Gartner says, marketers must focus on boosting Gen Z’s personal brand to make them loyal customers. In their latest report on Gen Z Marketing, Gartner found out the top strategies for marketers that are looking to connect with Gen Z consumers. Gen Z characteristics during shopping are putting marketers and retailers in a fix.
Generation Z (Gen Z) consumers are 1.5 times more likely to follow a brand that provides content that boosts their own image, according to Gartner, Inc. Where previous generations were concerned with fitting in, Gen Z consumers are breaking that mold by creating and enjoying greater freedom to test and shape an identity that stands out.
How Gen Z respond to new-age marketing?
Positively. New-age Gen Z Marketing strategies using tactile experiences, AR/ VR and Live video marketing are successful ways to engage younger generations. However, Gen Z marketing is difficult because of the radically different ways these young consumers think.
Gen Z, iGeneration (iGen) or Net Gen, this cohort is massive and influential. In U.S. alone, there are 65 million of them. By 2020, Generation Z will account for 40 percent of all consumers in the U.S.
Over 50% of Gen Z reads at least three ratings or reviews before making a first time purchase. A majority of Gen Z consumers find it very difficult to stay away from their smartphones for more than 30 minutes. There lies an opportunity for marketers to build and delivery an engaging, personalized brand experience on smartphones. That’s exactly what Instagram and Netflix have managed to achieve with the Gen Z population.
According to a report, “Gen Zers, with vast amounts of information at their disposal, are more pragmatic and analytical about their decisions than members of previous generations were.”
It finds, sixty-five percent of the Gen Z’ers in the survey said that they particularly value knowing what is going on around them and being in control. This generation of self-learners is also more comfortable absorbing knowledge online than in traditional institutions of learning.
Secret to Gen Z Marketing: Build Informative and Inspirational Content Across Channels
According to Jack Mackinnon, senior principal analyst at Gartner, “Gen Z consumers are the most diverse generation ever and the most digitally savvy. As digital natives, Gen Z is highly critical of the benefits and ROI of too much internet and social media use. Because of this, and the fact that two-thirds of marketing budgets are invested in digital channels to target this audience, CMOs must be evermore mindful of how they are engaging Gen Z.”
In fact, Gartner research reveals that 81% of Gen Z consumers report they follow friends online, but only about 30% are following brands. However, Gen Z consumers also report that they do look to brands for social content that is informative and inspirational.
Gen Z consumers take communicating on social media seriously, as they view it as a way to build their own personal brand. Forty-six percent of Gen Z consumers agree with the statement, “the more ‘likes’ I receive on social media, the better I feel” — all with the intent of adding value to their followers’ online experience. When looking for informative and inspirational content to share, they want it to meet one of three requirements: 1) it interests/excites me; 2) it will make my friends laugh; and 3) it expresses how I’m feeling.
“If you want Gen Z as loyal customers, you have to let them do the driving,” said Mr. Mackinnon. “Effective marketers need to embrace the sidecar role with enthusiasm and position their brand strategy around boosting Gen Z’s own personal brand. It’s not about you, it’s about them.”
Another essential part of reaching Gen Z is knowing where to reach them. Given the generation’s affinity for routinely changing social media apps, marketers must ensure their strategy has balance across social media platforms — Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and YouTube must all have a unique and relevant engagement strategy.
Gen Z Content Marketing: Understanding Value-Driven Branding
Every effective digital strategy needs relevant and compelling content, and the content that is most relevant for Gen Z is rooted in their personal values. Identity, creativity and passion are still in the top 20 values for Gen Z, but new priority values that have emerged for this generation include tenacity and expertise, according to Gartner research.
Gen Z consumers are the first to report that “fun” is now less important than it once was for previous generations.
Jack added, “This is indicative of a much more serious generation than what we’ve seen in the past. Gen Z values the concept of not quitting until they’ve achieved their goal. They put the adult in young adult.”
While they don’t expect brands to save the world, Gen Z does expect brands to engage with social and political issues, according to Gartner research. Being able to take a stance on an important and relevant social issue that is appropriate for the brand, is key to capturing the attention, loyalty and wallet share of Gen Z.
“Brands will need to demonstrate Gen-Z-level seamless movement across digital and in real life, hone thoughtful and personal messaging, and be willing to speak out on relevant social issues. Failing at any of these points means falling out of step with these important tastemakers,” added Mr. Mackinnon. “Individuality, discernment and openness will continue to be the name of the game for this large, diverse and adaptable generation.”
Gartner for Marketers clients can access relevant research and insights in the report “Best Digital Marketing Practices for Gen Z.”
Gartner for Marketers provides the objective, expert advice and proven tools CMOs and other marketing leaders need to seize the right opportunities with clarity and confidence, and stay ahead of the trends that matter. With in-depth research and analysis, Gartner for Marketers helps you focus on the opportunities with the greatest potential to deliver results.
So, it’s important for Marketing Technology users to align their strategy toward Gen Z population. To grow reputation and sales, marketing teams should understand Gen Z’s mindset, attitude, behavioral drivers, as well as their affinity toward technologies. To answer every marketer’s doubt about the future of Gen Z Marketing — Don’t wait. Start Gen Z Marketing campaigns today.