Consumers today are becoming increasingly discerning and demanding, with a growing expectation that each consumer segment should be marketed differently. Businesses today grapple with the challenge of how to market to generations that work and live differently than any other generation prior to it. Ignoring any subtle difference between the Millenials and Gen Z and adopting the same marketing strategies across both segments can be catastrophic to business, resulting in wasted marketing expenditure saddled with negative client experiences. If you are keen to find out the unique differences between Millenials and Gen Z, why marketing to Millenials and Gen Z is different and examples of some of the best gen Z marketing campaigns, then read on to elevate your business strategy to the next level.
Why marketing to Millenials and Gen Z is different?
Growing up in different eras and with different degrees of exposure to the internet, Millenials and Gen Z each possess intensely different values, technologies, and views on politics. These distinctions will dictate their responses to advertising and influence brand loyalty. Tailoring messages and offers to each generation becomes paramount and a means to deliver profitability and marketing ROI.
Let’s start by understanding the definition of Millenials and Generation Z.
What Is Generation Y:
Generation Y or “Millenials” are born between 1980 and 1995. Making up the largest population in the United States with 75.4 million consumers and growing in numbers, the Millenials is a powerhouse generation that spends a whopping $200 billion annually. With an expected lifetime expenditure of $10 trillion, the Gen Ys are an indomitable cohort that marketers must appeal to thrive amongst the competition.
What is Generation Z:
Gen Z or the iGen are born between 1996 and 2010. While this generation is relatively young and coming of age, their annual spending power is valued at $44 billion. By 2020, the Gen Zs will account for 40% of all consumers in the United States, eventually making up a predominant share of the marketing audience. Thus, engaging this contingent from young and nurturing the relationship with them until they are work-force ready is important to ensure the longevity of the business.
Now that we know the definitions of the respective generations, here are 8 Generation Z consumer behaviors that should not be ignored. Read on to discover Gen Z behavioral traits, how these traits shape their purchase behavior and case studies of brand campaigns that successfully engaged the Gen Zs.
10 Generation Z consumer behaviors that should not be ignored
Gen Z Are Less Focused
Born with a tablet or handphone in their palms, technology is second nature to the Gen Zs. Acquainted with technology from the minute they can walk and talk, Gen Zs live in a world of continuous updates, processing information faster than Gen Y. Therefore, their attention span may be ultimately lower than Millenials. Unlike Generation X (born between 1965–1980) who are characterized by their strong work ethics and stability, marketing to Gen X is easier. Gen Zs thrive in a fast-paced environment and therefore expect things to move at rapid speed and within clicks.
Another interesting fact to note is that the future of marketing to Gen Zs for the retail and restaurant industry rest in mobile. Whopping 83 percent of consumers pick a dining location within three hours of a meal and 57 percent make the decision within an hour of dining. This time frame, also known as the “point of hunger” is the sweet spot and prime opportunity for restaurants to gain visibility through mobile search.
Likewise, when picking a location to eat, 60 percent of consumers only use their mobile device to guide decision making. In essence, the decision on where and what to eat is made at the spur of the moment, most of the time.
Recognizing this, businesses with an actual physical location must get listed on Google Places and eventually indexed on Google Maps for improved searchability. What this means is that if a Google user is searching for an Indian restaurant in California, then Google determines the user’s location and then list down all the Indian restaurants near them.
With 53 percent of teens making purchases via mobile and high smartphone ownership of 75 percent among teens, a business must ensure that their mobile experience meets the expectation of the Gen Zs.
2. Gen Z Are Less Focused With Fragmented Attention Span
While notoriously known to be less focused, Gen Z can quickly shift between work and play, balancing numerous distractions occurring in the background all at once. With this in mind, multiple steps to opt-in or share a post may result in zero returning visitors to a website. According to Forbes, with an average of six to nine hours per day spent consuming media across five screens (namely the smartphone, TV, laptop, desktop, and tablet), Gen Zs attention span is truly fragmented. The Millennials on the other hand use only three screens on average.
In addition, the slow speed of websites is a big turn off for Gen Zs. The key to successful marketing campaigns is to make it easier for the younger audience to engage with your brand. Keep communication succinct and engage within seconds with this cohort or risk losing their attention as they swipe to the next screen.
3. Gen Zs Are Not As Price Conscious As The Millenials
It is not surprising that Gen Zs tend to care less about prices than Millenials. This is because Millenials grew up during the recession and therefore are more accustomed to living frugally as compared to the iGens. Notwithstanding this, 67 percent of Generation Z values the nutritional content of their food more than the price of food.
