While a lot of attention is put toward marketing to Millennials, there’s another generation you need to have on your radar: Gen Z. This group of 13-18 year-olds will be the largest generation of consumers within a few years. In our newest special report, The Purchasing Power of the Gen Z Consumer, we uncover several interesting facts about this tech-savvy shopper that you need to be aware of.
First, Who Is Gen Z?
If you have a teenager who rolls his eyes as he adeptly maneuvers through your phone to solve a problem for you, congratulations. You know a member of Gen Z firsthand. More than ¼ of the US population fits this demographic, which spends $44 billion annually.
What’s unique about this generation is that it is more mobile-reliant than any other generation, and mobile is a language it was born speaking (whereas Millennials, Gen X, and Boomers had to learn the mobile “language.”). From the moment these teens wake up, they’re on their phones, checking the weather and their Instagram feeds, and throughout the day, they’re sharing and consuming information, collaborating, and shopping on their phones.
So here are a few of the things you should know if you plan to market to this demographic.
1. Gen Z is Highly Influential When It Comes to Technology
When you market to Gen Z, you’re not just reaching teens. It turns out that Gen Z influences purchase behavior of non-mobile-first users (i.e. parents) in terms of apps, technology, retailers, and services.
2. It Spends More Time on Mobile Than a Laptop
This should be no surprise: Gen Z spends 250 minutes on a mobile device for leisure, versus 229 minutes on a laptop (probably for homework). Millennials, on the other hand, spend more time on laptops (242 minutes) versus mobile (223).
Gen Z is also more likely to use multiple screens at the same time: texting friends for help with homework while working on a laptop or playing a mobile game while watching Netflix.
3. Gen Z Wants Brands to Get Creative & Personal
While retailers constantly iterate to find what works in terms of engaging an audience, Gen Z is clear: it wants to engage with brands in creative and fun ways, like quizzes and games.
Gen Z also wants personalized and relevant messages throughout the customer journey, including promotions, appointment reminders, and shipment notifications.
4. It Doesn’t Respond to Traditional Advertising
While it’s getting harder to reach all generations with traditional ads, Gen Z more than any other finds them annoying. Likely because these kids were raised after more mainstream advertising like commercials and ads were commonplace, they are able to completely tune them out.
Gen Z also doesn’t like to be bombarded by advertising (who does?). There’s a direct correlation between too many ads and reduced stickiness among this audience.
5. Gen Z Wants You To Anticipate Their Next Move
As part of personalization, Gen Z kids wants retailers to recognize them, remember their shopping history, know their preferences, and anticipate their needs.
When you launch mobile marketing campaigns, it’s important to go beyond broad segmentation to create 1:1 messaging that leaves a subscriber feeling like you get her.
6. It’s Loyal...To a Degree
Gen Z is a loyal bunch...but these kids are not afraid to switch brands if yours isn’t fulfilling their needs. Gen Z wants innovation and quality products, as well as top-notch service and great user experience.
Gen Z cares about a brand’s social impact and the opinions of others more than how popular or trendy it is. Some reasons Gen Z may switch brands include:
Value of products
Poor customer service
Lack of convenience
Delivery promises not met
7. Influence Comes From Many Places
Gen Z is diverse when it comes to where it gets information that leads to purchases. These resources include:
Influencers and celebrities
Brand’s social impact
Word of mouth
Social media reviews
Knowing that a brand may look for multiple resources before buying from you should encourage you to have a well-developed marketing strategy on all of these channels.
If you haven’t been paying attention to Gen Z, this data should open your eyes to why you should. Gen Z has major purchasing power and is influential to other generations. By 2020, Gen Z will represent 40% of all consumers. Just reflect on that a moment...then run to make sure your mobile marketing strategy targets it!