A recent survey of Gen Z (children born from 1995–2012) community members by Facebook IQ discovered many interesting details, some of which are relevant to sales and marketing efforts to this massive coming-of-age group of consumers.
Perhaps more than any preceding demographic, Gen Zers believe that they can change the world, and they are taking action. From social structure to how they have embraced work strategies and future personal growth, these consumers don’t think the same-old is good enough.
Perhaps due to the pandemic-related dissolution of barriers — workplace, physical, and digital — this group of consumers is united in their belief that human activity has a massive effect on the planet and is prepared to do their part to make a difference. More importantly, they expect the companies they interact with to do the same. Additionally, it is not surprising that this generation, which appears to be most accepting of any generation yet concerning lifestyle differences among peers, wants to see more diversity in advertising to reflect the perspective they see in the wider world.
As the first generation to grow up with widespread internet availability and the ubiquitous mobile phone firmly entrenched in society, this group is extremely likely to have close friends they’ve never met in person. Social media acceptance and use in all forms — from departed mediums like Friendster through current options Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat — has brought people with common interests together in ways never seen before. These online communities can have immense power over purchasing decisions and how consumers perceive products in the marketplace.
Marketing techniques matter. The use of highly targeted advertising has affected this generation in ways that marketers could not have imagined as recently as 25 years ago. Gone are the days of brands hoping that billboards, television, and magazine advertisements would reach the right audience. Today the ability to reach consumers through the data they willingly provide gives savvy marketers a leg up on the unwitting competition. However, these consumers also feel bombarded by advertising, so striking the right tone and balance is key to your efforts. With a neverending stream of products, service, and advertisements at every turn, it’s easy for the audience to be overwhelmed.
The time-worn glacial pace of change has become a cascade in 2020, especially with this demographic. The global stay-at-home mandates have sharpened the focus for these consumers on learning new things, staying in touch with friends, and enriching their lives through the things that matter to them.
Now is the time for marketers to double down on targeted advertising methods, using the platforms where these consumers are —whether that’s Instagram influencer collaborations, well-placed Facebook ads, or TikTok partnerships.