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Gen Z is your future customer. Here’s how to engage them
As the latest consumer generation, Gen Z’s are upturning business expectations. Born between 1997 and 2010, these digital natives require a different marketing strategy than the current millennial and boomer consumer base.
Gen Z has grown up with social media and on-demand entertainment and their influence over what’s cool, trending, and important shouldn’t be underestimated, warns Desirée Gullan, the executive creative director at G&G Digital.
“We’re already seeing the impact Gen Z’s have on millennials and Gen X’s when it comes to brand selection, online behavior, and customer engagement,” she says.
Not only do Gen Z’s have massive influence over their preceding generations to get what they want, their parents are also being influenced by them and are becoming more discerning about where they spend their money.
“Gen Z’s are also strong drivers of corporate responsibility,” adds Gullan. “Their purchasing decisions are determined by their values, and if a brand’s mission and purpose align with theirs, that’s where they’ll spend their parent’s money.”
With nearly two billion Gen Z’s globally who want relevant information and instant answers, brands should respond appropriately.
“It’s important to make your campaigns attractive for Gen Z from the get-go. Stay relevant, use their language to resonate and engage, and give them quality over quantity,” says Gullan. Here’s how your brand can connect with Gen Z, now.
Keep it short and simple
Gen Z enjoy visual content and love creating short-form videos themselves. Brands should do the same.
“Include short-form, fun, and entertaining videos into your marketing strategy and make sure they are not too polished and stuck up. Make them real and authentic, more like user-generated content without striving for perfection,” suggests Gullan.
Gen Z is mobile only
Gen Z’s digital-first lifestyle and proficiency with electronic devices make online messaging and texting their go-to. They appreciate an unfussy design that messaging platforms, like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, get right. Use real and simple language and fast responses and your brand will have what it takes to communicate effectively with impatient Gen Z.
Tell it like it is
Unlike previous generations, Gen Z is not brand loyal, and their purchasing decisions are cemented by their communities. When Gen Z don’t like a service or product, they’ll share their opinions on social media. Thankfully the same applies to positive brand experiences. Incentivise them to review their experiences of your brand and you can increase your brand’s reach and influence substantially.
They’re socially responsible
Gen Z is more aware of their environment than previous generations. “Because they can access so much more information, they’re more aware of social, political, and economic challenges, which influence their purchasing decisions,” says Gullan. “Create campaigns that have a positive impact––to the environment, society, economy, or to the individual via their personal development.”
Protect their privacy
Make it easy to opt-in or out of your marketing communications. Gen Z prefer to solicit brand engagement and not have it forced on them. “Nothing makes Gen Z unfollow a brand faster than TMI.”
Don’t let regulations restrict creativity
Although regulations can restrict how you engage with Gen Z, there’s still much opportunity to have fun, be creative, and think out of the chat box. Understand the regulations and focus on what you can do and do that well. “Always aim to resonate rather than sell, and do so with flare, fun and creativity.”
As the oldest Gen Z are now entering the workforce, marketers should not ignore their importance and influence. They’ll soon earn their own money and spend it on brands that resonate. “Brands that tap into Gen Z’s values and way of living, can reap the rewards and influence of this vast target market who are not afraid to tell it like it is.”
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