Marketing to Generation Z: Things You Need To Know

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Marketing to Gen Z? How it can be any different from Marketing to Millennials?
Let’s find out!

Millennials have stolen the show for many years. Whether it’s business ethics or marketing strategies, their “how-to-do-guide” has been quite different from the past. They’ve set new trends in every field they step into. These “elusive Snapchat & Instagram loving socially-conscious creatures” with entrepreneurial behaviors have created quite a buzz in the marketing world. They have been the focus of attention & potential consumers for businesses & marketers for quite a long time.

But now they’re growing up. And the next generation comprised of teenagers are going to be the next major consumer group. At this moment, marketers can no longer afford to undervalue the marketing to Generation Z or “iGeneration.”

Conflicts between 20th & 21st Generation

The transformations in economy, society & cultural peers from the 20th century to the 21st century have caused severe conflict in opinion between baby boomers, millennials & iGeneration.

If you ask baby boomers (the generation before millennials), for them millennials are murderers. According to them, millennials are wild cards, who are actually killing industries, the economy & politics with their newfangled technology and ethically sourced, all-natural knives.

Most of you might have had a glimpse of the interview of Simon Sinek that recently broke the Internet. In which he describes millennials as

  • Hard to manage,
  • Accused of being entitled & narcissistic,
  • Self-interested, unfocused & lazy.

This video might help you understand “Millennial’s Workplace Behaviors” a bit more. Whether you agree to it or not. We leave that discussion to you! Because here we’re about to discuss the next generation.
According to Hubspot,

“Millennials are 44% more likely to trust experts, who happen to be strangers, than advertisements and 247% more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites.”

The generation is unfamiliar with wired connections but is connected by Wi-Fi

The iGen (people born in the mid-1990s & early 2000s) can be hard than millennials for brands. They have grown up with full access to technology & the Internet. Most of them are only familiar with the high-speed Internet and can’t imagine life before Wi-Fi!
According to the study,

“Their buying power is $44 billion and expands to $600 billion when considering the influence they have on their parents’ spending.”

And as other studies recommend, Generation Z will be representing 40% of American consumers by 2020.

How do we describe Generation Z?

Before starting marketing to Generation Z, first, let’s see how the world describes them!


  • “Financially Responsible
  • Independent
  • Focused & determined
  • Competitive
  • Entrepreneurial”

These fast-growing teenagers are on the Internet from the age when they couldn’t even speak properly. or haven’t started walking yet.
When the 90’s kids used to take down notes with an ink pen, these kids wrote emails!

Marketing to Generation Z

It’s A War Going on between Pacifier Vs. an IPad, Pencils Vs. Laptop, Landlines Vs. Cellphones, Super Mario Vs. Fruit Ninja, & Human Interaction Vs. Virtual Interaction.

Whether you like that or not, the “Post Millennial” generation is entering the workforce & soon is going to be ruling the world. This generation also has its own way of thinking, consuming information & perceiving things. Which they’re going to incorporate into the business world soon.

If you study them as the consumers’ lot, they have come with a different set of expectations & narrative as they grew up with smartphones in their hands with the Internet & social media.

Here is how marketers can deal with this well-versed in the technology “cool kids.” If they want their brand to be “in.”

#1. Understanding the differences

The reason to discussed millennials briefly is to distinguish the critical difference between Gen Z and Millennials’ mindsets.
While there are many similarities in these groups on a surface level, from a marketing perspective, they are needed to deal & target differently. Gen Z got their smartphones at a much younger age as compared to millennials, & many of them have never known a phone that wasn’t smart.

They are smart enough to know that brands have a lot more access to the consumer’s data, and so their expectations when it comes to “personalized interactions” are really high.

Marketers in today’s world need to be more personalized when targeting Gen Z.

According to Google’s report:

 “26% of teenage shoppers expect retailers to offer a more personalized experience based on their shopping habits and preferences. By comparison, only 22% of Millennials and 11% of Baby Boomers share that expectation.”

#2. They Care About Privacy

Even though marketing to Generation Z craves “hyper-personal experiences” on social media. They’re also protective when it comes to guarding their privacy.

As a digital marketer, you need to understand that while targeting or marketing to Gen Z, connect with them on their own terms. If you don’t want to come across creepy or invasive creatures!

