Understanding different generations (Baby Boomers, Millennials, Gen X, or Gen Z), how they interact with brands, and how they make purchasing decisions is a crucial factor in marketing; the more targeted and relevant your marketing is, the more leads and sales it will drive to your business.
In this post, we will focus on Generation Z (birth years from the mid-1990s to mid-2000s), which make up approximately 25% of the US population. These are under 23-year-olds who grew up with the internet, high-speed broadband, and smartphones; therefore, they are incredibly comfortable with technology. This theme will continue throughout this post, but let’s start with the use of smartphones – which may be the most critical technology in their lives.
One Device To Rule Them All
This is the generation that is dependent on a smartphone. While many of us switch between devices (laptop, tablet, pc, smartphone), Generation Z is using their smartphone for almost everything. This is an important factor to consider because if you are trying to target Gen Z all your content creation, marketing, and advertising efforts should focus on smartphones.
To Gen Z, You Do Not Exist If You Are Not On Social Media
We cannot emphasize this point enough. You may have the best product, service, or storefront, but if you are not active on social media, you will never connect with Gen Z. To earn their business, you first need to build a connection with them.
So how do we build this connection? Generation Z views social media as a way to form stronger relationships with friends; therefore, Step 1 should always be “build a connection”, don’t make it all about business. Also, have an opinion and discuss topics they care about.
Be Good, And Do Good
It is no secret that millennials buy more from socially responsible companies, and this trend will only increase with Gen Z; therefore, show your audience that you care, and more importantly that you are trying to make a difference.
Partner With Influencers
Partnering with influencers is essential if you are trying to target Gen Z. We have to remember that Gen Z consumes most (if not all) of their content on social media, so partnering with influencers they respect will drive a lot of social media attention and goodwill to your brand.
You May Need To Change Your Business Model
While millennials kickstarted the “on-demand” and “sharing” economies, their kids (Gen Z) will fully embrace it. This shift will become even more important when Gen Z get a little older and gain more buying power.
This is why many businesses will have to adapt to Gen Z, and transition from “one-time payment” to “subscription” business models. Why? Large one-time payments are foreign to Gen Z, so trying to sell any product or service that requires a large one-time payment is a recipe for failure.
Excellent User Experience (UX) Is Essential
Gen Z is tech-savvy, so the learning curve is almost nonexistent. This is good news for many businesses. However, Gen Z is used to applications with exceptional User Experience (e.g., Apple, Google, Instagram, etc.), so if you are building a digital product for Gen Z, you have to prioritize User Experience. They have no patience for applications or products that are difficult to use because they didn’t go through the 1990s and early 2000s when bad UX was prevalent and acceptable.
Everything that Gen Z touched (digitally) from an early age had a great UX, so any digital experience around your product cannot be “average”, it has to be great.
Even if Gen Z is not your core audience right now, they will be in the future, so understanding how they think and how they make their purchasing decisions is essential to all marketers and businesses alike.
In addition, Gen Z represents 25% of the US population, and that number is quickly rising, so if you want to benefit from the purchasing power Gen Z will soon have, then you have to start attracting their attention. But remember, they are the first generation that didn’t experience the pre-internet and pre-smartphone era, so how they look at the world is very different to Baby Boomers, Millennials, or Gen X.