The preferences and attitudes of the millennial generation influenced many of today’s most common marketing tactics, like social media, text messaging and mobile apps. Though this group is about to become the largest living generation, many businesses now have their sights set on the next up-and-coming young adult demographic: Generation Z.
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On a basic level, Gen Z-ers are like their millennial predecessors, particularly in their use of mobile technology. But there are some important differences marketers need to account for if they’re looking to capture this generation’s attention – and dollars. According to eight Forbes Coaches Council members, here’s how to best advertise to Gen Z.
1. Focus On Emotional Intelligence
For marketing efforts to convert effectively, brands must get into the minds of their audiences and out of their own heads. Demographic profiling alone won’t work. Psychographic profiles reveal how to create emotional connections that drive response conversion and brand loyalty. An approach centered on behavioral and emotional intelligence works regardless of audience demographics. – Jay Steven Levin, WinThinking
2. Offer Image- And Experience-Based Social Posts
Using image- and experience-based social posts (regardless of network) are incredibly important for connecting with Gen Z and millennials. While some social networks are not currently reaching as many of these demographics, they are pivoting to compete. People want to witness experiences that inspire and move. – Billy Williams, Archegos
3. Get Influencers Behind Your Brand
Millennials started the influencer marketing strategy, but Gen Z determines their buying habits by it. It’s not about marketing to them; it’s about providing authentic information that creates the support of the brand or product. They like to be part of a movement and have the product and company be more than a purchase. Both are mobile- and social-platform-motivated, but Gen Z bounces around more. – Tracy Repchuk, InnerSurf Online Brand & Web Services
4. Show Them You Care About Their Social Issues
Gen Z wants to know that brands are speaking directly to them and their issues. They are more likely to see a brand as a personality than a product, and therefore will hold brands to a higher level of social responsibility. It is important to create interactive and informative marketing materials to connect with this generation. – LaKesha Womack, Womack Consulting Group
5. Build Campaigns For Authenticity And Speed Of Consumption
Time is money. It has never been truer as each generation spends less and less time-consuming information online, becomes savvier in seeing through gimmicks, juggles multiple media platforms and devices, and craves authenticity. These are truths for both Gen Z and millennials. Go where your audience is, like YouTube, and engage at the speed of light using a key, relatable influencers. – Laura DeCarlo, Career Directors International
6. Learn From Them Directly
Do market research. Find out the reality versus public perception of this target demographic. Generational stereotyping inhibits. Great marketing comes from data, not guessing. As you would with any demographic, learn from them first. What do they want and need? In this way, there’s no difference with millennials or other generations. – David Butlein, Ph.D., BLUECASE Strategic Partners
7. Create Unforgettable Experiences
Raised in a world of often isolating constant digital stimulation, Gen Z responds exceptionally well to experiential marketing. Give them opportunities to touch, see, smell, hear and taste what you sell. Create virtual experiences they can participate in and contribute to. Brands that give Gen Z opportunities to be part of something bigger than themselves will capture their hearts and wallets. – Stephanie Nivinskus, SizzleForce Marketing
8. Be More Human
There is little to no difference between millennials and Gen Z. Both expect a good quality of life in workplaces along with clear direction and coaching to succeed at the beginning of their careers. They are looking for continued development, work-life balance and someone who cares about them. They are looking for humans, not just a laptop and a paycheck. – Kristy McCann, GoCoach