- By 2020 Generation Z will account for 40% of all consumers
- Generation Z is expected to count 2.56 billion individuals globally by 2020
- 96% of Generation Z owns a smartphone
- 60% of Gen Z say that automated responses make them feel less valued by a brand.
- Over 85% of Generation Z will learn about new products through social media
- Gen Zers have an average attention span of 8 seconds – it was a 12 second attention span for millennials.
Who are the new species, the Gen Z?
Gen Z was born after 1995 and they look down on the ever-popular millennials. They are a new breed of conscious consumers that need to be marketed to in a new way. Or rather, new techniques need to be introduced to disarmed their distrustfulness to advertising.
Members of that social group live around technology, their social and digital presence, marked by various connections is as important as their real lives. Almost half of them spends 10 hrs online every day and treats digital as a natural channel of purchase.
On a personal level, Gen Z seek immediate validation and acceptance through social media, since that’s where all their peers are and where many of the important conversations happen.
They are looking for perfectionism and will go a long way there. Both when it comes to the brands that fight for their attention, as well as with themselves, filtering out whatever flaws they may have, to create the ideal image and live the perfect life.
They are full of disonance – they use social media to build their personal brands but resist being defined by it as a group and they treat is main channel of two-way, authentic communciation.
Society tends to either romanticize youth or criticize the things they’re doing differently. The reality of Gen Z, however, lies somewhere in between. They face the same life-stage challenges as many generations before them but they do that in an ultra-connected, fast-moving technological age.
How to advertise to that weird GenZ, then?
Don’t advertise to Generation Z. Connect and offer them a personalised treat they will love.
1. Be close to them.
Your communication must be well executed on social media and mobile above all, it must include direct conversation. Your goal is to engage them with your visual content (video, posts, ephemeral content, etc.) as this is your ultimate tool for their attention and engagement. Make sure you are open messaging and producing appealing content that matters for them.
2. Become a story.
Share your message, be transparent. Feature real people behind your product. Go with personality over perfection. Even small brands can win a public if they show the idea, team or concept behind marketed product and play it well across social media. Let people trust you and show who you really are. Attempt at winning your own Ambassadors and don’t be shy to start humble. Everyone started at some point and the Gen Z like the idea of working for themselves, the majority are risk-averse, practical, and pragmatic, so they will appreciate your efforts.
3. Look out for crowdsourced visual content.
It is not about having one or two reviews on your site or showing the same stock picture for a 100th time. It’s about featuring and sharing the social proof. Make sure you reach out to your public. Don’t be afraid to ask for it. If you are a small or even a big brand, there will be always a fan of your brand eager to show off true brand #love.
4. Don’t sell while selling.
It is not another KPIed target group, the Gen Z is driven by cause, benefit and results. Instead of pitching about yourself, sell them a solution to make their lives better. Listen to what they say about you and address it. It is not about selling, it is about converting. Show what change your solution will mean to them.
5. Don’t be too smart
If you want to advertise to GenZ, think twice any general campaign that is designed to attract a put-a-label-group. They are people dispersed within the digital space with a lot of spending power who have not yet disclosed the politics of their imminent regiment on the e-commerce and retail market. Get armed with your data and tailor their experiences and all points of your cross-communication. Personalize their purchase journey as much as you can. UX do that.
6. Leverage Video Communications
Gen Z never uses voicemail and prefers text to email. They also are the YouTube/Netflix/Reddit generation — consuming quick one to three-minute videos on their phones. If you want to engage them throughout the sales process, video should be your medium of choice. Sales organizations will be adding video-building capabilities to their toolkits, arming their sellers to better engage Gen Z buyers. – Jim Ninivaggi, Brainshark
7. GO FULL MOBILE
The Generation Z and Millenial consumer groups prefer quick communication – think over, prepare and then execute your strategical assets in social media and prepare for even a tighter battle when it comes to ephemeral content and Real Time Marketing.
Gen Z do not like being sold to, they have very limited amount of time and attention and sift through information quickly. They are well-armed against all selling, advertising, fake pitch and can only be attracted with engaging content and immediate satisfaction or pleasurable experience.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 50.2 percent of children under 18 are expected to be part of a minority race or ethnic group by 2020. But, not only will they be more “diverse” than previous generations, Gen Zers also “hold a more positive view of the rising ethnic diversity in America than prior generations”, according to the Goldman Sachs study. Diversity for Gen-Z transcends race, gender and sexual orientation. Take fashion, for example, where “normcore” has emerged as one the prominent style trends. Bland, boring, basic and in most cases absent of brand logos, this style leans more towards blending in than standing out. That is why stock imagery or global strategies matter little now and can do more harm than good.
Our firm belief in the power of authentic, real content coming from real people, remains as strong and it seems we were right from the beginning. Authenticity is key in modern marketing. Stay with us to learn how to leverage that for your company or the community of Foap’s 3 million global visual content creators will help you build your brand story with their voice.