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The Gen Z generation is on the cusp of becoming the most powerful and influential generation in history. While some marketers might be tempted to view them as a fickle bunch, there is no denying that they have enormous spending power and influence over society. For businesses, it is pivotal to learn more about who they are marketing to and how the status quo has changed in recent years.
The uniqueness of Gen Z
Gen Z, also known as Zoomers, is quickly becoming the largest group of active consumers. But size isn’t the only reason Gen Z has been such a unique group to study. Their mindset, behaviors and priorities are exceedingly different from what most marketing and communication strategies successfully target.
For Gen Z, creativity and honesty are two of the most defining factors of their identities. The expansive layers of the internet have allowed them to openly express themselves, explore and craft identities, and seek purpose and passion through these outlets.
This generation essentially lives in a digital, ever-changing world, meaning that compelling words aren’t enough anymore. With this comes a unique problem of content creation. Gen Zers by nature are makers — they love technological do-it-yourself projects (DIYs), creating original and expressive content for entertainment purposes, and are well versed in what goes into making things with your own two hands.
The generation also has tendencies of the “hacker”. They are individuals who enjoy challenges that test their intellect and make creative solutions to overcome the limitations of our software systems to achieve clever outcomes. With this in mind, communicating with them plays an even more significant part in the problem. Communicating with text, images and video is a popular practice for Gen Zers to communicate. Their knowledge of these methods makes the bar much higher, requiring companies to bring more to the table to be considered a worthy investment.
Gen Zers are also on track to be the most educated generation yet, with more college attendees and fewer high school dropouts than any generation prior. With this in mind and the vast array of information available at their fingertips, marketing to Gen Zers can feel like an overwhelming situation for marketing teams worldwide.
Related: 41 Percent of Gen Z-ers Plan to Become Entrepreneurs
Building trust is priority number one
Due to technology’s swift advances, Gen Zers also have a wide array of information available at their fingertips at any time — and with this, a yearning for authenticity and truth.
Gen Z is a generation that’s coming of age during a time when the truth is under attack, which makes the desire to find that truth one of their highest priorities. Being transparent and open about your company can be one of your most significant advantages against your competitors.
From a company’s perspective, it’s imperative to understand that knowing, trusting and believing your brand will compel them to be invested in your business and its success. Once the company in question breaks that trust, it’s a long road to repair, if possible at all. In addition, seeing the money a company makes go towards a good cause furthers their trust and belief in the company and its mission.
5 marketing solutions for the boundless generation
As the number of digital buyers continues to rise and shows no signs of stopping, getting in front of Gen Zers can be difficult. So what can your company do to change with the new wave of digital buyers? Below are five key strategies that can help you reach and retain Gen Zers.
1. Sell an experience
Hard sells are a big no to Gen Zers. Due to their experience with the internet as they grew up, blatant marketing campaigns simply don’t convince them to spend their money. Instead, they want to know what benefits they get from your business and what experience your product or service will bring them. A company selling an experience sounds more appealing to them than buying a product with no attachment to it.
2. Engagement and community
Gen Zers crave a company that engages with customers and tailors their responses, so they know it’s not just a standard one-size-fits-all reply. A study shows that 76% of Gen Zers want brands to respond to feedback, and they view this as a key to determining how authentic and honest a brand is.
Related: How Generation Z Is Altering the Face of Entrepreneurship for Good
3. Transparency and privacy
Transparency and privacy go hand in hand. Gen Zers want a company that can be transparent and open but also protects and does not share their information. Transparency allows the customer to trust a brand, creates loyalty and ensures they feel good about where their money is going. Gen Zers do not hesitate to boycott and protest against supporting companies when unethical business practices and false advertising is spotted.
4. Getting to the point
Gen Zers have eight seconds of an attention span, combined with a hectic and busy schedule. Due to how Gen Zers grew up with technology and screens, they typically bounce between five screens at any time. This means that you have less time to grab their attention and convince them to look into your business and product. On top of this, your content has to be engaging and exciting — having an opinion or point of view can be a risky business move, but a worthwhile one with the reward of the community you can build.
5. Speaking through your brand
Creating a brand or company that hits all of the essential key points can be complex. First, your brand has to speak for itself in its actions and intentions. Gen Z is a generation known for caring for the world, meaning that they are acutely aware of problems that societies face today. Gen Zers want companies to be environmentally and socially responsible. They want brands to be an extension of their personalities, values and expectations. You aren’t just selling a product or an experience — you’re also selling values.
In an age of growing digital buyers, information galore and spending money to align with a person’s morals, advancing with the times is even more critical. With a want to make a difference, Gen Zers and their money talk volumes about how much they value a good brand they can trust. In light of this, businesses must advance with the times and the growing population of digital buyers.
Gen Zers have over 140 billion dollars of spending power, along with an ability to influence others and spread information quickly. Making changes to your company’s marketing and communication strategy is essential to attract the attention of Gen Zers and create a bond of trust with them and your brand. While revamping your company’s marketing strategies to appeal to an entirely new set of customers can be a long and challenging road, it will be an excellent investment in your future and your company’s longevity.
Related: 4 Unconventional Ways to Better Market to Generation Z