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Generation Z: 5 Ways to Attract The Next Wave of Consumers

Marketing

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Generation Z is the first generation of true digital natives.

Millennials have been the biggest moving target for businesses large and small for years. We’ve all been trying to unlock the secrets of getting their attention—and their dollars. Now, the new kids on the block, Generation Z, is snapping up a good chunk of the buying power—and it’s high time we started paying attention to them. Currently, Generation Z (born from roughly the mid 1990-mid 2000s) is harnessing about $44 billion in direct spending power, a share that is set to grow significantly in the next few years.

There are about 3 million more Generation Z members than Millennials, and we’re only starting to scratch the surface when it comes to understanding their preferences and habits. Based on what we know now, however, here are 5 ways to attract the new wave of consumers for a strong bottom line.

Deliver a digital experience

This one may seem obvious, but it bears repeating: Generation Z is the first generation of true “digital natives”. They can’t imagine a world without the Internet, interactive content, and constant availability of information. They’re part of the driving force behind the mobile revolution, and they won’t give brands the time of day if they’re not willing to engage with them in their preferred environment. Convenience is key when it comes to effectively marketing to generation Z, so it’s important that your business has a responsive website and caters to mobile users. Make it easy for these new consumers to access you!

Leverage visuals and interactive content

Now that text has become a main method of communication, visuals have taken on increasing importance. Videos, photos, and emojis are becoming essential tools in marketing to the younger generation. Generation Z is more active on platforms like Snapchat and Whisper than on Facebook and Twitter, which means that marketers need to start directing some effort to these channels. One example of this in action is Hollister, which successfully engaged with Generation Z on Snapchat by offering the branded geotag “Friday Vibes”.

Appeal to their values

Growing up in a climate of economic uncertainty, globalization, and social justice, Generation Z is very committed to its values and wants to see corporations and organizations that care just as much about things like social equity too.. They are concerned with supporting socially-conscious brands, and 76% are worried about human impact on the planet. Brands like Horizon Organic and Silk, which have voluntarily met strict environmental standards, will do well with this environmentally- and socially-conscious group.

Personalize with email

You might assume that social media is the best place to reach Generation Z, but your assumptions would be wrong. It’s not that they don’t use social media, they just aren’t as interested in engaging with brands on these platforms. So where do they want to hear from companies? In fact, one of the most popular marketing channels for these young consumers happens to be good old-fashioned email. One study from Bluecore and Napco research showed that 65% of Generation Z-ers surveyed preferred email for engaging with brands. Why? Because, having grown up in a data-driven world with automation solutions, they like the personalization that email offers. Your brand can speak directly to them, using their name and tailoring offers to meet their needs. Emails are also a great delivery system for visuals, making the medium perfect for appealing to Generation Z.

Keep up with the trends

Our economy is changing rapidly thanks to technology. The “sharing economy” is booming—72% of Americans have used a sharing economy service at some point, and more members of Millennials and Generation Z work within these platforms than older Americans. Businesses of all sizes need to pay attention to the economic trends and business essentials for 2018. Brands that have survived over the years have done so by adapting to market trends and generational preferences.

It’s no different with generation Z and the rise of entrepreneurship and the sharing economy. In one Internship.com study, 72% of those surveyed hoped to own their own business one day, which will force businesses to change not only how they market, but how they approach employment.

Why You Should Care Now

Since part of Generation Z hasn’t even reached the teen years, some business owners might be wondering why they should care yet. One compelling reason is that apart from their direct spending power, Gen Z influences family purchases to the tune of approximately $600 billion. That’s enough on its own to start thinking about this generation, but there’s another reason that now is a good time to make plans: in the next few years, you won’t be behind everyone who is still focusing solely on Millennials.

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