It’s a common misconception that Millennials were born around the 2000s and are currently teenagers/young-twenties.
Generation Z, Gen Z, or Zoomers, is a demographic group which succeeds the Millennials and are currently entering the economic market.
Gen Z were born between 1996 – 2015. This makes the oldest of the group 24 years old in 2020.
But wait, do you mean Millennials?
The truth is that Millennials were born between 1981 to 1996. This puts their formative years, when they were in their adolescence, around the 2000s that leads to the generation name of Millennials.
The oldest Millennials, as of 2020, are just about to enter their 40s. This means they’re likely homeowners and probably even have young families of their own.
And these differences between Generation Z and Millennials are shown in more ways than just their age.
Understanding what the Zoomer generation is and how different they are to Millennials is important for knowing how to market to them
How Gen Z interact with technology is completely different compared to previous generations.
Many in Generation Z have had the luxury of living their entire life with modern smart technology, superfast WiFi and easy access to the internet and all the information it contains.
Millennials, on the other hand, have seen a massive growth of innovation in their lifetime. For example, I (a Millennial) remember being excited our first home PC had a 2GB hard drive and a 56k modem. Now I have a device that fits in my pocket that has 128GB storage.
I saw the change from VHS, to DVD, to Blu-Ray, to Netflix. Zoomers saw Netflix.
And how Gen Z have grown up with technology has impacted their habits.
You will also have less time to capture the attention of a Gen Z than any previous generation too. On average they will pay attention to content for a span of eight seconds – which is four seconds less than millennials!
The mobile experience is a valuable consideration when it comes to Gen Z too. Why? Because research shows they’re twice as likely to make a mobile online purchase with 71% of the generation saying that they do most of their online shopping from their phones.
Generation Z may still be young, but they have an estimated purchasing power of over $44 billion annually.
But it’s worth noting how Gen Z spend and why.
Because of their birth range between 1996 – 2015, many in this generation were brought up during the 2008 recession. They may have seen their parents struggle as a result.
This upbringing seems to have had an impact on their purchasing behaviour. This is not to say that they favour ‘cheaper’ products, but they do tend to prefer higher quality products.
Their experience of being brought up during a Recession has led them to make purchasing decisions that favour long-term value.
We also need to talk about looks. Millennials favour brands than champion transparency and share their values. Yet Generation Z takes that one step further (and rightly so, I might add!). Just sharing your values isn’t enough for them. They want authenticity and will seek it out.
They don’t want to see content that feels too fake or staged. Understanding values and a brand that seeing them through matters to them.
Take the American Eagle no-Photoshop policy. This policy continues to resonate with Generation Z because it tackles their concern of using of airbrushed models head-on by refusing to photoshop them.
So, to market to Generation Z, you need to consider how you’ll communicate long-term value to them. Meanwhile, you need to ensure you deliver content in an authentic way that not only echoes their values but also steps up to the plate and confronts them.
Now here’s one that’ll probably come as a shock to you…
Facebook is not the best platform for reaching Gen Z.
Now, it is no lie that Facebook is the biggest social media platform around. And they dominate usage in all generations, except for Generation Z.
And it’s been a continuing battle for Facebook to acquire and keep, them on the platform. Facebook started losing out, back in 2016 when Snapchat became the most prevalent platform for teens.
The strange thing is that Gen Z’s do have Facebook accounts, it’s typically that they don’t tend to use them. Instead favouring video-based platforms like Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat and TikTok.
So why does Gen Z’s steer clear of Facebook?
There are quite a few different reasons really. And it typically comes down to there perception of Social Media. Now, whilst they’re more likely to spend longer on social media, on average one hour more than Millennials, they are less likely to post publicly.
Remember, Generation Z was brought up with Social Media. It’s been a constant in their life. And that has had an effect on their mental wellbeing.
In fact, research shows that because of social media, the generation has had to deal far more with body image, mental health, and cyberbullying than any other age group has in the past.
Generation Z knows the impact that publicly posting content about themselves can have and so favour platforms where they can be ‘hidden’ or anonymous.
To target Generation Z using Social Media, you need to start reaching out on other platforms. Realising that Facebook, for all its glory, might not be the best avenue.
Marketing to Zoomers
This generation will be different from others that have come before. But this is not a new concept. Every generation is different.
Just because they can seem like Millennials, with their adaptiveness to technology, they aren’t the same. Their priorities and experiences differ greatly and that has an impact on how you communicate to them.
And as they start to enter the economic market, how businesses adapt to understand these differences will matter.