Marketing and Gen Z
Move over, Millennials, and make way for Gen Z! By now, you’ve probably already heard of them, as they’re the darlings of every advertiser. But who are they? And why are they the subject of so much attention? Here’s what you need to know:
Who is Gen Z?
Generation Z, aka Gen Z, or “zoomers”, are the cohort born right after millennials (aka Gen Y) -- that’s anyone born from 1995-2010. Unlike their millennial predecessors, this generation grew up with the internet, smartphones and social media at their fingertips -- “digital natives” -- and as you can imagine, it has greatly shaped them and their perception of the world.
Gen Z is also the most diverse generation to date, racially and ethnically. So it probably comes as no surprise that they are the most socially conscious as well, and a driving force behind initiatives supporting LGBTQ+ equality, diversity and ethical production of goods. You could say they are a bit more altruistic than previous generations, and feel a true calling to resolve conflict (perhaps a result of never knowing the country during peacetime).
While millennials are sometimes disparagingly called “the me generation”, a symptom of coming-of-age during great economic prosperity, Gen Z-ers have arguably more pragmatic values -- they’re more motivated for the greater good and unlike millennials, as consumers, they are driven by purpose instead of possession. However, they also have the highest spending potential (an estimated $143 billion), and are expected to surpass $33 trillion in income by 2030, making them the largest cohort of consumers. No wonder they have every marketer’s attention!
What brands need to know:
When it comes to targeting Gen Z, you’ll probably need to take a different approach from what worked with millennials. First, you might be surprised to learn that despite their propensity for digital, Gen Z prefers to shop in-store! They value the experience of connecting in person.
They are also much more budget-conscious than previous generations. After-all, they grew up amidst two “once in a lifetime” financial crises (the Great Recession and COVID), which undeniably impacted their outlook and relationship to finances. Unsurprisingly, they are more swayed by price point than brand loyalty, but social responsibility also comes into play - they want to know that the brands they support are as invested as they are in important issues like equality and sustainability.
How does this affect influencer marketing?
Gen Z tends to be most active on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube - preferring visual and creative features to engage with others in a unique way (you’re less likely to find them on Facebook and Twitter). They are also the most responsive to influencer marketing -- a recent study confirmed nearly half have made a purchase based on an influencer’s recommendation (compared with 26% for the general population).
Zoomers are much more savvy and aware of digital privacy, and therefore more likely to use ad blockers and scroll right past social media ads, which is why authentic microinfluencer marketing can be a more successful way of reaching them.
Last but not least, Gen Z-ers are your microinfluencers! They are fluent in social media, and put much more stock into peer-reviewed products, being more likely to share about brands via their social channels.
For more about Gen Z, check out these resources: