Other fellow marketers reading this may be familiar with an annual report released by Tubular Labs, a cross-platform analytics and insights company, that details upcoming trends and important considerations when marketing to specific demographics. We’ve all heard the M word — millennial, but I think Generation Z has gotten a bit lost in all that discussion. Who is Generation Z? Why, the next biggest thing! Generation Z consists of current consumers aged 7-17. These consumers have grown up in a completely digital world. While millennials were present for the slow transition over time to social media, the internet, and digital communication, Generation Z has been fully immersed in it from the time they were just toddlers, so it only makes sense to focus our thought process on how to reach this new group of consumers.
The report I’d like to share with everyone is called the Cassandra Report, and focuses on identifying larger macro trends that marketers and advertisers can use to reach Gen Z. Join me as we explore some of the more important of those trends and identify how they may be relevant to us as communication practitioners.
Z’s Are Grownups
And they like to be treated as such. No talking down to these folks — anything you can do to boost their confidence and raise them up are effective techniques. These folks have taken an exceptionally mature stance on life compared with other recent generations. Marketers must recognize that they are smart, intelligent people who are able to make their own decisions. By that same token, Gen Z’s are of the mindset that leisure time should be spent more effectively, in which they focus on personal achievements and goals even when they’re spending time relaxing. We’ve come to identify this phenomenon as “proplay” — in which recreational activities that were once done for fun are now skills-based learning opportunities.
89% of Zs spend part of their free time doing activities they consider productive and creative instead of just hanging out. – Cassandra Report, pg. 57
The Importance of Feedback
Giving and receiving feedback is very important to Gen Z-ers. Because these folks have grown up in a world where they can have anything delivered to them, anytime of the day (whether it be a pizza, or instant feedback in the form of likes and comments on social media), Gen Z-ers are highly open to feedback. They want to be a part of a “Feedback Loop,” in which they can attain a “real time understanding of what they’re doing right and how to be better.” This is actually something I have noticed in my own personal life as well, and it’s fascinating.
I really appreciate honest comments and feedback on social media because it can help you improve on your specialties, and that will always result in a better you. – Isaac, 16, CA
Gen Z lives on their mobile devices 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Forget about desktop computers — it’s all about iPhones and tablets! Most Z consumers consider their mobile devices an extension of themselves. All media is consumed on the platform, whether it be on social media or Netflix. Gen Z is fortunate enough to have the power of a home video camera and high-res digital camera in their back pocket at all times, which is also able to be harnessed to share their lives with the rest of the world. In order to continue being relevant, brands must recognize that mobile-first activity will only continue to increase and they must start optimizing all of their digital efforts for consumption on-the-go.
Consider offering content and games that young mobile mavens can access anywhere to enhance their lives, relieve them of boredom, and give them something to socialize around and share.
Certainly some very important and interesting insights above. Did anything surprise you? Why or why not?
As we continue to move forward in this constantly-changing world, it will always be important to understand who this next generation of consumers is and how they prefer to consume media. Remember: to be successful, we all must stay ahead of the curve!