One ordinary summer afternoon, I was spending time with my family back in Thailand. Amongst the adults who were casually chitchatting and enjoying afternoon snacks, there she was, my niece, almost 2 years of age, running around, playing and talking boisterously.
To calm her down, my aunt put ‘the wheels on the bus’ song on through YouTube on her iPhone and handed it to her. She quietened down, enjoyed the song, and when it was over, she tapped her tiny finger on the screen to choose a new one, and being sure not to waste any of her precious pleasure time, she skipped the ad.
In this moment I found myself thinking of the future of marketing.
What would it be like?
Say hello to Generation Z, or anyone who was born during 1996-2010 according to NY Times. While Millennials were digital, Generation Z is the first generation to grow up with technology from the start. Therefore, they are open-minded, the most multicultural generation, gender-neutral and independent learners.
It is fairly important to the marketers of today to understand how Gen Z think because it effects audience segmentation, as they have their own uniqueness and shouldn’t be bunched together with the Millennials. By 2020, Gen Z will account for 40% of all consumers, which makes it more essential than ever to successfully connect, engage and develop a lifelong relationship with them.
While Millennials are getting older, the younger Gen Z population is growing rapidly. Gen Zers represent a buying power of $44 billion, and influence an additional $600 billion of family spending. They hold the power to influence the way their parents spend more than Millennials ever did.
It is a fact that goldfish have a longer attention span than Gen Z (6-8 seconds) while approximately 11% of the generation have ADHD. The reason that the Huffington Post gives makes a very good point. Gen Zers have a faster media consumption pace than any other generation. They are highly selective and have a decisive filter, which is something that marketers have never experienced before. However, once Gen Zers find something worth their attention, they will become obsessively committed and engaged. Right there, that’s a chance for all of us, the marketers.
Make the message quick, simple and to the point while leveraging visuals is the key. Brands need to pay close attention to trends and find a way to communicate with them in a unique and fun way while, at the same time, honesty-transparency and authenticity are equally critical. Despite the fact that this era offers the easiest and fastest way to communicate and stay connected, this generation still values relatable authentic experiences, good content quality, including two-way conversations. Don’t just create ads or campaigns…Create VALUE!
“Gen Zers are the most technologically fluent generation thus far,
and they recognize the value of their attention”
Because this generation is way beyond tech savvy, they truly understand the power of technology and the Internet. Kids today start building their online profile even before middle school and some even start to plan how to leverage that audience and start building their personal brand. This changes everything! Not only 63% of surveyed Gen Zers say they prefer to see real people in ads rather than celebrities, it also means that they are not only your consumers, but they are your potential competitors too. Thus, instead of trying to sell the products or services to them, we should think about how to help them, empowering them and cooperating with them.
Furthermore, we have to keep in mind that we have to be in more places than just one as Gen Z’s attention is much more divided than that. TVs, laptops, desktops, tablets, smartphones…they are everywhere! Therefore, make sure your platform is everything-friendly. This generation is extremely open minded and gender neutral. Instead of proving that you are right and someone else is wrong, it’s more about including everyone together.
They also have big dreams. According to a recent report from Mashable, 60% of Gen Zers want their jobs to impact the world. So it would be wise to make sure that your business is contributing something to the world and society because whether you are hiring or selling something to them, they will quickly realize whether they are actually a part of something special or not. This too, means that transparency is necessary.
As you can see now, as much as Gen Z seems quite similar to the Millennials on the surface, they are definitely not the same. Get ready for Generation Z marketers! They are on the horizon.