Thought Leadership

All you need to know about your Generation Z market

Aug 13, 2018
Born between 1996 and 2005, these kids already make up 30% of the country’s population. They are now finishing high school and college, and in three years’ time, half of them will be entering the workforce as professionals.

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Despite their youth, their purchasing power is already expected to account for $29 to $143 billion in direct spending by 2020. Now that doesn’t include their influence on household purchases yet; 93 percent of parents said their children have a say on family spending.

This just goes to show that businesses and marketers can no longer afford to undervalue these plugged-in digital natives, and it starts with diving deep into what these kids are really about.

They don’t mind getting personal

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Gen Z-ers grew up with smart technology: smart phones, smart TV, etc. They know when they are getting advertised to, and, more than any generation, they can tell that businesses are using their data to make all those targeted Facebook ads that pop on their newsfeeds.

However, some of them get tired of these easily. In a report by Google, 26 percent of regular Gen Z shoppers said they expect retailers to go the extra mile and treat them to a more personalized experience based on their individual shopping habits and preferences.

But they don’t want you bypassing their privacy

While they are willing to share some personal details like contact information and purchase history to satisfy their desire for individualized experiences on social media channels, they fear for their privacy so much that they tend to cover their webcams. They want brands to connect with them without being creepy or invasive.

According to IBM’s survey Uniquely Gen Z, 61 percent of teens would feel better sharing personal information with brands if they can guarantee that their information is securely stored and protected.

They speak their minds

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Generation Z don’t mind giving feedback. In fact, almost half of Gen Z shoppers say they give feedback often or very often. They usually leave comments on retailer websites, rate brands on social media, and they expect you to listen.

They are more secretive on social media

This generation is wiser than those before them, having learned that what goes on the internet, stays on the internet, creating an inclination towards anonymous browsing.

One reason many Gen Z teens like to use Snapchat or Instagram Stories so much is because their content on these platforms only lasts a couple of hours. On Twitter or Instagram, many use aliases or create multiple accounts for different personas.

Sites like Facebook where it’s more challenging to mask identities and keep away from relatives tend to be less popular with them, as much as saying that Facebook is for “old people.”

This penchant for anonymity makes creating personalized content for Gen Z-ers a challenge. So instead of developing audience personas, it would be more beneficial for brands to focus on one-on-one marketing like what Facebook Messenger is capable of doing.

They live for online video

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According to a survey conducted by Defy Media, this generation watches 2.5x more online video than TV and 12 hours of online video per week on Youtube, which, they say they “can’t live without.”

They have multiple networks for every stage of the shopping journey

Knowing how they use social media at different touchpoints of their journey is crucial to coming with the right message on these various platforms.

As the digital natives that they are, learning about new products on social media and connecting with brands this way are second nature to them. They mostly discover new products on Instagram, followed by Facebook. But before deciding to make the purchase, they are more likely to turn to YouTube first, which is also the number one platform that dictates their shopping preferences.

But this doesn’t mean they’ve stopped going to physical stores. They still do but they will likely document the shopping experience on Instagram or Snapchat.

They’re fine with ads but not everything leaves an impression

Gen Z-ers know how the internet works so they are OK with being constantly bombarded with ads. But with a lot of things taking up their focus at once, they also tend to have shorter attention spans. On average, there’s only an eight-second  allowance for a marketer to carry out the brand message before these teens move along so every content, especially video, must be impactful and snackable.

They want the power to opt in and opt out

These teens would be more willing to opt in when they are offered incentives for their interaction with 41% saying they respond positively to mobile ads that come with rewards. On the other end of the barrel, they don’t appreciate non-skippable ad formats as they generally tend to skip on video ads after 9.5 seconds, affecting their perception of the brand.

They trust influencers more than celebrities

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Celebrity endorsements still hold bearing among teens, but only if they convey authenticities. Furthermore, they expect celebrities to be upfront with the brands their endorsing instead of posting vague product placements. But for these social media savvy teens, influencers aka as “digital creators” are more credible.

44% of them said they have tried a recommendation from an influencer at least once as compared to 36% out a celebrity endorsement.

They gravitate towards socially-conscious, diverse brands
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This generation wants their money to have an impact so they tend to patronize brands that are committed to social good. And because they are as liberal-minded, if not more, as their millennial contemporaries, they also welcome diversity and demand equalitywhether in sexual orientation, race, and social background.

As Gen Z’s purchasing power increases, only those who can accommodate their demands and motivations will be able to maximize this key demographic for their own success.

This is where a good grasp of technology comes in. RUSH, a digital platform for loyalty, can help your business understand and capture this generation. It has a dashboard that gives real-time insights into their buying habits for creating tailored services and rewards. It also comes with your own custom branded mobile app that plays well with their affinity for their smartphones. RUSH also has built-in engagement tools which sends your marketing messages via SMS, in-app notifications, or email so you are connected anytime, anytime.

To learn more about RUSH and other guides on customer loyalty, visit the RUSH website and follow it on Facebook and Linkedin.

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