According to IBM’s survey:

“Less than one-third of teens are comfortable with sharing personal details other than contact information and purchase history. But 61% would feel better sharing personal information with brands if they could trust it was being securely stored and protected.”

Gen Z is smart enough to know that “what goes on the Internet remains there forever.”

That’s the reason they prefer to browse anonymously. It goes the same with apps & social media platforms, the more established social networking sites like Facebook are less popular among teens as compared to Snapchat or Whisper.

34% of US teen believes that Facebook is for “old generation”.

#3. You can’t afford to ignore Snapchat!

The “anonymity” can be a little challenging for brands who are trying to create personalized content with Gen Z. For effective branding, you need to focus on direct channels with one-to-one engagement with teenagers. If your target audience is Gen Z, you can’t afford to ignore Snapchat. As per research:

“About 71% of Gen Z uses Snapchat on a daily basis & 51% of this group uses it about 11 times per day.”

Here is an example of how Dunkin Donuts have used Snapchat Stories & filters to make their customers look like Donuts on #NationalDonutsDay. Just by doing so they gained around ten times more Snapchat followers on National Donut Day than their average monthly followers.


Related Article: Snapchat vs Instagram – Tips For Creative Marketing

#4. Generation Z is more open to giving feedback

Generation Z is more open in giving feedbacks than any other group.
As a shopper almost half of them give feedbacks & when they’re writing comments or reviews about your product/service, they can be honest to the level of cruelty!

If they don’t like your product, it’s simple they won’t give lovely feedback for it. Not just feedback, they also look for an online recommendation about a new product or service before purchasing it.
According to Market research,

85% of Gen Z uses social media to discover new products, & 59% of them connect with the brands through social networking sites”.

Your brand image can be a little dependent on the reviews on the Internet. For social media marketing, it is essential for brands to make sure that their new customers are satisfied with their services, & the reviews or reactions they’re getting online are positive, to get more followers & customers.

Dazzle Gen-Z With Social Champ

With a unified content dashboard, create, edit, design, and schedule content on all of their favorite social media channels!

#5. They Trust Social Media Influencers

Back in the times, marketers used to spend a lot of money on mainstream celebrities. Or fine actors for their TVC to get the brand the screen time they wish for.

Today, when your audience is Gen Z, you better pay attention to your Digital ad! Because the medium you will find this group easy to engage is digital. Celebrity endorsements for your brand are meaningful. But this generation trusts the celebrity or social media influencer who they find relatable or reachable.

They will lose interest in your brand if it doesn’t sound genuine or authentic to them. If teens are the key target audience of your brand, they will expect a celebrity to be active on social media. And upfront with the branded content rather than just product placement.

Social media influencers are outshining mainstream celebrities in the digital world.

Getting the nods from actors, musicians or celebrated athletes might bring the star power to your ad, but what’s new & “in” are these Internet stars a.k.a “Social Media Influencers.”

Rather than going for the traditional celebrities, you can hold more sway with Gen Z by getting your product an endorsement from a “Lifestyle Influencer.”

According to research,

 “50% of Gen Z can’t live without YouTube, & 41% of the beauty products & tech gadget Gen Z purchases or intends to purchase are because of any online influencers’ endorsement.”

Summing It Up!

These species are digital natives who can’t respond as quickly as you might think, who won’t be trusting your business as the previous generation did, & it will be a tough job to woo this group & earn their love & loyalty.

Social media marketers should consider the age gap while targeting this young and bullish generation. Before marketing to Generation Z, you need to keep two things in mind.

  • First, traditional marketing strategies aren’t going to work on IGen.
  • Second, if you really want their attention and get your loyal customers from that group, speak in their language. And work with them on their own terms!

“Now you can connect with Generation Z using Social Champ through a single dashboard to manage all your social channels! Bulk upload your content and engage with your audience across networks. Try the free trial today to be with the trend.”

Picture of Saadiya Munir

Saadiya Munir

I'm part of #ChampFam as a Senior Content Strategist. Computer Science graduate who hates to code. Introverted. Mostly hungry or sleepy. Writing a novel is always on my bucket list, and eventually, when I'm done with all the movies on my watch-list and tasks on my to-do list, I'll get to it. Twitter handle: @munirsaadiya

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