Hello everyone. My name is Ellen Stephenson and I’m a content executive here at RocketMilll. Today, I want to talk about marketing to Generation Z the do’s and don’ts or as what I think would be more aptly named ‘marketing to Generations Z avoca-do’s and avoca-don’ts’. Worked a lot better in my mind. Also, just as a disclaimer, I have to tell everyone something that’s quite personal to me. I cannot say something that is going to be brought up at a lot of times in this talk. I thought I’d just get it out right now. I can’t say the word Millennials. Let’s continue. Cool. I will be referring to it as the M word. Who is Generation Z? Generation Z is 1995 to 2010 and the M word, 1981 to 1994.
What makes them any different?
Now, who is a Gen Z here? Great. Cool. Amazing. Who is a Millennial? There we go. Fabulous. Who is none of the above? I am sorry. Don’t hate me. I want to talk today about why I think Generation Z is probably the most exciting generation we’ve seen. It’s not just because I’m part of it. I have a lot of reasons why I think they are pretty darn exciting. First of all, I just want to show a nice stock photo of some of them laughing about all the meal deals that they’re buying instead of houses. Just a nice little icebreaker.
I think they’re very exciting because they have trust issues. We have been brought up to have a very distinctive route on the internet. We come on the internet to try and find what we need to find, and we have been trained to avoid pop-ups at all costs. 84% say they don’t pay attention consciously to ads online and only 1% say they are influenced by the ads they see online. Also, 31% say that they never turn off their Adblock.
I also think they’re very exciting because they’re demanding. They have an eight-second attention span and that’s not because they lack interest or any desire to learn or get bored easily. It’s simply because they are children of the internet. They have grown up with all the knowledge they could possibly have in one click. Why would you blame them if they didn’t get the information that they needed within eight seconds to go on, bounce somewhere else, and find out what they need to find out, they also have an incredible bullshit metre. They can see fluff and sales from a mile away.
Entrepreneurial, 72% have said they want to own their own business and more are saying they want to self-teach rather than go to university or college. They have seen the generations before they go to university, the bills that they have to pay for that and they don’t think it’s worth it.
They’re broke. I can attest. Very frugal, they grew up in the great recession. They know what it’s like to lose money and they’ve seen the effects of that and unfortunately, they’re not buying many avocados.
They’re beyond the binary. 14% say they want to have careers before marriage, they make their own milestones, and they don’t listen to the milestones that society traditionally has put upon them. I think that’s a very exciting thing. Also, they’re very inclusive. Many have said that they would prefer brands who openly talk about social justice issues rather than ones that do not.
Marketing to Gen Z myths
I read an article recently on a famous news source site and I want to share it with you because I thought it was a little bit darn silly. It was called How to Market to the Younger Generation.
- Number 1. Use the right ROI (as opposed to deliberately using the wrong one for any other generation.)
- Be human, because we’re all very robotic to any other generation as well.
- Use GIFs, because statistics show the young girl trying to be a lawyer is going to decline to go to a law school that is the best in the country if they don’t have a GIF of a minion on the home site.
- Four. Find a connection.
- Be authentic.
- Keep them gratified. These are speaking for themselves.
- Reward them.
Now, whilst I don’t think this is the absolute worst thing on the internet, I don’t agree with this list simply because these are all the kind of things you should be doing regardless. Regardless if you’re working with Generation Z or marketing to them.
How else can you reach Gen Z
However, there are three things that you should be doing, I think, and I want to share them with you.
- Cut it down.
We spoke earlier on about the eight-second attention span. You need to be adapting to that and you need to be adapting to it quickly. 59% decide as soon as they see the ad pop up that they don’t want to tune in. You’ve got to make those five seconds before they have the chance to bounce, make that count.
- Staying social.
I think it’s very easy for businesses to create social platforms and tick a box and be like “Well, we’ve done that. We’re a very social brand.” You’ve got to stay on it. It’s not a one-way street. You need to have these conversations on social because they’re willing to be a part of your company. They’re willing to learn.
- Also, tech ain’t everything.
Although it’s a common stereotype that young people love young new things, actually most have said that they are less likely to use voice search because it’s not quick enough. Things like AI and VR, they all sound great on paper but actually, they’re less likely to be in tune with this because they don’t think that it’s up to scratch and up to the potential that it can be. They’re not going to waste their time until they know it’s a trend that will follow on. A perfect example of this was the Snapchat spectacles. They did significantly bad on paper, on method, and when it came to selling them.
- Cut it down.
Making your ideas count
40% of all consumers right now are Generation Z and 32 billion is their budget and it’s only going to grow. They are conscious, hardworking, determined, entrepreneurial, future employers, and above all else illiterate because some of them can’t even pronounce Millennials. I want to leave you with a quote that’s very dear to me from the great wordsmith that is Kanye West “Listen to the kids, bro.” Thank you.