Sure, your small business is relating well to millennials, but those “kids” are growing up fast and quickly being replaced by Gen Z. According to Forbes, by the year 2020, Generation Z will make up 40% of all consumers. This new, younger demographic matches their aging millennial counterparts in some ways, but also presents a new group of challenges when it comes to marketing.
Who are these young consumers? Anyone born after 1995 belongs to Generation Z. Born fully into the world of technology, this generation is tech-minded and used to instant gratification. They’re also known to be more risk-averse, frugal, and open-minded behaviors than millennials.
With a shifting generational mindset, comes a shifting marketing mindset. Here are five things you can do to catch the attention of Here are 5 things you can do to move into the good graces of Gen Z.
Treat them as individuals
Ironic that we lump a generation together under a single title, “Generation Z” and all they want is to be individual? Kind of, yes. As the world gets closer with the rise of social media, email, and video chat, it’s important to not label anyone, group them together, or generalize whenever possible. Which, honestly, is true for all of us – we’re all individuals, blasting a single marketing message to everyone and hoping it sticks to someone hasn’t really worked since the 80s.
This tendency to lean into an individual sense of self however, means marketing data is crucial and we need to go above and beyond to define and tailor the marketing experience to our audience. In man cases, that is Generation Z.
Use A Mobile-First Strategy
Generation Z has grown up with smartphones. Everything from social media, to podcasting, to banking has always been accessible from the palm of their hand. This means you not only have to be mobile friendly, but it also means you have the chance to use video in a very powerful way.
Create videos that are engaging, entertaining, and share knowledge and distribute freely. Be overly conscious of how you portray your brand positioning and what you endorse when. This generation is paying attention and will be quick to move on when they see something they don’t relate to.
Say ber-bye to desktop browsers! This generation uses social media channels for every purpose; Twitter for news updates, Snapchat for life in real time, and Instagram to visually illustrate hopes and dreams. What about Facebook? Honestly, Mr. Zuckerberg is struggling to find his way into the hearts of Gen Z.
Generation Z is numb to ad after ad after ad on feed after feed. They want proof that what you have will fix their problems and make the world a better place to live. More than anything, they want you to prove your value. Whether you’re putting out content for education or entertainment, this generation wants you to help improve things.
Be hyper-aware of putting too many obstacles in front of them – extra required fields in an opt-in form, slow-loading websites, and salesy pitches – they’ll simply move on to the next resource that promises the value that they seek.
Empower Gen Z To Change The World
The pendulum is swinging back in favor of the do-gooders of the world. Millennials were big on creating their own destiny and finding jobs that let them live life. Generation Z is more interested in helping others and making the world a better place to live.
This means that if you’re a business with a social responsibility factor you need to walk the walk. This young generation immediately recognizes when they’re included in something important. They also realize when they’re caught in another boastful campaign. If you connect with this generation on the social interest level and you’ll be set for life.
…Or at least until the next generation comes of age.
Because we live in a more social, more visible world, negativity shows up more now than ever before. Gen Z is encouraging a monumental shift toward the positive. They want to make sure that you’re on board with that agenda. Shout about your positive interactions, positive messaging, and desire to serve your consumers. Gen Z will have a much greater respect for you and your business.
In fact, a 2016 survey done by Lincoln Financial Group found that 80% of Generation Z tends to lean heavily toward products that provide a positive effect on the environment or society. If that’s you, you’re in luck!
The bottom line is, consumers change over the years. Generations shift priorities depending on the current political climate, economy, and social structure of their communities. What is effective today may no longer work tomorrow. To cater to this emerging group of Generation Z consumers, apply a mobile-first, noble-intention strategy. Create content and products with value. And treat each person as an individual.
If you ask me, it’s not such a bad set of morals to live by.
To find out other ways to focus your marketing message check out the free marketing mini-course and find some (much-needed?) clarity around your marketing strategy.