“Don’t look now, but…” How often have we heard that phrase being used in anticipation that something may be occurring soon? That has been used lately by some marketers to describe the anticipated flood of Gen Zers to the marketplace.
Although some marketers feel there’s still time to strategize for Gen Z, other surveys indicate otherwise. An IBM Institute for Business Value study said this group of youngsters born after 1995 already represents $44 billion in purchasing power. Though loaded with cash, Gen Zers have no brand loyalty—52 percent said they will switch at once if they aren’t pleased, according to a report by the National Retail Federation, USA.
Entrepreneur India magazine reported that Gen Zers represented one third of the world’s population at the end of 2019, with 472 million alone just in India.
The publication added that Gen Z will represent 40 percent of all U.S. consumers this year. But its most interesting revelation was that the attention span of a Gen Zer is just eight seconds, compared to 12 for millennials.
How to connect in 8 seconds
Every generation has its own “language,” and Gen Z is no different. These digital natives were the first generation to be born into and raised on digital media. Their “language” is highly visual and ranges from animated GIFs to memes and emojis. Social media and digital devices go hand-in-hand with these visuals. Articles and blogs won’t be as appealing as content containing reviews, pictures, polls, quizzes and even user-generated content. Comments and chats, both positive and negative, also need to be addressed and answered.
The IBM study also discovered that 66 percent of Gen Z’ers are often on more than one device at the same time. Brands with the ability to send out mobile push notifications will benefit from this. Delivering a seamless experience will be more important than ever. As for smartphones, eMarketer.com estimates that 83.2 percent of Gen Zers will have one in 2020, up from the 49.6 percent it reported in 2013. And because this generation is more finicky, personalizing messages is also important. Brands that can leverage tailored lists, SMS, and produce ads on products recently visited will see bigger returns.
Unlike earlier generations, Gen Zers aren’t as impressed with marketing. Their preference is for influencers who are closer in age to them, relatable and responsive. They even rank slightly higher than a recommendation from a friend.
Brands should also consider starting their own channel on YouTube. Lush Cosmetics did that with great success to go behind the scenes and show consumers how their products are made as well as how to use them. Entrepreneur reported that 50 percent of Gen Zers “can’t live without YouTube.”
Snapchat and Instagram
Because of Gen Z’s short attention span, other social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram offer opportunities to share stories with Gen Zers. This young audience seeks convenience and platforms providing short answers to problems will also yield results.
An earlier article discussed Gen Zers as entrepreneurs. Recent research by Small Business Trends found that 55 percent of Gen Zers are more likely to start a business than millennials. Brands that address, encourage and foster this innovative spirit will discover an audience that is loyal and follows them.