Marketing to Gen Z: Why You Need To Reevaluate

February 10, 2016

The Millennials, or Gen Y, are the generation of people born between the early 1980s  and the early 2000s also known as the Peter Pan or Boomerang Generation, mainly due to their ability to move back home with their parents by way of avoiding pending adulthood.

They are the open-minded, self entitled narcissistic goodie-two-shoes and, most importantly, the ones who gave the world the 'selfie'. Millennials have been the subject of fascination for businesses and marketers for years however, their time in the sun may soon be coming to an end with the rise of the Centennials, otherwise known as Gen Z.

Gen Z is made up of young adults born in the year 1995 onwards and have never known the world without the Internet. By the time they could walk and talk, they could play with smartphones and by the time high school came around, Facebook was a staple part of anyone's social diet. Considering the world that Gen Z grew up in, it is no surprise that this generation is always online, and we mean always. What an opportunity this presents to businesses and marketers. They are also reaching that time in their lives when they have more disposable income and less responsibilities that their older Gen Y siblings now settling down and starting families.

So how does your brand reach and engage this exciting new generation?

First of all, forget all your strategies for dealing with Gen Y. Generation Z marketing is different because this generation is an entirely different kettle of fish and also despise living in their sibling's shadow.

Where Can You Find Gen Z

Consider your messaging and channel wisely, looking at data and reports to understand where your Gen Z consumers are playing online. Is it going to be more valuable for your brand to pile advertising money into an Instagram branding campaign or a YouTube Pre-Roll video advertising campaign? Perhaps Snapchat stories will drive more visits to your website than Facebook? Are they even on Facebook? These are the types of questions you should be asking yourself when developing your Gen Z strategy.

What Are They Like?

Due to Gen Z's desire to be different and unpredictable, they tend to stray away from traditions. This makes them a difficult group to please. They can be quite cynical yet they have aspirations to make a difference in the world. They also love to hear a good story. With these factors in mind, it seems that Gen Z will enjoy a brand story that inspires some change in the world to capture their attention. There are also opportunities to bring on Gen Z'ers to become brand ambassadors for your brand from an early age, securing their loyalty and offering them an opportunity to grow with your brand. Making them feel invested in your company through blogging opportunities will make them feel vested in your mission - a statement that can last a long time.

Desire to Make an Impact on the World

Generation Z have big hearts in terms of the different causes they support and will seek to find out if your company has philanthropic initiatives as a part of your company culture. If you don't already have a social good strategy, it is time to start building one if you want Generation Z to give you the time of day. As well as having a humanitarian effort, it is important to report and share on the effort so the Gen Zs can see the impact of your efforts. This may be in the form of a blog or a YouTube channel, depending on where your Gen Z audience exists.

Drive those Reviews

Gen Z care about quality and will research and check the reviews of everything they consider purchasing. This means you need to get those Google + reviews, those Yelp reviews, that Facebook support sooner rather than later showing the quality of the product or service you are wishing to sell this generation.

How are you preparing for the arrival of Gen Z into your marketing efforts? Share with us over on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Written by
Alexander Rauser
Alexander Rauser


Alexander Rauser is the author of Boardroom Guide to Digital Accountability and Digital Strategy: A Guide to Digital Business Transformation, and creator of the DSX Program, a digital strategy and transformation program for Enterprises.

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