3 tips for marketing to generation Z

“Generation Z,” the generation born after millennials, is emerging as the next big thing for marketing and sales potential. With Generation Z on the cusp of becoming the largest segment of the global population, many are shifting their focus to this generation’s budding possibilities. Gen Z will comprise 32% of the global population of 7.7 billion. They will nudge ahead of millennials, who will account for a 31.5% share.

For businesses of all types, the race to capture the attention of this ruling generation is on. The oldest members of this group are fresh out of college or soon to graduate, entering the workforce, and gaining a notable stake in consumer spending. By 2020, Generation Z will account for 40% of all consumers.

They currently hold $44 billion in buying power. This expands to $600 billion when considering the influence they have on their parents’ spending. For this reason, marketing teams are moving swiftly to capture the attention of this segment before their competitors. Like each generation to come before, Generation Z comes with their own unique set of behaviors, preferences, and values.

Marketing to Generation Z

If you’re looking to target today’s Gen Z consumers, look to the following three tips:

1. Create content that’s short and “snackable”

Members of Generation Z have the shortest attention spans out of all their generational predecessors. The average attention span for a Gen Zer is just eight seconds. This is shocking. It is even shorter than that of a goldfish.

Generation Z has always been a part of today’s digitally-connected world. In fact, they were all born after 1995. They’re vastly unfamiliar with a world without cell phones, computers, and other digital devices. Because of their familiarity and dependence on these on-the-go tools, they’re notorious multi-taskers.

It’s likely that they spend their day toggling through different social platforms, communicating with friends while watching television, and listening to music or podcasts while they work. Generation Z juggles approximately five screens at a time!

These habits are important to consider when creating campaigns targeting Generation Z. Campaigns pointed at today’s Gen Zers should be able to capture their attention in a short period of time—before they move on to something else.

This generation is much more responsive to images, GIFs, and emojis than plain text. Creatively using visuals is more likely to grab their attention and leave a lasting impression over long-form content.

2. Foster authentic campaigns

Because Generation Z has been exposed to digital marketing from the earliest stages of their lives, they’re the first to filter out anything that appears artificial or manufactured. They don’t want to feel marketed to—they want genuine relationships with the brands they favor. Thus, traditional marketing tactics are less likely to resonate with this cohort. Strategies like influencer marketing or user-generated content may be more effective avenues to explore.

In addition, Generation Z is driven by values. 68% state it’s important to them to do their part in making the world a better place. This directly impacts their buying behavior. Knowing a brand is socially conscious influences their purchasing decisions. Brands that are socially conscious, whether it be in their supply chain operations, giveback initiatives, or product design, are able to cultivate a personal connection with Generation Z.

When creating campaigns targeting the Generation Z community, be sure to make known your brand’s mission and values. Your story establishes your company as a unique entity. It connects with your audience on a personal level. Don’t let your brand’s mission statement get buried on an obscure web page that no one visits. Keep it top of mind by featuring your story frequently on your social media and email marketing.

3. Balance quality and cost

Generation Zers are much more financially savvy than their generational counterparts. Over 60% of this generation already has a savings account. This much higher proportion than any other generation had at their age.

“Gen Z is very practical and they won’t overpay like other generations did when they were their age.”

— Jason Dorsey, Co-Founder and Gen Z researcher at The Center for Generational Kinetics,

Although a major portion of Generation Zers is still financially reliant on their parents, many are interested in part-time jobs. They are also interested in entrepreneurial endeavors to secure their own discretionary funds.

However, don’t let this focus on budget lead you to believe that Generation Z is willing to sacrifice quality. Price and quality are equally important for Generation Z; they’re more apt to search for better deals and pricing options on their smartphones before making a purchase.

Keeping in mind that Generation Z has grown up with the internet, they like nearly limitless buying options. This means they’re willing and able to scour the internet for the best deal.

Gen Z wants their dollars to go further, especially since their purchases might be limited given not many who make up the generation have a full-time income yet. If you’re targeting Generation Z for your brand, be sure to keep their financial limitations in mind. It may be beneficial to offer limited-time promotions and advertise them through email or social media campaigns.

Generation Z is the largest untapped market today

Generation Z has already transformed itself to become the largest untapped market today—with business potential that could exceed anything we have ever seen from Millennials and prior generations. Use the tips above to create and consistently modify your Generation Z marketing strategy. The investment is sure to pay off!

This guest blog article was written by Marie Johnson, a user-experience designer and technology writer from New York City. When she is not writing her latest blog post in her kitchen, you’ll likely find her strolling through Central Park, cappuccino in hand.