New Year, New Audience: Generation Z
Today’s teens (known as Generation Z) have been raised in the era of smartphones, selfies, blogs and social media. They currently make up more than a quarter of the US population and this is still growing. Like Millennials, Generation Z is constantly connected. But, this generation of digital natives is also extremely selective when it comes to their digital decision-making. They have been raised in a high-tech, hyper-connected, on-demand, and impatient culture. They relate to social media, news and content differently and are throwing a major curveball to proven marketing strategies. Marketing efforts that have worked for Millennials and other generations are not working for Generation Z, which means a business will need to approach this generation of consumers very differently.
Businesses that want to reach the Generation Z market will need to change the way they communicate. Now businesses will have to work harder to understand Generation Z’s interest, hobbies, and goals since this generation expects a custom experience when shopping online. Businesses will need to focus on crafting unique marketing strategies to target this generation and it would be wise to get a head start on understanding this group now.
Prefer to shop online
Since Generation Z has been brought up with the Internet, they prefer to do most of their shopping online as opposed to off. They spend nearly every waking hour online. 46% are connected 10+ hours per day and when this generation grows older they will drive major e-commerce growth.
Generation Z is constantly stimulated with content from multiple sources, and can shift seamlessly between five screens on a daily basis.. They are scrolling through news feeds, photos, and videos at rapid speeds. To reach Generation Z, share your brand and your message across multiple screens (desktop, tablet, mobile TV) and offer a seamless multi-channel experience across all devices.
Keep content simple, short and interactive
Generation Z has the lowest attention span and according to a Nielsen study, 84% of them watch TV while using at least one internet-connected device simultaneously. Getting and keeping their attention is challenging as they like to communicate in bite sizes. Businesses will need to focus on short messages, front-loaded with enough attention-grabbers and “click bait” to entice even the most distracted minds of Generation Z.
Today’s teens use social media for more than just connecting with friends – they turn to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat as information sources. 52% of teens use YouTube or social media sites for a typical research assignment in school. They are also connecting with brands through their social networks and communicating with others who like the same products. Online is their first stop for research and purchase behavior so making sure that your search engine results and social search results are optimized is a must. Businesses that are not taking full advantage of the real-time engagement that social media provides are missing out on reaching this entire generation.
Generation Z are kids and teens who have never experienced a world without internet, social media, and smartphones. Marketing to them requires a well thought out approach and changing the way your business communicates. They are still a bit of a mystery to many businesses, but if your business is up for the challenge, they are set to be one of the most lucrative generations for the online consumer market.