Marketing to Generation Z: How to Sell to The Consumers of Tomorrow

Generation Z

Marketers talk a lot about millennials. And, yet, the oldest members of the next generation – Generation Z – are starting to make their first online purchases. In fact, Generation Z is expected to collectively spend $200 billion in 2018, and by 2020 account for 40% of consumers. Here's a quick guide to marketing to Generation Z: how to sell to the consumers of tomorrow:

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Babysitting and mowing lawns certainly pays better today than it used to! If you’re not marketing and using your influencing skills to sell to Generation Z yet, then you probably soon will be. Many people have previously written about marketing to baby boomers, marketing to Generation X, and marketing to millennials. Now, let’s dive into marketing to Generation Z!

How to Tap Into Generation Z

Born from 2000 onwards, members of Generation Z (aka, boomlets) have never known a world without Facebook, Twitter, or iPhones. They are digital natives. Unlike the rest of us, they didn’t experience 9/11 in and they missed that whole Global Economic crisis thing. Let all that sink in for a moment. Those experiences, or lack of, shaped who they are – and how they engage with online marketing and ecommerce. Here are some quick hits on Generation Z’s online habits.

  • Boomlets are all about video. Their favourite website is YouTube and their favourite social platform is Snapchat.
  • Generation Z leads all generations in smartphone use at a whopping 15.4 hours per week!
  • They are most active online in the evening, after school and football practice we assume...
  • Generation Z feels an especially strong bond with Netflix, YouTube, Google, PlayStation, and Nintendo.

Recommended reading: 5 Ways to Promote Your Business to Millennials and the iGeneration

5 Tips for Marketing to Generation Z

1. Video. Video. Video

Go big on video – from live streams on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat to longer-form better-produced video on YouTube and even playful GIFs in your customer responses, and it HAS to be mobile optimised.

2. Gather Data with Quizzes and Surveys

Personally, I don’t care which Disney princess I am, but Generation Z definitely do! They love a good quiz (I blame BuzzFeed.) As a marketer, you can dress up a survey as a quiz and mine important data from your social audiences.

3. Don’t Scrimp on Images

Generation Z has never seen a grainy photo from an old flip phone, in fact some probably haven’t even seen a physical photograph. These kids expect images that have been thoughtfully snapped and generously edited and filtered. Don’t disappoint them.

4. Know Your Memes

Boomlets are consumers like the rest of us but they’re also just kids, and kids want to have fun. Your marketing should tap into the fun element by incorporating popular memes and inside jokes.

5. What’s in Mum and Dad’s Wallet?

As I mentioned above, Gen Z will collectively spend $200 billion in 2018. Do you know who has even more purchasing power than that? Parents and grandparents… and they’re highly susceptible to persuasion from their adorable little digital natives.

Mind the Gap

As each generation matures and moves out of its particular named, marketable segment, it becomes more and more difficult for them to market to the next. The pace of technological evolution is so frenetic that the disconnect between generations becomes ever greater. Whilst 'the youth of today' is always a popular bemoaning point for older generations, they could still understand them and in turn relate to them.

However, if you ask anyone over 40 what Fortnite or CryptoKitties is, the chances are they will only know it through their kids, if at all. As technology revolutionises all parts of business, work, leisure and society in general, this gap between generations becomes larger and larger, and so do the challenges of selling to them.

Don't make the mistake of trying to tell these younger generations what they want, labelling them or patronising them, they are some of the most discerning customers yet. However, when you get involved in the things they like, and get it right, the rewards can be bigger than ever.

Over to you now. Have you started marketing to Generation Z or boomlets? What's your experience? Tell us in the comments below. 

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