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Marketing Week Live Understanding Gen Z

Marketing Week Live 2017: Understanding Gen Z

Posted by danielle.gamage | 09 March

Understanding the consumer of tomorrow: the Gen Z mind-set

Generation Z, kidrepreneurs, iGeneration or according to Soundcloud’s Commercial Director, David Couch, ‘The Headphones On Generation’ are all marketing names given to those born between 1996 and 2010. They’re the generation brought up through the rise of Snapchat, Instagram and the ‘selfie’ but also hard financial times and are keen to look after their money and to make the world a better place. So how can marketers best engage with this next generation of consumers with big impact?

Couch explained this customer group spends up to four hours a day with their headphones on and not just listening to music. The average Gen Z person now owns up to five devices. They’re digitally native and early adapters to new technology but they don’t just want to follow trends, they enjoy setting them and pushing their own social boundaries.

They get their 'kidprenership' title for being self-driven with the mind-set that they’d “rather be an entrepreneur than an employee”. Many are finding easy routes to do just that with the endless opportunities the digital platform has given them. “Screenagers” are very socially involved and participate in issues that strive to make the world we live in a better place. In this image obsessed society we're actually finding Gen Z are much more focused on the importance of personality, social change and diversity acceptance over personal image.

They're a health conscious bunch in comparison to their Millennial cousins, with sport participation on the increase and smoking and alcohol on the decrease. However this isn’t the doing of nagging of parents and teachers. Today’s younger consumers are creating healthier lifestyles thanks to social influencers. When healthy became trendy, Gen Z became healthy too.

Being raised in the digital world makes them the youngest to adopt new technology and the first truly global community, accepting diversity and supporting equality, as modern-day liberal thinkers. They’re extremely agile and more accepting of change than perhaps some older generations. Their Gen X and Baby Boomer parents are actually forming opinions around technology, content and web engagement from time as they're children help them with day to day tasks such as navigating the online food shop, downloading music or streaming the latest TV series.

Brands should be wary when trying to target this group. It’s no easy feat. They distrust traditional marketing and advertising channels which means marketers have to get creative in their approach, but the biggest takeaway we learnt was to let Gen Z co-create the content with your brand. The more you try to control it, the less engagement it will get. Despite 69% of Gen Z-ers using ad blockers, Gen Z don’t hate ads. They hate being interrupted. They hate being “marketed to”. So if you’re planning on targeting them for your next marketing campaign be relevant, be targeted and don’t make the message all about you. Inspire them, entertain them and in doing that you&rsqu;ll emotionally connect with them.


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