Anyone targeting Gen Z knows that marketing to this audience segmentation requires special consideration. Born between 1996 and 2010, Gen Z expects brands to authentic and real and expects to be engaged by the brand like never before. They are also value conscious and different compared to millennials. They grew up with smartphones, the internet and access to social media and want to buy from brands that share their values, are inclusive and have a strong online community.
If you are looking to target this generation, then read on because this guide is for you!
Gen Z in Numbers
Gen Z is entering the workforce and they are predicted to make up over forty percent of the working and consumer population. Their current spending power is over 140 billion dollars and is expected to rise to 4.4 trillion dollars by 2030. This makes them a significant audience segment to target. Brands who ignore this, can stand to miss out and can become irrelevant.
Demands of the Future Consumers
This generation has various demands that include more innovation, more engagement and more authenticity than other previous generations. They want brand transparency and control over their buying journey. They do not trust advertising and over 51% of Gen Z has ad blocks to keep them away from outright promotional content. They want to engage with the content that they like, and do not want to be forced into anything.
According to ‘The Power of Gen Z: Trust & The Future Consumer’ special report released by Edelman, it was found that when it comes to trusting, this generation trusts experts, along with family and friends. When it comes to facts and data, this generation will go the extra mile and double check everything you say. They also found that the brands treatment of employees and communities is a major factor driving their purchase decision. It also highlighted the importance of brand trust as 85% of Gen Z respondents said that trusting a brand was critical for them while making purchase decisions and 90% said that they expect brands to be involved in causes that help the world to improve.
Marketing to Gen Z
For those looking to tap into this segment and target Gen Z, let’s look at some key aspects that you should be aware about, along with some tips to help you reach them better:
Move On from the Traditional Approaches
The traditional AIDA – Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action model does not work for Gen Z as it was created in the pre-digital era. Since they are the generation that grew up in the digital age, this model does not work for them. They require to be marketed to in a more subtle and personalised way.
They are a generation who values authenticity over everything. They are not a fan of the ‘Instagram aesthetic’ with perfect hair, surroundings, lifestyle that was popularised by millennials. Gen Z instead wants more reality, imperfection and goofy humanity.
Focus on Engaging
Having grown up in the digital age, this generation does not want to be told, they want to be engaged. Brand tone of voice is no longer relevant with this generation as they want to be told just as it is, minus the curation. They engage better with brands who build a community and give them a chance to be co-creators.
Human connection is what this generation values the most, so your content and brand voice needs to be highly humanised. Show your Gen Z audience the aspects of your brand that makes it relatable, showcase quirky things your employees do in the office, show them behind the scenes of various campaigns in the works. Such kind of humanised content is sure to engage Gen Z and make the content more sharable.
Diversity and Inclusion
Another subject that resonates highly with this generation is diversity and inclusion. They are very aware of the issues and the outdated and oppressive societal norms for marginalised communities, thanks to social media and the news. This has led to them having strong opinions and a burning desire to change such outdated norms. When it comes to the brands they buy from, this is another aspect they consider. They want brands that promote a diverse workforce and share their views on the subject.
Gen Z and B2B Marketing
With an increasing number of Gen Z entering the work place, especially in decision-making roles, B2B marketing will also need to be tweaked to reach them more effectively. When it comes to B2B marketing, Gen Z wants content that adds value. They do not relate to or engage with direct “This is who we are, this is what we do” style of content.
B2B marketing, like B2C marketing to Gen Z needs to be extremely engaging and humanised. It should add value to them as this is what will help you gain their attention. Only once they are effectively engaged will they want to buy/ interact with your brand professionally.
Additionally, your company website is of utmost importance to this generation from the digital age. They want all the information to be readily available and in a clear and direct manner. They do not want to spend time trying to figure out what you’re trying to say, or have to hunt for information. If you don’t provide them with what they need, they will move on to the next brand who does.
When it comes to social media marketing, it is also very important to create content that is authentic and not staged. The more real your content is, the better it will work with this generation. Hiring Gen Z to be a part of your marketing team can be a great idea, since they know what works best. However, management who do not support their ideas can be a problem.
Is Your Marketing Ready for Gen Z?
If you are looking to target Gen Z or plan to do so in the future, you should definitely start by asking yourself this question and look at the current data to analyse if your marketing is ready for Gen Z. Gaining a deeper understanding of your current data will help you plan and strategise better.
If you need help with this, make sure to book an in-depth social media and brand audit with Marketing Essentials Lab, where we will deep dive into your data and highlight various areas for improvement for better engagement.