The generation after Millennials, Generation Z – defined as people born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s – represents a dominant and powerful group. And given they’re considered to become a larger cohort than both the Baby Boomers and Millennials, brands must increasingly craft an approach that relates to this ‘powerhouse’ consumer group.
CMO reached out to five experts to ask how brands need to market to Generation Z. First up, we asked how the industry defines Gen Z and what’s unique to that particular generation. We then deep dived into tips and strategies brands need to consider and deploy in order to win over this lucrative customer segment.
What makes Gen Z tick
Ogilvy head of strategy, Ryan O’Connell, said technology is in the blood of Gen Z as an all-encompassing part of their lives, and marketers should recognize this.
“Certainly, the most defining aspect of this particular generation is that they have no concept of what the world was like before the Internet. ‘Pre-internet’ is their equivalent of ‘Before Christ’: It’s unfathomable, ancient and archaic to them,” he told CMO. “Considering the role the Internet inherently plays in their life, the notion of ‘digital’ is completely foreign; that is simply not the language they use. ‘Digital’ is just their life. They’re hardly ever offline and a mobile phone may as well have been placed in their hand at birth.
Generation of Choice
For VML strategy director, Dave Di Veroli, Gen Z represents the “age of abundance”.
“Gen Z, like any other generation, is shaped by the culture and the technology that surrounds them. They are the first generation to grow up with computers in their pockets, delivering new ways to communicate, access information and be entertained. Their expectation is everything is in abundance and on-demand, making it a much more competitive landscape for brands to compete in,” he commented.
Di Veroli also labeled Gen Z the “generation of choice” and said it’s never been more difficult to capture attention.
“In an age of unparalleled choice – of content, channels, and ways of communicating – the balance of power is firmly in their hands,” he said. “They no longer have to put up with ads to get to great content; they can skip over them on YouTube, fast forward them on TV or avoid them all together streaming Netflix. So where does that leave brands?
“Marketers need to shift from creating ads to creating experiences.”