Gen Z: Move over Millennials - the new kids are in town

Published on 01st Feb 2017 in Marketing

Just as we got the hang of marketing for Millennials, Generation Z (Gen Z) announced their arrival.

With this new demographic comes a hefty purchasing power which dwarves that of previous generations. These younger, tech-savvy consumers are about to flood the market and your brand needs to be prepared.

Here’s how you should get ready for the consumer of the future.

Who are Generation Z?

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Generation Z, (also known as the iGeneration or Post-Millennials) are the individuals born after the advent of the internet in 1995. These ‘digital natives’ are comfortable with modern technologies and are the only generation to not remember life without the iPad.

They are the most diverse and open-minded generation yet and have a huge sense of determination. Having grown up during the uncertain times of the 2008 recession and still feeling the brunt of its effects today, Gen Z have become a much more cautious generation than Millennials. They are more likely to stick with products and services they know and trust, meaning that marketers need to earn this loyalty at an early stage.

Key differences between Gen Z and Millennials

We have been angling our marketing efforts towards Millennials for years, so the best way to figure out how to adapt your strategies is by understanding the main differences between these two demographics and updating your strategy accordingly.

Generation Z are less focused

Recent studies have shown that members of Gen Z have an average attention span of just 8 seconds meaning that marketers are going to have to work even harder to hold their attention.

Millennials can’t multitask

Maybe growing up surrounded by various screens and distractions wasn’t as bad as most parents thought – Gen Z are much better at multitasking than Millennials. 84% of Gen Z multitask with an Internet-connected device while watching TV, compared to just 2% of the rest of the population being able to do so effectively.

If you’re trying to attract the Gen Z market, the best approach is an Omni-channel marketing strategy. Create a seamless and responsive experience from one interface to another and you’ll be well on your way to impressing these nimble new consumers.

Generation Z sees education differently

Education for its own sake isn’t part of Gen Z’s mind-set; they will instead attend university for its career, social and networking opportunities. Vocational courses or ‘competency-based education’ will become more popular as these courses prepare Gen Z for the real world.

Marketers will have to change the way they target university students too. By demonstrating how your product brand or service will help them in a practical sense, you’ll have a good chance of getting them on side.

Millennials focus on money

Millennials grew up during the recession, so they have a keen sense of financial prudence. They are much more cautious than Gen Z when it comes to purchasing high ticket items. Although, Gen Z are much more optimistic about their financial futures.

This means that many industries will profit from the $44 billion spending power that Gen Z alone already has in the US.

Generation Z are more entrepreneurial

Gen Z strive for independence and many of them want to achieve this by running their own businesses. Inspired by well-known start-up stories like Facebook, these individuals are determined to succeed.

With this increased interest in vocational education, more young people will have the opportunity to start their own ventures and business accelerators and incubators will become more and more popular.

Marketers should appeal to this entrepreneurial spirit and encourage independence by allowing them to focus on new products directly tied to business success.

Generation Z want it fast and they want it now

Especially when it comes to technology. Members of Gen Z have grown up with unlimited information available at their fingertips. If your online experience doesn’t deliver results quickly and efficiently, they’ll be disappointed and find an alternative.

Marketers must pre-empt their needs and provide a premium user experience to keep these individuals on side. Gen Z demand speed and simplicity. It is a marketer’s job to provide it.

Generation Z: the first global generation

The internet has allowed Gen Z to become a global community. Through social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, they can become friends and share content with people on the other side of the world in an instant.

How can we cater for Gen Z?

By 2020, Generation Z will account for 40% of consumers, so you must have a plan in place to target them. Here is a quick run-down of our top suggestions:

  • Be original and authentic
  • Contact them on their home turf – the Internet
  • Use social media marketing to gain a following, use polls and run contests to engage with the Gen Z audience
  • Optimise your website for mobile
  • Use social media influencers
  • Provide information when and where they need it

Gen Z are catching up with Millennials in size and it won’t be long before they do so in spending power too. Marketers must understand every touchpoint on the often-complex journey of the Gen Z consumer. Infinity’s call tracking solution can do this, offering unparalleled insight into your future consumer’s journey before they pick up the phone and call you.

Contact us to find out more today.

Head of Marketing

Carol Carini
Head of Marketing

Head of Marketing. Mama. Tea drinker. Skier. Photography, Marketing & Tech Stuff. Football fan by proxy!

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