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

marketing to 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. Babysitting and mowing lawns sure pays better today than it used to!

If you’re not marketing to Generation Z yet, then you probably soon will be.

Fortunately, Handmade Writings, an agency that ghostwrites academic content, recently released a sweet infographic segmenting third-party content consumption data by generation. (See the infographic.)

We’ve previously taken a closer look at marketing to baby boomers, marketing to Generation X, and marketing to millennials.

Now, let’s dive into marketing to Generation Z!

Insights! How Other Brands Are Marketing to Generation Z

Born from 2000 onwards, members of Generation Z (aka, boomlets) have never known a world without Facebook, Twitter, or iPhones.

Unlike the rest of us, they didn’t experience 9/11 in real time and they totally missed that whole Great Recession thing.

Let all that sink in for a moment. Crazy, right?!

Those experiences 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 over video. Their favorite website is YouTube and their favorite social platform is Snapchat.
  • Generation Z leads all generations in smartphone use at a whopping 15.4 hours per week!
  • Boomlets are most active online in the evening. Ya know, after school and soccer practice.
  • Generation Z feels an especially strong bond with Netflix, YouTube, Google, PlayStation, and Nintendo.*

Action Items! 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 to playful GIFs in your customer responses.

Here are two recent posts with tips for creating online videos and small business videos.

2. Gather Data with Quizzes and Surveys.

Personally, I don’t care which Disney princess I am, but Generation Y sure does. They love themselves some quizzes. (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 Either.

Generation Z has never seen a grainy photo from an old flip phone. 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.

Here are some product photography tips from actual online sellers like you.

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 Mom 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 boomlets.

* The MBLM Brand Intimacy Rankings attempt to quantify the emotional bond between consumers and brands. Some brands (like Amazon, Apple, and Disney) rank highly no matter the age. Netflix, YouTube, Google, PlayStation, and Nintendo rank highly among the youngest participants in the study (18- to 24-year-olds) but not necessarily among other generations.

How are you marketing to Generation Z?

About the Author

Matt Simpson

Matt is a freelance writer for The DRIVE blog with expertise in digital marketing, social media, and copywriting. He's active in the #yesphx startup movement and has been recognized by AdWeek, Mashable, and more for digital innovation. Visit Matt's website or follow Matt on Twitter.

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