By Joanna Dodd Massey, President & CEO of JDMA Inc
They may be young, but Gen Z now accounts for 40% of consumers and already influences between $29 billion and $143 billion in direct spending. Since the youngest of them are only nine years old, their buying power will continue to grow. That means their importance simply cannot be overstated. Despite having similar psychographics to younger millennials, Gen Z is distinct in a variety of significant ways that smart marketers are paying attention to. These seven strategies are key to mounting successful Gen Z marketing campaigns.
Employ Omnichannel Marketing
Gen Z shoppers are uniquely adept at jumping between consumer channels, whether it is mobile, social or in-store—and yes, brick-and-mortar still matters. In fact, 81% of Gen Zers prefer to shop at physical stores. That means your marketing plan should be seamless across all channels and include consistent messaging and product info.
Get to the Point
The average attention span of Gen Z is 8 seconds, down 33% from the already rapidly-diverted 12 seconds of millennials. A goldfish’s attention span is 9 seconds, so that means human beings have less focus than our beloved pet fish. It also means that the marketer’s window for reaching Gen Z consumers is fleeting, so make the most of it with crisp graphics and concise messaging.
A 2019 study by the Center of Generational Kinetics found that 79% of Gen Zers trust a company more if it uses marketing imagery that has not been Photoshopped, and 84% will trust a brand more if it uses actual customers in its ads.
There is conflicting information about influencers. Are micro influencers more influential than mega influencers? The answer is that it depends on the generation. However, Gen Z has grown up with YouTube, so they are even more likely than millennials to trust endorsements from social media influencers over those from celebrities. Go the extra mile to identify micro-influencers who can be even more authentically connected to your brand.
Pivot Your Messaging
For years, many companies have honed their marketing messages to appeal to common millennial traits like risk-taking and valuing experience over materialism. Gen Z has different values—for instance, Gen Z usually prefers a cool product over a cool experience—so your Gen Z marketing should reflect those values.
Engage with Your Audience
Social media’s access and immediacy has drastically altered brand expectations for Gen Z, who expect to be able to reach someone when they reach out to your company—76% of Gen Zers views a brand’s responsiveness to engagement as a metric of its authenticity.
Email Is Not Dead Yet
The predicted demise of email as a worthy marketing tool for Gen Z has been grossly overstated—32% of Gen Z says they want to hear their favorite brands by email a couple of times a week, while 28% say they want to hear from them daily! Seriously?! I get over 200 emails a day. I don’t want to hear from anyone more than absolutely necessary. Maybe that is my Gen Xer showing.