October 6, 2015 Full Contact

In our previous posts we’ve uncovered what Gen Z wants from brands as well as examined the mindset and behaviors of this next generation of consumers. In our final post in this Generation Z trilogy, we’ll dive deeper into who makes up this specific demographic, and where they like to engage with each other and brands, both on and offline.

Generation Z at-a-glance:
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How is Generation Z consuming the majority of their media? Well, obviously if they are like most teenagers these days they are thumbing through a hard copy of the daily newspaper.

Yeah, right.

While there still might be some traditionalists lurking out there, the majority of Generation Z lives online.

This generation is also very focused on social media. Not only are they present on a variety of social platforms, but also a notable amount (34%) reported that they prefer to be marketed to via social media more than any other platform. [Source].

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Brands that have solidified a social presence have, in many ways, strengthened the loyalty and relationship with customers. The opportunities for brands to engage with audiences via social media are abundant and rapidly on the rise. Let’s take fast food giant, McDonald’s, for example.  Knowing that the younger generations spend large pockets of their time on popular social media platforms like Snapchat, McDonald’s wasted no time targeting them there. The brand created a geo-filtered digital sticker for those taking selfies (which I imagine is a staggering amount of Gen Z-ers) in close proximity to McDonald’s locations. They were seemingly the first global brand to tap user-generated content in a way that let their consumers tell their McDonald’s story, and essentially promote the brand.Well-played, McDonald’s. Well-played indeed.

However, marketers need to remember that in order to pitch their wares to a Gen Z-er and make the sale, it takes more than simply appealing to them. Because we are talking about a younger subset of the population, we need to remember that many of the kids in the Generation Z bracket are under the age of 18 and still reliant on their parents for any purchasing and money-related decisions.

What does this mean for marketers? While Generation Z is the primary target, the most successful and savvy brands will captivate this target audience while simultaneously gaining the trust of their parents, AKA the ones digging into their wallets to make the purchases.

As Gen Z comes of age, gaining more independence, as well as more spending power, it is inevitable that they will be the hottest generation that marketers attempt to engage and win over. As we touched upon in earlier posts, they are the first generation of digital natives and therefore have a different mindset for the marketers looking to woo them. Their expectations from brands are starkly different from generations before them, which ultimately changes how brands will be able to successfully engage with them. We look forward to seeing how marketing to this generation plays out over the coming years and what the research into their habits will teach us about how to better engage them with our clients’ brands!

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