Dear Marketers, get over Millennials and prepare your brand to speak to the Generation Z (Gen Zers). The new age consumers who are also known as Centennials or Post-Millennials are born after 1995.
This generation grew up with the internet and social media and mostly use five devices – mobile, tablets, laptops, desktop and TV. They are also adopting smart watches quicker than other generations. They have a voracious appetite for tech products and services. Gen Zers are adept in technology, and many believe that they are economically more conservative than the millennials.
The Generation Z make up for more than a quarter of America’s population and are projected to account for more than 40% of all consumers by 2020. This generation is rapidly growing, and their expectations are usually on the high end. Gen Zers represent a buying power of $44 billion and influence an additional $600 billion of family spending. They influence the way their parents spend, including over 70% of household food choices and 80% to 90% of items purchased for them. That being said, if marketers focus on Gen Zers over millennials, they are likely to please the other generation as well.
Here are five tips to effectively market your product and services to the younger generation
Think like a Gen Zer
You can’t aim to sell your product to a centennial thinking like a millennial. Get inside the brains of the Gen Zers. Understand their thought process. Analyze their actions and demands. In other words, you have to get into the character of a regular Gen Zer to come up with an excellent marketing strategy. For instance, Gen Zers are open-minded. They think that this world has enough space to accommodate everyone’s prosperity. In other words, they believe that everyone can work hard and prosper together.
Take note of this mindset. Your brand can’t get the attention of the centennials by encouraging competition or provoking emotions. Rather, you have to communicate with them intelligently and make sure that your brand should appear to share the same values as they do.
Collaborate with Generation Z
Gen Zers are free spirited people who don’t want to be told what to do. They are do gooders who want to make a positive impact on the world. Marketers need to find ways to interact with this new generation and have them actively participate with the brand. This technique is beneficial for customer retention. When you market your brand in a way that imbibes trust and authenticity and have the centennials participate in some capacity, they tend to stick to the brand. This further helps in influencer marketing, as the Gen Z goes with word of mouth more than any other generation. Two-way conversations are an absolute imperative.
Use Multiple Social Media Channels
This is a given for the Centennials. Social media has been used as an effective marketing platform ever since its inception, but the way to use it has been changed significantly over the years. For the millennials, Facebook was seen as the prime social media platform to market. For the generation Z, things are entirely different. Most of the successes with marketing campaigns have been seen on Snapchat(used by around 21% of teenagers), Instagram(used by 17%), and twitter(another 27%). Marketers have to focus on all these platforms at the same time to be seen and heard, as the centennials switch from one app to another in a jiffy. The attention span of the generation Z is roughly about 7-8 seconds. You have to sell your brand/idea within that time frame. Youtube ads are no longer to the rescue. The moment an ad comes on the video, another app window is opened. Marketers have to figure out a good strategy to use all these social media platforms to their full potential. A good example could be the #showyourcolor campaign by ‘beats by Dre’, or the way ‘Taco Bell’ uses their Twitter handle to communicate with their customers.
Don’t Advertise – Offer Value
There is no other way around it. No marketing strategy can save a product with poor value, especially with this generation. The generation strives for authentic and useful products more than the celebrity face on the packaging. The generation that has the world of information at the click of a button can research well about the market, compare prices and quality of similar products before pressing “buy.” If you use marketing automation, then you must avoid these mistakes to make right impression on the Gen Zers. With so many options and information available, a product that is misleading or “just not good enough” can easily go under the radar. This generation is unapologetic and brutal. With them, the concept of ‘brand loyalty’ is also out of the picture. Competition is tough, and the centennials aren’t making it any easy. Offering good value is the only way to sell to Gen Zers.
This is more of a caveat than a tip. Never try hard to ‘become’ like them. Never. They’ll spot you out of the lot, find the pretentiousness repulsive and never come back. Don’t use fancy social media jargons to sound like them. Even the authenticity or the value of your product cannot come to the rescue if you do this. Be professional without being boring. Be articulate without being too technical or difficult to understand. Be what your brand stands for. Have a solid stand even if it is controversial. Tell them what you are good at- and only that. Don’t try to be the jack of all trades, thereby, becoming the master of none.
With the turn of the century, we have seen that this new generation has rapidly become the primary consumers of the world market system, and are likely to remain so in the coming future. With such a drastic change in the consumers, the producers and the market alike, have to alter their mindset and adapt to the prevailing conditions. If a marketer, with their skills, can find ways to attract these new world consumers, a lot of fruits await them and their brand.
Contributed by: Anthony Bergs
Anthony Bergs is a project manager at Writers Per Hour. He always keeps an eye on the marketing sector to implement the best innovations into the strategies that he builds. He’s always open for new connections and partnerships.