By Caitrina Van Veen
Gen Z. The buzzword of 2019 which will undoubtedly keep its buzz throughout 2020. Not just in marketing but you’ll also hear it mentioned in political campaigns and governmental policies. But who are these illustrious Gen Z-ers? Why is it important to start focusing on them? And how can you target them? Don’t worry- we got you.
Just keep reading.
Gen Z – who are they?
First things first. Who is classified as Generation Z? Gen Z is an age demographic that spans from approximately 1995 to the mid-2000s. Your first inclination might be to dismiss this generation as being too young to be financially interesting. However, we’ve got some bad news for you; you are getting old. Gen Z is now between 24 and 14 years of age and is one of the most interesting demographics with spending power that is constantly increasing.
When taking into account their influence on the purchasing choices of their parents, their buying power increases from 44 billion to 600 billion. Whilst Millenials are starting to settle down and have kids, Gen Z-ers are just beginning their adolescence and are entering an age in which they will have a lot of money to spend and no family or kids to prevent them from doing so. We, being on the cusp of millennial and gen-z can attest to this. It’s great.
It is estimated that by 2020 Gen Z will account for 40% of the consumers in the US.
OK, so we’ve established that Gen Z is an interesting demographic with ever-increasing spending power. But don’t get too excited yet. You thought Millennials were hard to market towards? Just wait until you try getting Generation Z to buy your products or services. This generation is cynical, fiscally responsible, independent, and not impressed with much. Get ready to really work for your target group.
OK, so how can we get our message through to them?
Glad you asked. With the next 5 steps, we’ll show you how to get in touch with your Gen Z customer base and how to keep them engaged. Prepare yourself – it’s time to get real and vulnerable.
Step 1 – GRAB THEIR ATTENTION
One of the most difficult things about Gen Z is that they are hard to reach. Their attention spans are short, and they filter out things that are too ad-like. The trick is to keep your content as natural and real looking as possible.
Step 2 – SPEAK THE TRUTH
The same goes for the message of the content. Gen Z can spot fakeness a mile away. A post or a picture that sounds or looks like an advert will be clicked away, scrolled past, or deleted. Make sure your content really shows who you are and what you stand for. Pretending to be something you’re not just won’t cut it.
Step 3 – MAKE IT MEANINGFUL
Truthfulness alone is not enough. There needs to be an actual message that you are sending. Gen Z isn’t called the woke generation for nothing. They don’t buy products, they buy ideas and ideologies. The market is oversaturated with tons of similar products. The real USP won’t be your product – but the story behind it. It is important that your company or brand stands for something bigger than just making money.
Step 4 – KEEP IT DIGITAL
If you thought Millennials were obsessed with digital media -think again. Gen-Z is the biggest user of social media and is best contacted through email marketing and online adverts. They are the true digital natives and have never known a world without handheld tech. Just keep in mind that your online advertisements need to be cool and relaxed. Pushy ads are the worst, and Gen-Z knows this. Influencers are another way to go – but forget everything you knew about them. Gen-Z doesn’t want perfectly tanned girls, frolicking on a beach, preaching about self-love. They want gritty young artists who have something to say. And who truly believe in the product they are promoting. It’s difficult to get the tone right, but once you do – it’s magic.
Step 5 – PRACTISE WHAT YOU PREACH
You can’t preach equality, being green, or any other kind of social justice without putting in the work. Gen-Z is particularly good at seeing through the proverbial bullshit. The negative side effects of lying to your clients are way bigger than just not getting involved with these topics.
So be true to your clients and be true to yourself. Don’t greenwash but actually commit to becoming green, don’t talk about how important women are in the boardroom without actually having any of them in yours. And don’t just do this because a target group finds it important. Getting your company morally straight is good for everyone.
So there you have it: Gen-Z in a nutshell. Go digital, speak the truth, make it meaningful, and practice what you preach. Easy.