Yesterday we took a dive into the first all-digital generation and learned how the rapid pace of change has influenced their global worldview. Today, we take a snapshot of Generation Z’s shopping habits, social media habits, and surprising influence among their peers and families.
Whereas Millennials want to communicate with brands, Gen Z expects a one-on-one dialogue with a brand that goes beyond the traditional confines of social media. Gen Z has highly tuned radar for being sold to and a limited amount of time and energy for determining whether something is worth their time. Getting past their filter will be key for marketers—and this means providing them with immediate feedback through engaging content and beneficial experiences.
But here’s the good news, this generation actually likes advertising; researchers found that 55% of Gen Zs are captivated by and will stop and watch an ad if has an element of humor, 45% will pay attention if it has great music, and 33% will value an ad if it’s inspiring.
It seems that Gen Z inherits its love of good storytelling from the Millennials, with 67% of the respondents saying that they are more interested in narratives and content with relatable and realistic endings. Further, they are nearly twice as likely to want to see “real people” rather than celebrities endorse products and brands.
Gen Z is also more likely to visit YouTube than any other social site, with 85 percent declaring their preference for it; 40% also say that they would prefer interacting with their favorite brands on YouTube than any other platform.
Gen Z’s path to purchase often begins with the brand’s own website. As the consummate information seekers, Gen Z kids research products on their own before making a purchase and are extremely value oriented—according to a J. Walter Thompson survey of 1,000 teens, 79% said they researched online to get the best deal. Although more than half of all purchases still take place in a mall, 66% still said they did shop online. These results, coupled with their natural digital comfort, indicate that this generation will eventually shift a greater portion of their buying power online.
Their Social Life
If a brand is not on social media, they might as well not exist for this generation. This is true both for the brands themselves, and for the influencers they follow on Instagram and You Tube. This generation learns about brands online and seeks validation and acceptance by sharing their knowledge with their friends and followers, but despite their very public social media personas, they are prefer to communicate with each other on ephemeral, under-the-radar platforms such as Snapchat, Whisper, Secret, and Yik Yak.
Influence on Family Spending
Unlike many past generations, Gen Z kids have a tremendous influence on their parent’s spending habits—one study finds that tweens/teens influence 93% of family spending. Their voice in a variety of family decisions includes everything from the weekly dinner menu to the family vacation. Brands that actively market to this generation can begin to make and build long-term loyalty with both Gen Z and their parents.
Tips for Marketing to Generation Z
Generation Z redefines savvy. They’re unrelenting researchers, discriminating consumers, value oriented, and socially aware. To remain competitive, brands will have to take a fresh approach to their marketing. Women’s Marketing offers a few tips to reach Generation Z.
- Communicate through bold, interactive visual content
- Interact with them across multiple platforms
- Engage in two-way dialogue
- Inspire them through causes they care about
- Represent their diversity
Each generation presents new challenges for marketers. How will your brand meet the demands of a rapidly changing global landscape? At Women’s Marketing we stay one step ahead of the curve—our deep understanding of consumer behavior and trends provides a framework for developing media plans that get brands heard. Contact Women’s Marketing to learn how we can help your brand grow and thrive.
Sources: Sparks & Honey: Meet Generation Z: Forget Everything You Learned About Millennials; WWD Gen Z Starts to Make a Mark, August 5, 2015; Winter/Spring 2015 Cassandra Report: Gen Z