Generation Z marketing – Can you keep up?

By Mia Fine / 03 Mar 2016


Written by Guest Blogger: Mia Fine

I’m writing a blog I’ll never read and here’s why:

I am a Gen Z. We don’t read blogs. You may read blogs and Google may index blogs, but we don’t read them. We live with a phone in our hands 24/7 and can text, tap, scroll, and snap better and faster than anyone on this planet. You can only reach me between my texts, selfies, videos and games. You have a split second to grab my attention.

How can you keep up with me?

It’s not just me you have to keep up with here. There are 2.52 billion of us — the largest generation ever. That means tons of potential buyers. Generation Z marketing can be easy: you just have to learn to speak our language.

On average, we use smartphones 15.4 hours per week — more than any other type of device. But that’s on average (I personally use my phone 15.4 hours or more a day, and a lot of my peers do, too). Our phones are our main sources of entertainment, information and communication. Most of that time we’re hanging out in Twitter, SnapChat, Instagram, Vine and YouTube. Why? Because, we respond to edgy and visual marketing.

A common misconception is that businesses need to push things to us on these sites because we spend the majority of our time there. In reality, we look for things on our own. We are constantly seeking out the next best thing, whether it’s in shoes, clothes, or gadgets.

Businesses already adopting these tactics in their marketing have the upper hand. According to the State of Inbound Marketing, social media has a 100 percent higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing.

Generation Z marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. A simple tweet integrating trending topics or hashtags instantly makes your product more appealing to Gen Z.

What Gen Z hates

We hate advertising.
Here’s why:

  • It does not seem personal or genuine.
  • A lot of times it slows us down from getting to the videos we are trying to enjoy; 70% of YouTube preroll ads get skipped.

What Gen Z loves

We LOVE celebrities — but not the ones you know. We love real people, and our celebrities live on YouTube, Instagram, and vine — 70 percent of us watch at least two hours of YouTube a day. So instead of hiring the same typical stars, think on our level. Seeing our social media celebrities promoting products excites us, making us more inclined to at least consider the product, if not purchase it. These celebrities speak our language and understand our mindsets. They have also created a personal connection and trust with us through their posts that make us want to invest in the products they use.New Call-to-action

What Gen Z has that your younger self didn’t

We have access to cash. Generation Z marketing is a lot easier because we are more independent, which means we determine how much and where our money is spent without getting permission before buying. We are also smart about our purchases. Since we are investing our own money into these products, we do research before buying, reading reviews both good and bad.

If you are quick and savvy enough to market to Gen Z, here are the four things you need to know that appeal to us:

1. The look: font, color and design
We are bombarded with ads every day, so if you want us to pause our scrolling to see your ads, they need to really pop. Think outside the box, something with lots of color, a creative font or a unique design that stands out from everyone else.


2. Pictures and videos
Gen Z is more likely to watch a short video or stop and look at a picture than to stop and read an advertisement. Using social media sites to reach us is the best way to do this; and it’s already possible through things like Instagram and Vine. You can run promotional campaigns that we see instantly. It is now possible to add videos up to 15 seconds, opening up a new way to market to people through networks like Instagram.



3. Quality and reliability
We are all about sharing, everything from what we ate for breakfast to exploring a new country. Gen Z likes to see that companies selling us their products are full of normal people who experience everyday problems. Gen Z likes to see quality work. Editing and complexity are things we notice and admire.

4. Authenticity
Be authentic. This is a very important part, we know that you might not understand every social term, and that is okay. You don’t need to use every trending phrase and hashtag for us to pick up on your effort at speaking our language. Social media is a place where we can express ourselves, so it’s okay to be different.


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