Before we discuss how companies are targeting Generation Z, let’s first define what and who belongs to the generation. Generation Z is the term given to the latest generation – individuals born between 1997 and 2012. They have grown up in the age of the internet and social media, using internet-capable devices for just about everything, which includes buying everything from food to cars.
It’s important to understand what consumes Generation Z because a large number of them have started to enter the workforce and have money to spend. By 2020, the group is expected to make up 40% of all customers.
Financially, Generation Z members have seen how the previous generation – the so-called Millennials – struggle. For this reason, those in this generation are far more fiscally conservative. They are looking to avoid major debt, appreciate their accounts, and seek out services that help them do both.
Keeping all the above in mind, how do companies then target Generation Z? There are several ways businesses are doing so in 2019. Read on to learn more.
Generation Z is the most current generation; individuals in this generation – generally born between 1997 and 2012 – make up 25% of the general population, with many now entering the workforce and making their own money.
The members of Generation Z are technology- and social media-driven; in order to market to them successfully, companies need to devote the majority of their marketing to online platforms.
Generation Z favors authenticity and benefitting the world as a whole; companies need to be transparent and come with a purpose and products/services in order to target the generation successfully.
Embracing a Social-Media Mentality
The first way companies are targeting Generation Z should already be obvious: brands are taking a social-media first approach. Those in Generation Z aren’t watching television shows and movies in traditional ways; they’re doing it online. What’s more, platforms like YouTube are visited by 70% of the generation daily. Companies are using YouTube advertisements on videos to market their products and services. More than that, they’ve actually adopted the practice of using influential YouTubers to market what they have to offer.
Companies also see that smartphone apps are a good method of targeting Generation Z. The generation uses apps like Instagram and Twitter daily, as well. Companies using the social-media mentality as part of their marketing strategy are more likely to draw in the members of this generation.
Offering Authenticity Over Gimmicks
It may seem counterintuitive given that celebrities and influencers are being used to market goods and services. However, studies have shown that Generation Z is more likely to patronize a company that uses authentic and transparent advertising over gimmicky marketing tactics.
As already established above, Generation Z is both tech-driven and tech-savvy. They have seen and heard everything the internet has to offer, including the ad campaigns used on millennials; they want something new. How do brands offer something new? They get transparent.
Generation Z is more attracted to celebrities that show themselves without makeup and ads that show what a company can realistically offer. And as addressed above, Generation Z is more financially conservative. A company that portrays itself in an authentic way and is transparent when it comes to their own financial state is far more likely to attract the Generation Z crowd.
Offering a Product and a Purpose
Studies have shown that Generation Z is leaning into causes: the environment, socioeconomic crusades, and other campaigns that benefit the world as a whole. This means that if a company is to successfully market to Generation Z, it needs to offer a product (and/or service) AND a purpose. Companies targeting the new generation need a meaningful intent or goal aside from benefitting its bottom line.
Generation Z is more likely to throw its support behind a food company if every purchase buys a meal for a child in a third-world country. They’re willing to shell out $5 for a bottle of water if each purchase helps give struggling communities access to clean water. Generation Z wants to do something to help the world. If a company is to be successful with the newest generation, they need to offer a way for them to do that.
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