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How Should One Practice Marketing to Gen Z in 2021?

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Is your brand for the youth? Are you using different marketing strategies for them? If not, then it’s time you did. Marketing to gen Z has to be tailored according to their behaviour and expectations to best appeal to them. 

So if you’re stuck, this blog is going to help you out. We’re going to show you some top strategies for marketing to Gen Z. But who is a part of Gen Z? 

marketing to gen z - who is gen z

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Gen Z refers to the newest generation born between 1997 and 2021 and their age range is between 6 and 24 years of age. This is the generation that grew up with mobile phones by the age of 10. 

Smartphones and social media have been part of their upbringing and they are well exposed to all kinds of online information. They had mobile devices, laptops, and WiFi at their disposal from a very young age. 

Gen Zers have gained popularity with journalism and brands targeting them as they form a large part of the world population and are the future. 

Many brands have understood that Gen Z forms 30% of the world’s population and in time will be the generation with the most disposable income. Hence, sending out messages targeting them is extremely important, especially for brands targeting young audiences.

Marketing to Gen Z: Trends & Statistics

Let’s have a look at some of the Gen Z marketing trends and Gen Z marketing statistics for 2021.

  • Take advantage of short attention span – Since Gen Z has a short attention span, ads are produced in such a way that they make this an advantage. Keeping your message short, simple, and impactful is key as 70% of them find ads disruptive so, in all likelihood, they will skip it. 
  • Online Communication – 98% of Gen Z own a smartphone. Hence many brands are moving their messages online to target this generation.
  • Video Marketing – Due to their short attention span, video messages are preferred. 71% of Gen Z teens use channels like Youtube over reading a blog and they consume 23 hours of video content per week. Thus brands prefer video marketing over other forms of content marketing. 
  • Optimized Content – 60% of Gen Z will not wait for a slow website to load. This means all websites and communication needs to be optimized. 
  • Social Media Consumption – Gen Z are active on social media for about 3 hours a day, one hour more than compared to millennials. They view it as a way of connecting with their friends. Hence, marketers have recognized this pattern and have been aggressively using paid ads on social media. 
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Top Strategies To Use for Marketing to Gen Z in 2021 

Here are some strategies that’ll help you connect with Gen Z better – 

1. One size does not fit all 

It is important to understand that a lot of brands have been perceiving different social media platforms as different methods of distribution instead of understanding that they are very different ecosystems altogether. 

2. Be authentic 

Authenticity goes a long way with Gen Z. It is the key to success on social media. The generation prefers fun, fresh and authentic marketing that does not restrict itself to the rules of society. 

3. Reach out to Influencers

Influencers are credible sources of information for Gen Z. They find them credible as they view them as regular people like themselves. Content created by them is much more relatable than celebrities.

4. UGC is the way to go 

UGC is user-generated content. A study recently revealed that most buying decisions by Gen-Z are led by UGC. Hence, most ads targeted towards Gen Z are user-generated rather than celebrities.

Top Marketing to Gen Z Advertising Examples To Inspire You

Here’s a list of top Generation Z Advertising Examples –

1. Kylie Cosmetics 

marketing to gen z - kylie cosmetics

Kylie Cosmetics is a great example of using social media to engage audiences. Customized makeup filters on Instagram took the Gen Z world by storm. It was engaging, visual and it went viral!

2. Adidas

marketing to gen z - adidas

Did you know Adidas opened a gender-neutral store in London? Very recently they realized the importance of targeting Gen Z and shifted all their focus on their online presence instead of traditional marketing like TV and print. 

3. Mumbai Police

marketing to gen z - mumbai police

This is a great example of connecting with millennials and Gen Z. During the pandemic, the Mumbai Police shared witty, relatable content with the idea of keeping spirits high and also to have a connect with the people giving them a humanistic identity. 

It was not done with an idea to sell a product but many posts went viral as the content was short, engaging, visual and used moment marketing techniques. 

Check out these case studies for some more knowledge as to how you can apply these strategies. 

With some opportunities come challenges. Here are some potential problems that you could face when marketing to gen Z. 

Challenges in Marketing to Gen Z

Every marketing audience comes with its own set of challenges. Listed here are a few challenges in marketing to gen z – 

marketing to gen z - Challenges

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  • Online Customer Service – With so much exposure, Gen Zers are used to instant solutions. The older generation would possibly write in a query or submit a form. With Gen Zers, it is common to see them reach out to brand’s inboxes, emails, or call them instantly to discuss their concerns. Hence, they expect a strong and established after-sale service from any brand.  
  • Concise Ads – The attention span of the Gen Zers is much less than the millennials. According to a survey, the average Gen Zer’s attention span is not more than 10 seconds per ad. Hence, if you notice, most Youtube ads are less than 10 seconds in length. The message needs to be concise and impactful. 
  • Open to Criticism – Exaggeration in communication is not something that the Gen Z consumer appreciates. They are very open and vocal about their criticism. If a brand does not take their feedback or grievance seriously, they are quick to share on social media which can tarnish a brand’s identity. 
  • Creating Value – Gen Z is also very conscious of what their money is used for. They love brands that take social and environmental initiatives seriously. They are very sceptical about brands that may be the cause of deforestation, inequality, child labour, etc. Hence a brand that creates value in society is their preferred choice.
  • Sell experiences, not products – This is key to connecting with Gen Z. Your communication should be focused on how can your product or service add value to their life, not about how amazing the product or service is. 

Bonus Read – Top Digital Marketing Strategies for Startups To 3x ROI

Difference Between Marketing to Gen Z vs Millennials

So, what’s the difference between marketing to Gen Z and millennials? Let’s have a look – 

  • Social Media Marketing – Brands marketing to Gen Z prefer Instagram and Youtube. On the other hand, millennials are Facebook fans. The statistics are 84% of millennials use Facebook as compared to 32% of Gen Z. Check out how to build an effective target audience on Facebook.
  • Email marketing – Email marketing to Gen Z is different from email marketing to millennials. 75% of millennials check their email multiple times a day whereas 57% of Gen Z check their emails more than once a day.
  • Online conversions – Gen Z make more online purchases on phones than millennials
  • Open to new platforms – Gen Z is more open to new platforms such as TikTok. 35% of Gen Z are active users on TikTok and 20% of millennials have used it before. 
  • Hard to convince – Gen Z is harder to convert than millennials. They need a lot of information and are more well-informed. 
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FAQs 

Q. Where can I advertise to Gen Z?

Instagram and Youtube are the most preferred channels to reach out to Gen Z. About 80% of Gen Z use these channels the most.

Q. Why is Gen Z important to marketers?

In the coming years in future, Gen Z will comprise a large segment of the market. They will also have disposable income and will see a significant rise in spending power.

Q. What does Gen Z want from brands?

Gen Z wants authentic brands. Since they are very exposed, if the product does not live up to their expectations, they are quick to discard it. They want products and services that really set them apart from the rest.  

Conclusion

There are many challenges for companies marketing to Gen Z. It is about getting the strategy right.

If you’re a marketer, we recommend doing a short course such as this 3-month digital marketing course at IIDE or if you’re a professional looking to upskill, check out this 11-month MBA-level online digital marketing postgraduate programme. 

If you enjoyed reading this blog, tell us in the comments below. 

Chief Learning Officer at IIDE

He has over 17 years of experience in the Digital Marketing and Design space. He is someone who understands all the elements of the Digital gamut ranging from User Experience, Graphics Design, SEO, SEM, Analytics, Media Planning, Social Media Marketing & eCommerce......[Read full bio]

Meherzad Karanjia

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