Generation Z is the segment of people born in 1995 or later. This subgroup makes up about 27% of the total population in the US, and in 2020, they took the title of the largest generation in the US, with 86 million members.
On top of that, Generation Z has enormous buying power…over $140 billion, to be exact. Seventy-five percent of Gen Zers spend more than half of the money they have each month, and Gen Zers make up 40% of all consumers. This group is also extremely persuasive within their families, with 94% of parents saying that their Gen Z children influence the family’s purchasing decisions.
1. Prioritise diversity
Generation Z is the most racially and ethnically diverse generation yet, and they also support diversity in terms of gender and sexuality, with 59% of Generation Z saying that forms should provide gender-neutral options. To effectively engage this audience, choose images that reflect the diversity of this community, show that you care about equality issues, promote inclusive language and make sure you have a range of voices in your team. Remember that the key is to be authentic and honest in these efforts.
2. Acknowledge mistakes
Generation Z cares deeply about their values and is not afraid to call out, or even “cancel”, brands that don’t meet their expectations. And with the sharing power of social media at their fingertips, a brand mistake can quickly go viral, resulting in a massive loss of customers. The best way to combat this is to be honest, and open. If your brand makes a mistake, whether using outdated language that is no longer considered inclusive or spreading misleading information about an upcoming sale, address the issue head-on. Issue a statement as soon as possible, taking responsibility for the error and indicating how you will rectify it now and in the future. Taking ownership is the best way to impress Generation Z and earn their loyalty.
3. Provide text or chat-based customer service
Talking on the phone may seem intimidating or boring to a generation that grew up with texting as their primary form of communication. In fact, 85% of Generation Z would prefer to communicate with brands via SMS or an automated system. So make it easy for your young customers to get in touch by offering customer service via messages, SMS, or chatbots on social networks.
4. Personalise content
Personalized content is a proven strategy across marketing personalities, but it’s an absolute must when marketing to Generation Z. In fact, 81% of Gen Zers prefer personalized ads, compared to 57% of Millennials and 42% of Baby Boomers.
To achieve the level of personalization desired by young consumers, brands need to use segmented marketing to drill down into their specific audience. Data enrichment can help you populate consumer profiles to offer more individualized campaigns, while retargeting campaigns help retain customers with personalized content.
Offering exclusive discounts
Seeding the market with exclusive closed offers specifically designed for Gen Z students is a powerful strategy for building brand loyalty in the growing Gen Z market. Most Gen Zers won’t earn much yet, and with inflation on the rise, they will be looking for discounts on brands. In 2022, discounts were the number one reason Gen Z engaged with a new brand on social media. And when a discount is given for a specific product consumer community, the offer seems more valuable. There are a few reasons why student priming programs are effective Generation Z marketing strategies:
- When you have access to a closed offer, 91% of students surveyed said they would be more likely to shop with a brand.
- Creating a good brand relationship with students ensures that they remain active customers for a long time.
- Generation Z is very social. Eighty-three percent of Generation Z shoppers said they would probably share a student discount with friends or family.
- Students who receive a guaranteed discount from streaming media companies are converting to full price after graduation at rates above 90%.
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