Marketers have long tracked the habits of various generations of consumers, understanding that each generation has developed its own preferences and tastes based on the environment in which they were raised. We've gone from Baby Boomers to Gen Xers to Millennials and a few in-between.
Now, we have arrived at a new generation set to attract marketers' attention: Generation Z. That means further customization strategies in order to prove to this new generation that brands get them and have what they want.
Gen Zers were born from 1995 onwards. They are set to grow in volume, far out populating all previous generations—even the current largest group known as Millennials. That makes them pretty important to marketers since their power will grow over previous generations. Getting their attention needs to start now and that can't happen if we assume they are similar to Millennials.
Their traits illustrate that they are their own generation. They have some of the shortest attention spans (of which are getting shorter by the minute). They prefer to use symbols (a.k.a., emojis) and images to communicate and express themselves.
Despite being so young, they have already learned the fine art of consumerism thanks to their connectedness and being weaned on mobile devices. However, they want to be in control of when they feel like being a consumer and when they want to be anything but. That makes their technology settings and preferences like gold to them.
Gen Z is not necessarily loyal to a brand like past generations. Instead, they are not as picky about what brand they use just as long as it does what they are looking for and is priced well. This generation is frugal given the fact that they were raised during the last major recession.
Mobile is life to this generation because they are considered true natives to technology. They have been connected to some type of technology since birth and have high expectations about instantaneous results from search engines and great trust in online tools and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. This connection to their phones runs deep almost as though the mobile device was part of them.
Because of spending their lives on these devices, they even think spatially and are used to zooming and swiping in high-definition and surround sound. They also fear missing out and why the features like self-destructing chats on SnapChat and limited videos on Instagram have worked so well with this generation.
Mobile is a central part of the strategy to reach Gen Z, but other screens cannot be left out, including computer, TV, wearables, and tablets. In fact, they are often using multiple devices at once, including watching TV, looking at their phones, and playing a game on a tablet. When providing your brand story to this generation, you also need to use different delivery methods besides the all popular video content chosen by Millennials. That's because Gen Z also likes to get content via live streaming, instant messaging, and chat.
Provide your content to them as a snackable—that means to deliver it in small portions that they can digest individually before receiving more of those bite-sized content messages. This works well with those short-attention spans and their ability to process more information at a faster rate than the previous generations.
Without overusing it or in an unauthentic manner, mobile marketing can also use emojis, stickers, and memes, if appropriate, to grab the attention of this audience. To ensure the proper amount, it is even a good idea to encourage Gen Z users to submit their own content, which is something they really like to do. And, when people they admire are involved and interactive with them, that engagement intensifies.
Include mobile marketing approaches in a way you could not do with previous generations, which did not use mobile as exclusively as Gen Z does.
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