By Stephanie Snyder
Generation Z is on the move. While this group of consumers, aged 12 to 27, has far less purchasing power than Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers, smart marketers know that Gen Z's influence is growing rapidly and that this demographic is the future.
A recent Bloomberg report pegged Gen Z's disposable income at $360 billion. Sellers that want a slice of that $360 billion pie must tailor their marketing communications and strategies to elicit maximum response from youthful, digitally savvy (and absorbed) buyers.
Here are 5 strategies to target Gen Z effectively:
1. Know Your Demographic
Just as writers are taught to “know your audience” so that they can communicate with them effectively, marketers must understand their target markets to sell to them efficiently. Both Millennials and Gen Z are considered “digital natives,” but Gen Z tends to be more highly educated. About 57% of them have college-level educations compared to 52% for Millennials and just 42% for Baby Boomers.
There are many other critical distinctions as well, such as Gen Z being more ethically and racially diverse as a group. For example, 50% of Zers self-identify as black, indigenous or people of color (BICOP) while just 39% of Millennials ID that way. As a group, Gen Z tilts more politically progressive or liberal than both Millennials and Baby Boomers.
These are just a few examples of many categories in which market research should be up to speed. Without knowing your target market, the seller often flies blind.
2. Gen Z Loves Texting
Keep in mind that Gen Z folks have grown up with smartphones and most cannot remember a time when they did not have one. Furthermore, and by far, their favorite mode of communication is texting. A recent survey conducted by Liveperson found that 75% of Gen Zers much prefer texting over voice communication.
In fact, for Gen Zers, texting is “the mode of communication” that rises above all the rest. Texting communication must also be as brief as possible. Some marketers say that once you start going beyond just five words, the Gen Zer might already be losing interest!
Still, if you want to leverage the classic position marketing tactic of “going to where the customer’s mind already is,” then businesses should consider utilizing an effectivetext marketing platform
to reach this generation.
3. Socially Conscious
Think of the Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. This 19-year-old climate activist commands tremendous influence within the Gen Z oeuvre. In general, Gen Z buyers scrutinize what companies they buy from as much as what they buy. They want to know that the clothing they purchase, for example, is not produced in sweatshops or made using child labor. They are also concerned about things like climate change and sustainability.
At the very least, putting forward a sustainability-social responsibility angle is highly recommended when seeking to appeal to the Gen Z mindset.
Important note: Many companies that attempt to “greenwash” their sustainability image -- as in being phony about it -- may quickly be sniffed out by the Gen Z crowd. Thus, it is essential to be authentically sustainable in business practice.
4. Leverage Influencers
Speaking of influencers, the average Gen Z person is far more likely to follow one or many influencers. That means getting up to speed on the art of influence marketing is an excellent idea when seeking inroads into this demographic.
5. Find Them on the Right Platforms
No Gen Z strategy can be effective if the marketing message is not found by the end user. That means leveraging the same platforms your Gen Z target market is using. One way to do that is to conduct research, such as looking into resources like Hootsuite Global Digital Report or Datareportal'sDigital Overview Report
. This is a resource that illuminates which demographics are using which digital platforms.
Note that there’s a difference between male and female Gen Zers. For example, females are strong on Tik Tok. A study by Statistica rated Tik Tok the third most powerful tool for influencing young female consumers. YouTube is more effective in reaching male Gen Zers.
Finally … Marketing is Multifaceted
The danger of summing up a concise list of powerful Gen Z marketing tips is that a certain amount of complexity is inherent in the effort. Remember that Gen Z is highly diverse –- not just an age group. Generalities point the seller in the right direction, but it is the granular fine-tuning that results in powerful and effective marketing campaigns.