Generation Z, the demographic identified as those born after the 2000s, is quickly becoming a multi-billion consumer group with a growing spending power currently valued at a whopping $143bn. It is, for this reason, becoming the newest customer category that companies are targeting in their efforts to further develop in the digital age.
Fortunately for your business, there are many ways to appeal to Gen Z buyers and tap into the vast potential of this market. Business owners can leverage specific generational marketing techniques to appeal to this group, capturing their attention, engagement, purchasing preference and loyalty.
To illustrate this, we've compiled a brief guide on marketing to Gen Z, from producing smart content to personalising campaigns.
Understanding Generation Z
As with any generational marketing campaign, understanding the profile of Gen Z consumers is the first step to efficiently marketing to them. By analysing their opinions, motivations, needs and predilections, companies can then form tailored strategies to reach them.
Essentially, reaching Generation Z is all about telling the right story. In addition to valuing the high quality and reliability of the products they purchase, these young adults seek out businesses whose ethics and goals inspire them and align with their own beliefs. Gen Z purchasers do not merely invest in goods, but rather the overall values and impact that businesses have on the world around them.
Having grown up in a global market increasingly saturated with new technology, they are defined as digital natives. As a result, they are particularly open to engaging with companies through digital interactions and respond well to businesses whose communications cut through the noise of a crowded international marketplace.
It's also worth noting that, before parting with their disposable income, these shoppers research their decisions and discuss them with peers. This makes them both influenced by, and influencers of, their wider demographic consumer community.
As a business owner, it's vital that you understand these fundamental ideas about who Gen Z are and what they want. Here are some techniques to capitalise upon these unique traits:
Build Your Business Purpose
As discussed, Gen Z is overwhelmingly focused on the greater good. They care about social equality, the environment, and health and wellbeing; for these reasons, businesses must cultivate an ethical image, with a focus on positively impacting their industry or community at large. Creating and implementing a strong mission statement is essential here, as is effectively communicating it through a consistent marketing message.
Gen Z customers do not merely buy products and services for their stand-alone use; instead, they view these transactions as buying into causes that they approve of and aspire to support. Consequently, a strong corporate social responsibility strategy – featuring initiatives that buyers can actively participate in – is also guaranteed to spark the interest of this segment.
Work to align your company with a set of positive, inspiring values, and shape your business into a vehicle they can use to explore and demonstrate their commitment to these purposeful principles.
Strengthen Your Digital Presence and Experience
For a digitally native audience, it isn't satisfactory for businesses to merely have a working website and some social media profiles. These consumers are looking for digital experiences across platforms that will prove exciting, unique and memorable.
To achieve this, your company's digital presence must be organically developed over time, by consistently sharing tailored content for each social platform. This should include customised messaging and media that is appealing to a younger category.
Company websites and eCommerce stores, meanwhile, should include interactive features that users can immerse themselves in, aiming specifically to capture Gen Z engagement and interest. Artificial Intelligence technology should be leveraged where possible to enable further personalisation.
Finally, to take advantage of the 'mobile-first' approach of this generational buyer segment, business owners should prioritise investing in the development of a mobile app to complement their company's online offering. A creative app that is easy to use and with direct purchasing options will allow entrepreneurs to capitalise on Gen Z's excessive mobile screen time.
Use Customer Data (Wisely)
Collecting and expertly utilising customer data can enhance this experience even further. Evaluating consumer information, preferences and recorded behaviour can allow businesses to make online engagements, communications, and product suggestions, and offers a more authentic and relevant experience for each user.
Be careful, though. Gen Z purchasers consider their privacy and the data usage transparency of the companies they use to be incredibly important. Personal data should, therefore, be handled with extreme care, and breaches of consumer information privacy should be avoided at all costs. As well resulting in legal and financial action, data violations can also cost your business the trust of your Gen Z audience.
Create Smart Content
Due to their almost exclusive digital media consumption, Gen Z has developed what is known as advertising fatigue, whereby they are overexposed to advertising across their preferred media platforms. To work around this, companies should leverage original and exciting video content to capture their attention.
A video content strategy optimised for this specific audience has the power not only to reach Gen Z audiences, but also secure their engagement. This content, which should be shared across social media platforms as well as company apps, should aim to promote the business's products, as well as discuss the company's values, working environment, and CSR practices.
Collaborate with Influencers
Not only are Gen Z audiences more likely to engage with videos posted across social media rather than static marketing content, but they may also actively seek it out during the research they conduct when making a buying decision.
For instance, YouTube is regularly used to obtain reviews and opinions on particular brands, including their products and customer service. Therefore, it is worth looking into collaborations with digital influencers, as these individuals can leverage their audiences in your favour - often to great effect.
Though Generation Z buyers will seek out the information they require by themselves online, a direct communication strategy is still an essential component of a marketing strategy for this audience.
Email marketing retains some value for these consumers. Companies should ensure that promotional emails are direct, succinct, and personalised, and make it easy for readers to be redirected efficiently to the correct online sources for any featured products featured that they may be interested in.
Other communication options should be easy to find on the company's site. These can include features such as live chat, utilising the support of a dedicated back-end team for immediate customer support, email forms for non-urgent requests, and forum sections for buyers to share their questions or comments and receive responses in real-time.
Customise your Sales Delivery
The needs of Gen Z are transforming – to the extent, in fact, that they are shaping the future of product delivery and consumption as a whole. Convenience and customisability are particularly important to these consumers, as not only do they want to be addressed in a personalised way, but they also want to purchase and consume their products in the same manner.
This trend is evident in the rise and popularity of subscription-based business models, which allow purchasers to select how frequently their products will be re-delivered, replaced, or updated. Customers can effectively decide how and when to consume their goods, and this has become a major deciding factor in their re-purchasing behaviour.
Therefore, developing your subscription offerings could be hugely beneficial, allowing your Gen Z audience to become repeat customers, earning their loyalty for a fixed period, and securing recurring business.
Generation Z represents an incredibly important and lucrative consumer group – one that businesses and entrepreneurs can benefit from marketing to directly. Through utilising your knowledge of this segment's preferences and creating specific marketing strategies to reach them, your company can earn their attention, their loyalty, and a significant portion of their growing disposable income. Businesses would do well to invest in transformational marketing now, and note that these young consumers will soon become their dominating buyers of the future.
What other marketing methods can be leveraged to reach Gen Z audiences? Let us know your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.