It seems like we’re just catching onto marketing to millennials, but now with a new generation rising, more change is in store. In the coming years, Generation Z, those born after 1995, will account for 40% of the consumer market. As this generation reaches adulthood, their influence on the market, and more specifically how marketers will reach them, is going to require a different set of strategies.

One of the biggest mistakes marketers can make is the assumption that this generation as many refer to as Gen Z or iGen, is just an extension of the millennial group. The fact is, Gen Z has a very different mindset and therefore the most effective marketing strategies for this large demographic will be different. Before we dive into how companies can connect with this generation, it’s important to understand the mindset and values of Gen Z.

Gen Z grew up in both a digital era and an economic recession, which creates an interesting dynamic in how they relate to businesses, unlike generations prior. Because Gen Z has been hyper-connected to technology since birth, information gathering, or should we say brand research, is a natural part of their day-to-day lives. On the other hand, this group has also watched the generation before them experience the turbulence of a rocky economy, lack of jobs, and the rising of the anti-establishment movement, which can make them more weary to some forms of advertising.

Marketing To Gen Z

Social responsibility is becoming increasingly important. Equal rights and sustainable practices are at the forefront for Gen Z. They have grown up in a world with massive inequality and depleting natural resources flashing on the news and in the media, which is why they are flocking to brands that are willing to make any adjustments needed to put social responsibility as top priority. Whether it’s equal opportunities for hiring, equal pay, or even highlighting the sustainable practices of a company like Patagonia for example, Gen Z is going to be looking for these qualities in the brands they buy.

Less Photoshop and more of the real stuff. Authenticity is another rising trend as Gen Z is making a splash in the marketplace. Brands will need to adapt to sharing what’s real, rather than what is most appealing. Remember that with information at their fingertips, Gen Z’ers are looking straight through advertisements into what matters most. So why not make your advertising and marketing efforts a way to show them what’s really on the inside?

An online presence is critical. Technology is second nature to Gen Z, which means having an online presence, a way to shop, learn or buy online is going to be critical moving forward. If your company’s website design or digital marketing campaigns are stuck in a different generation, it’s a good time to consider making updates and stepping fully into the digital era as not to miss the largest generation yet.

Be flexible to change. The reality is, Gen Z’ers are still kids and early adolescents. They’re still learning what they like, how they want to participate in the market place and what kind of future they want to build. This will require flexibility to adapt to this generation who has surpassed millennials in size, as they grow into adulthood.

Do you feel like your company is ready to connect with Gen Z in a better way? If a Gen Z friendly marketing strategy is needed, be sure to give us a call at (508) 652-0012.