Tips for Marketing to Generation Z

Tips for Marketing to Generation Z


Running a business requires a ton of research. You must stay up to date on the latest trends.

The members of Generation Z are thus valuable employees and consumers. Generation Z employees can tell you what products and services young adults need. You should thus take extra steps to keep them focused and engaged at work. For instance, you can offer coffee tasting events that promote team building.

No matter what type of company you run, you will likely need to advertise to Generation Z at some point. First, you must understand who makes up this key group.

Who Is Generation Z?

Generation Zers are defined as those born between 1996 and the early 2010s. This group makes up approximately 27 percent of the American population. Unlike their predecessors, they have had smartphones and social media available to them for most of their lives. Unsurprisingly, they spend most of their time online. In fact, 45 percent of them say they are almost constantly on the internet.

Generation Z is also incredibly diverse. Nearly half of Generation Z members are non-white. Generation Zers are also the most likely to say that they have friends of a different race or sexual orientation.

How Do Generation Zers Differ From Millennials? 

Generation Zers and millennials do have certain traits in common. For instance, they both love media and are used to utilizing multiple screens.  However, millennials, who were born between 1981 and 1996, grew up before computers and the internet became widespread. They thus remember what life was like before mobile devices and tablets became ubiquitous.

There are a few other key differences, as well. While millennials are known for being optimistic, Generation Z is realistic about the various problems facing the nation. They are particularly concerned about health care and the cost of college tuition. School-Aged Gen Zers are also more likely to start side hustles for extra income instead of seeking low-paying jobs in restaurants and retail stores as millennials did.

You thus cannot use the same blanket marketing strategy for all young adult consumers. The advertising tactics you use on millennials may not work on Generation Z.

Why Is Generation Z Marketing So Important?

Just the sheer number of Generation Zers in America makes them a worthy target of your advertising dollars. Generation Z also has a growing influence on American society. In the year 2018, they already accounted for up to $143 billion in direct spending.

That influence will only increase as Generation Zers age. They are already entering the workforce, which boosts their buying power. In fact, by the year 2026, the consumer population of Generation Zers will exceed 82 million. If you want to tap into this large market, you will need to adjust your marketing strategies.

How Do You Advertise to Generation Z?

1. Avoid Traditional Marketing

Generation Zers do not just watch content on television. They are used to smartphones that allow them to view programs wherever and whenever they want. Thanks to streaming services, they have far more entertainment options available to them than prior generations did.

That also means Generation Z members are overwhelmed with content. Traditional ads will just blend in with the crowd. To stand out, you will need to create snackable content that is easy to share and consume. Examples include memes, tweets and Instagram photos or stories.

After all, Generation Z is known for its short attention span. If you do not capture a Generation Zer’s interest within a few seconds, he will move on to something else.

2. Be Entertaining

While there are several ways to garner Generation Z’s attention, the best course of action is to produce entertaining content. In fact, for many Generation Zers, entertainment is synonymous with news. One study found that nearly half of 18-to-21-year-olds get most of their news from social media. You should thus publish videos that are short, funny and informative. You can also try telling stories through your content.

3. Use Influencers

Generation Zers also want to see individuals in ads who look and think like them. They are drawn to content with relatable, authentic people who truly understand them.

Social media influencers fall into this category. Companies are already spending billions of dollars on these influencers, and you should join them. Instead of chasing A-listers who charge exorbitant prices for endorsements, opt for those with smaller but more engaged followings. Ideally, the influencers you hire should have authentic relationships with their fans.

4. Take a Stand

In the past, you may have been wary of expressing certain opinions in your advertisements. You were probably afraid of repelling some consumers. Yet Generation Z members expect brands to take a stand on social justice issues. Most Generation Zers are in favor of ethnic diversity and LGBTQ+ rights. They should support companies that promote similar positions.

While words are important, actions are even more vital. More than two-thirds of Generation Z members prefer to buy products from ethical companies. You can demonstrate your ethics and commitment to a better world by giving back to the less fortunate. Promise to donate your product or a portion of your profits to people in need.

5. Be Transparent

Generation Z values transparency and trust, as well. They are not afraid to do research before making a purchase. They will read reviews and check social media to see what others are saying about a company. Be open and honest about your company’s values, and be publicly accountable for any mistakes. Generation Z members can easily tell when you are not being sincere.

6. Promote Feelings, Not Products

Generation Z members can recognize overt sales tactics. They have no interest in ads that are obviously trying to sell something. Instead, they prefer advertisements that make them feel a certain way.

The members of Generation Z have a unique perspective on society. They have never known a world without cell phones and social media. They trust influencers and care about social issues. Keep these factors in mind when creating your next ad campaign aimed at these teenagers and young adults.