Digital Entrepreneurs: How to Market to Gen Z

Digital Entrepreneurs: How to Market to Gen Z

By 2020, approximately 40 percent of your customer base will be Generation Z consumers; ie., people born on, or after 1995. Unless you’re in the business of selling adult diapers, you’re currently way behind the marketing curve if you don’t have a solid plan for engaging with and selling to this socially-connected, digitally-inspired group of tireless researchers and frugal consumers.

Generation Z consumers don’t just grab something off the shelf, or click the “Buy Now” button haphazardly. They’ll check and recheck what the competition is offering. They’ll compare the value offered by one company, then check a dozen others using their device of choice.

The world is changing more quickly than any other time in history. Entrepreneurs have to adapt to these changes or risk losing everything they’ve worked so hard to build.

Here’s 5 tips for marketing to Gen Z in 2019 and beyond:

1. Laser focus your marketing efforts

Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees with all the tips and tricks circulating on the web these days about generational marketing. As mentioned in the opening, “Z” will make up a huge portion of most marketer’s customer base in a very short time. The changing of the guard is coming swiftly, and in most industries, Gen Z deserves a huge chunk of your marketing budget and overall efforts over the next few years and beyond. If you’re in the children’s market, Alpha deserves a lot of your attention too.

2. You have five seconds or they’re out

Research has shown the average attention span of a Gen Z consumer is 8 seconds. Somewhere before that, they’re already thinking about what they’re going to read/view/listen to next. Thirty-percent of this 2.6 billion strong group of modern youth only give content 5 seconds before moving on.

If you don’t adapt your content and advertizing to their shrinking attention spans, you’re sure to lose marketshare. Long form just won’t work with this group – you need to find a way to cut to the chase as fast as possible.

3. Interaction is what Gen Z wants most

Television is dying for a reason. Gen Z wants to be entertained by real people telling genuine stories, and asking those who’re watching them for their own genuine input. This is why likes and comments are so heavily sought after on social media channels.

If Gen Z users can’t interact with you on their favorite social channels, forget about maintaining interest, you’ll never get it in the first place. Best, when you interact and listen, you’ll find out what this finicky group of consumers is really looking for when they spend their dollars.

Casey Neistat influencer branding example
photo credit: Casey Neistat / YouTube

4. Speak their language – empathize – or suffer the consequences

Rather than spending tons of cash on R&D that’s completely separated from the group (Gen Z) that you’re targeting, team up with people who have an intimate understanding of your ideal consumer and their language. Word’s like “tubular” and “wicked” have been replaced by “epic” and “cray cray.”

Most brands marketing to Generation Z focus on guerrilla marketing to their consumers through influencers that know how to speak in a language they’ll understand. Gen Z aren’t only frugal, they’re brand-weary and know when you’re faking it.

5. Forget about being a big recognizable brand – be a trusted friend instead

If you’re focused on becoming the next Reebok or Coca Cola, think again if you want to take over the Gen Z market. Big brands are to this generation what the government/man was to the Gen X hippies of the 60s and 70s. Big brands are notorious liars and they tend to keep important details to themselves rather than opening up honest conversations with the people who spend money on their products.

Touching base with these guys, let them know about your innovations, let them virtually or literally tour your facilities, bring them into your community and culture and watch your numbers soar.

Gen Z web users

Final Thoughts

As one generation morphs into the next, the way a business markets to them will always change. Global changes, emerging trends, and ever-changing technology dictate that what worked yesterday isn’t very likely to today, and certainly won’t work tomorrow.

Adapting your business to the needs, wants, and language of Gen Z isn’t just a consideration, it’s a must if you plan to stick around long term.

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