Fundamentally, marketers can take advantage of their price insensitivity to price their offerings slightly higher than the average but must continue to deliver value. While couponing remains a popular marketing gimmick that works for the Gen Zs and Millenials, Gen Zs are willing to spend more money on the experience and on premium, unique items including luxury hotels, bespoke clothing and even private chauffeur experience repackaged as Uber.
4. Gen Zs Have Higher Expectations
Being born into a world driven by technology has led this segment to assume yesterday’s amazing and inspiring technological inventions as a given. They expect business, brands and retailers to be loyal to them and they don’t feel appreciated - they will move on.
As the first true digital natives, use technology to awe Gen Zs and set an unrivaled benchmark of service against your competitors. Be a market leader in technological advancement and demonstrate your authority to reap the advantage of being the first-mover.
According to a survey by Statisca, 60 percent of Millennials claimed they stayed loyal to the brands they liked, as opposed to 55 percent of Gen Z respondents who said the same. In the same light, winning over Gen Zs and securing their loyalty is a well-strategized marathon and not a sprint.
5. Gen Zs Are Big on Individuality
Brands that appeal to Gen Z must have a purpose, apart from being profitable. It is, for this reason, Gen Zs are more likely to choose brands that are eco-friendly and socially responsible. It is important for Gen Zs to buy products that have a positive social or environmental impact.
Marketing to Gen Zs defies the traditional thinking of customers being loyal to the brand. The tables are turned and brands must instead prove their worth to win them over and secure their loyalty.
Acknowledging that the Gen Zs are significantly more spending on food and have a strong need for individuality is a great way to appeal to this generation. Gen Zs want to feel like they are able to contribute and be a significant part of something bigger and letting them become brand advocates.
6. Gen Zs Value Content And Uniqueness
Gen Z consumers are seeking uniqueness in all walks of life, including the brands they prefer.
As a rule of thumb, it is important to acknowledge the Gen Z client by their name and salutation by gender. According to an interactive survey conducted by NameGenerPro Research Group, 56 percent of consumers are more likely to shop at a retailer, in store or online, that recognizes them by name. One tool that helps deliver personalized customer experience to target Gen Z consumers is NameGenderPro. With the world’s largest database of 177k unique female and male names by gender, businesses can enhance their data sets and create customized marketing campaigns, by targeting consumers based on gender. Customized campaigns deliver higher success rates of up to 35%, unlike one-size-fits-all initiatives. NameGenderPro’s list was collected with the consent from publicly available government data sources in United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Unlike other online database companies, the list purchased from NameGenderPro belongs to the business with no recurring payment, hidden fees of annual premiums.
7. Gen Zs Are Early Starters
Many employers predict that more Gen Zs will go straight into the workforce, hence foregoing traditional higher education due to rising student debt. In addition, to manage the rising cost of living, some may opt to finish school online.
Gen Zs are expected to prioritize salary over everything else. This hardworking bunch are willing to slog harder compared to the Millenials.
8. Gen Zs Are Entrepreneurial
Gen Z desires a more independent work environment, cherish flexible working hours and the ability to work remotely. Moreover, over 70 percent of teens are hoping to start their own business, thus underlining the importance of understanding the Gen Zs not only from an end consumer perspective but as a contributor to the economy one day.
9. Gen Zs Are More Global
As more of the world moves online, Gen Z will become more global in their thinking, interactions and relatability. New trends that were uncharted among the Gen Xs are now headlining among the Gen Zs. To put things to perspective, almost 44 percent of Gen Zs admit that going vegan is cooler than smoking. New emerging trends tilting towards organic food, flexitarian, being non-dairy and the keto diet on the other continuum, continue to pave the way for more marketing opportunities that require accurate consumer understanding and targeting.
10. Gen Zs Expect Brands To Take A Stand On Social Issues
Gen Zs, especially women view purchasing power as a tool for activism. Thus marketing to Gen Zs is unlike marketing to other generations. Being conscious about gender marketing, the importance of personalized content and interest segmentation will pave the way for higher conversion rates. The best way to achieve your business objectives when addressing a gender-sensitive audience is to rely on reputable list providers such as namegenderpro to make the content as customized as possible.
While the Millennials have captivated marketer’s attention for years, it is time to shift the spotlight to Gen Zs. Businesses that fail to capture the attention of these digital natives and engage them to risk future sustainability. One effective way to appeal to the Gen Zs is to effectively profile customers and leverage on gender-based marketing segmentation. E-mail campaigns that recognize clients by name, title and gender serve as a stepping stone to build a robust database over time. By integrating customer purchasing behavior into CRM strategies, business will be able to deepen client relationship by serving relevant offers or re-market based on their interest. With targeted gender-based marketing services by NameGenderPro, past performance has shown significant click-through rates and sales conversion of over 25 percent.