Generation Zers: What the New Target Audience Wants

September 25, 2018 Jeff Meola

It’s almost like millennials are old news. Many brands are now targeting a new, younger audience: Generation Z. And perhaps unsurprisingly, Gen Zers are interested in far different brands and life goals than millennials.

Who is Generation Z?

Generation Z

Generation Zers are defined as individuals born in and after 1997. This audience grew up during the rise of mobile tech and lived through the Great Recession of 2008. They exist in the midst of large social justice movements, and many Gen Zers don’t know and won’t learn how to write in cursive.

Plus, Gen Zers have almost always known the existence of gender fluidity, and only 73% of the generation claim to be completely heterosexual. Gen Z is also the largest and most ethnically diverse generation yet, and they’re 77% in favor of interracial marriages and 66% in favor of marriage equality, according to Business Insider.

To understand more about Generation Z’s viewpoint, read “Mindset List: Things that Shape This Year’s College Freshmen.”

What interests Generation Z?

Gen Zers gravitate toward socially and ecologically responsible brands. They like interacting with brands on social media sites but prefer purchasing products in-person.

In a study promoted by Business Insider, Generation Zers admit their top five favorite brands are Hershey’s, Netflix, Oreo, Doritos and YouTube, which is predictable when noting that many of these brands were early adopters of robust digital marketing strategies involving direct engagement with consumers.

How do Generation Zers differ from millennials?

While millennials love Facebook, Gen Z is obsessed with more visual platforms, like YouTube and Snapchat. Millennials love preppy brands like Ralph Lauren, but Gen Zers are wearing athleisure from Nike and Adidas.

While both generations are struggling with debt, Gen Zers are much more interested in purchasing houses than millennials are. In fact, 83% of Gen Zers plan on buying homes within the next five years, and 100,000 Gen Zers already own homes, according to MarketWatch.

Gen Zers tend to have a more positive outlook than millennials, and overall, they report to be less stressed than their immediate elders.

How can brands interact with Generation Z?

Generation Z

Generation Z spends more time on YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat than they do watching Netflix, Hulu and cable. One of the easiest ways for brands to interact with Gen Z is to adopt an entirely digital marketing strategy. Investing in digital marketing and optimizing organic search may help steal the win with Gen Z.

Aside from Snapchat Ads and Instagram Stories, brands can recruit social media influencers to get their products or services in front of Gen Z. This may provoke positive response from Gen Z, seeing as younger individuals resonate more with influencers than they do with traditional TV spots.

CKE Restaurant Group won over young consumers with their first ever, all digital marketing campaign. Read The Impact of Digital Marketing: Froot Loops Donuts Feed a Very Social Audience  to learn more about how digital marketing can score expansive consumer bases.

Generation Zers are known for their love of technology and specifically their smartphones. To spread brand awareness amongst the youngest generation, hop aboard online avenues and implement a strong digital marketing strategy.

To learn more about marketing to different generations, read “Generational Differences in Marketing: What to Know.”

Each new generation brings its own set of attitudes, beliefs and behaviors forcing marketers to focus on the purchasing power these consumers have today and strategies that build loyalty for tomorrow. Explore the demographics and behavioral trends of today's youngest consumers with speaker Jeff Meola at LeadsCon Connect to Convert on Friday, October 5 at 9:10am.

Attending LeadsCon Connect to Convert?

Schedule a meeting with Digital Media Solutions.

Can’t make it?

Contact Digital Media Solutions today.

About the Author

Jeff Meola

Jeff Meola is the Consumer Insights & Marketing Analytics Director at Digital Media Solutions (DMS), the fastest growing independent agency focused on performance marketing. In this role, Jeff is responsible for managing and analyzing DMS industry data and customer trends. Since its inception, DMS has evolved into a full-service performance marketing company that services firms within highly complex and competitive industries including mortgage, education, insurance, consumer brands, automotive, jobs and careers. DMS has achieved incredible year-over-year growth, which has earned recognition on the Inc. 5000 list in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

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