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Jul 16

Digital Digest: Marketing to Gen Z

While some companies are still trying to figure out how to market to millennials, most marketers are now shifting their focus to Generation Z.

Born in the early 2000s, these up-and-coming consumers have lived their entire lives with internet, mobile phones, and easy access to social media sites. This tech-savvy generation is challenging marketers in a way no other generation ever has, as they heavily determine their spending habits on user experience, word-of-mouth, and value of the product more than any previous generation. It’s not about selling your product to Gen Z, it’s about what your product can do for them, how it makes their lives better, and its impact on society.

According to a FastCompany.com report, Gen Z will account for 40 percent of all consumers by the year 2020. That’s a large number of consumers entering the market in the next two years. But how do you reach them if coupons, flash sales, and promotions don’t grab their attention?

Start with being authentic. Gen Z doesn’t want to see glamorous models in idealized poses trying to get them to make a purchase. They want to be shown the truth behind the brand. Make your marketing personal, using real people, in real situations, with real results.

Gen Z watches videos on YouTube and Twitch, both social media platforms that feature non-celebrities and that bring a sense of one-on-one between the viewer and the content producer. For Gen Z, Photoshop is a turn-off to buying your product.

Tell Gen Z what your product is going to do for them. Better yet, let others tell them what your product has done for them. By encouraging word-of-mouth and using influencers, you are helping to create value with your goods by showcasing the experience they will have if they purchase them. User experience, or UX, is quickly growing to become the key indicator in what Gen Z, Millennials, and even Generation X are looking for when it comes to making a purchasing decision.

This generation has grown up in a culture of instantaneous news, most of it negative. This has helped to drive them into wanting to make a positive change to their community and in the world. They are more likely to make purchases from companies that are environmentally and socially inclusive. Changes in things like using recyclable packaging or giving back to the communities you do business in will go a lot farther than a flash sale when it comes to Generation Z’s decision on whether or not to spend money with your brand. 

Generation Z is a mobile generation. Whatever your marketing plan, however, you design it, your primary focus must be on mobile. A recent study shows that Gen Z spends a jaw-dropping 10.6 hours per day engaging with online content with more than half of that time on their smartphone. If you’re not thinking mobile first, you’re going to lose out on that 40 percent that would have been your customer.

After the struggles marketers had trying to reach millennials with their brand messaging, it comes as a relief to know that Gen Z is gearing up to enter the consumer market and that all we need to do, as marketers, is to be honest, authentic, and real. And that’s a win for both the consumer and the brand. n

Clearbridge Branding Agency is a digital marketing agency located in Millville. Visit ClearBridgeMedia.com.

MORE:

Digital Digest: Strong Branding 

Digital Digest: Use of Photos in Social Media 

Clearbridge Digital Digest: Instagram Ups Its Game 


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