Gen Zs are big on culture and values and are more likely to choose a brand whose values align with theirs or at least do not contrast with theirs. They also crave meaningful connections, and understanding your values and mission does that for them. It helps them to connect with your brand in a meaningful way.
Be Accountable: dealing with mistakes for a brand used to be doing everything to cover it up. Well, not for Gen Zers. They want you to own up to your mistake, not cover it up, especially when it is detrimental to humanity. They will forgive and view you as a responsible brand.
Now it is important to note that marketing is not simply an advertisement. That is merely a step in marketing. It includes how you design your product; it asks who you designed it for and considers how to reach them. That is why it is necessary to understand your customers.
You can shout your product from the rooftop, but your customers have their Earpods on. Know what that means? They won’t hear you. Don't be that brand that neither understands its customers nor how to reach them.
Also, Gen Zs are the new and upcoming adults; they will hold a larger buying power for the next 20-30 years. It's better to get them on board now.