The marketing industry has spent the majority of the past twenty years trying to work out how to market to Millennials. Enormous amounts of money have been spent with the intention of finding out what Millennials want and how best to approach them. The amount of cash spent is dwarfed by the amount of time invested. In truth, we probably never got to the bottom of the problem, and now it's all moot. Millennials should no longer be the focus of your marketing campaigns if you're trying to reach a younger demographic. The Millennials are entering middle age and have cars, spouses, houses, and children already. The older end of Generation Z are now approaching their mid-20s, and that's where the smart money needs to be spent.
The problem with trying to reach Generation Z on their level is that they really don’t want you to. They're tech and data-savvy, they're less inclined to look at every notification that lands on their phone than Millennials are, and they can see an advert coming from a mile away. They skip the adverts on YouTube. They have no opinion on televised adverts because they barely watch television. They're a whole different breed, and you're going to need a whole different approach if you want to connect with them. We won't pretend to have all the answers, but here are a few ideas you could try.
Generation Z doesn’t like business-speak. They consider it pretentious. They’re right. We have no idea why we’ve all put up with it for so long. They certainly won’t buy from you if you use it in your communications. Aggressive sales approaches will fall on deaf ears, and confident boasts about the qualities of your product or service won’t do much better. This generation knows what “fake news” is all about, and they’re adept at detecting insincerity. Speak to them like you know them, and use a friendly, conversational tone. This will involve actually knowing how Generation Z speaks, so you’re probably going to need to either hire some of them or do some extensive research.
Televised advertising isn't likely to work on Generation Z because, as we've already said, they almost never watch live television. If they want to watch something, they'll record it and skip through the adverts or watch it on catch-up and ignore the adverts anyway. They use their phones for everything. Hardly any of them have internet banking, but almost all of them use mobile banking. They watch YouTube video content through their phones, and they play games through their phones. They rely on their phones to communicate with the outside world far more than they’re likely to use a desktop or a laptop. More importantly than any of this, they also buy products through their phones. It’s the best place to catch them. Focus on apps they use that allow marketing and advertising.
Don't make the mistake of using all of your advertising copy or video running time to explain how great your product is. Generation Z doesn't care. They want to know what it can do for them and what the user experience is. As an example, you could market an airbag as a car safety device, and that would be accurate. Market it as a device that prevents someone from dying or being injured in a road traffic collision, and you're selling on the experience more than the product. Consider what goes around your product more than the product itself. What type of person uses it? Where do they use it? How does it make their life better? These are the questions that your advertising needs to both ask and answer.
This works on any age group but appears to work particularly well on Generation Z. Cuteness sells, and it sells in bucket loads. If you don't believe us, visit any online slots website of your choosing and go looking for the Fluffy Favourites slot. You'll find it at almost all of them. All of the other online slots available at your chosen site may vary, but that one will always be there. That's because it's one of the most popular online slots in the world. Far from being all about fruits, gems, and all the other gambling iconography of the 1980s and 1990s, one of the most popular slots of the 2020s is based on stuffed toys. If that doesn't convince you that cuteness sells, nothing will. Obviously, this won't be appropriate for every type of product or service, but there's usually a way to incorporate it to a greater or lesser degree. Consider having a cute mascot for your product, at the very least.
There's a reason that Tik Tok and Snapchat are so popular at the moment. More than a third of Generation Z believes that Facebook is for old people. The age of Facebook's average user is increasing rapidly as young people desert the platform, and they're heading for places like Tik Tok instead. That isn't just because they think Facebook is passe; it's also because they have very short attention spans. As hard as this might be to believe, scientists estimate that a member of Generation Z has an attention span of eight seconds. If you can't seize their attention within those eight seconds, you no longer exist to them. Before any members of the Millennial generation who might be reading this get too smug about that fact, your attention span is apparently only twelve seconds. This incredibly short attention span means that video content has to be "snackable," by which we mean videos of fewer than ten seconds that aren't started or finished with adverts other than your own.
If this article makes marketing to Generation Z sound difficult, it's because it is. They interact on their own terms, and those terms are unknowable to anyone outside their peer group. Hire younger staff if you don't have anyone on their wavelength, and remember to keep it brief and friendly. Anything else will bounce off them and be a waste of your money. Like every generation that came before them, Generation Z is "unlockable" when it comes to advertising. It's all a matter of finding the right keys, and we hope this article has got you closer to finding them.