Future of Brand Marketing: How to Acquire Gen Z Customers in 2020-2025
Our Gen Z customers keep us on their fingertips. With only the last few weeks of the decade remaining, we thought of breaking the mold that most marketers may have found themselves stuck into. Most Retail and Omnichannel Marketing teams have indeed been laser-focused at targeting the Gen Z population for most of the years between 2005-2019. And, the trends have translated into unprecedented growth and popularity for a wide range of websites, mobile applications, and digital advertisement platforms. To name a few, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok (arrived only recently), SnapChat, Instagram, and Twitter – are harnessing the power of Customer Intelligence, Big Data Analytics, and Programmatic storytelling to inspire and transform the lives of millions of Gen Z consumers.
If you need a purpose and inspiration to grow your business (and, not just Sales), you must have a solid Marketing strategy to acquire and retain Gen Z consumers. In 2020, your Gen Z Marketing could make the difference between being a brand versus becoming a ‘lifeline’ for young population.
I have listed the must-haves (some of them very uniquely placed) in your Gen Z Marketing tools.
Have a story to tell? Narrate it on YouTube or other vlog platforms. According to Forrester’s 2020 predictions, customers are looking for deeper meaning in their interactions with brands. Companies that manage to deliver authentic information and value to consumers are more likely to win the race in the ‘connected economy‘.
If your brand is on YouTube, you have a much higher chance of monetizing your content than on any other platform.
By its sheer size and customer base, YouTube is the go-to Gen Z Marketing platform for any brand. Every day, 5 billion videos are watched by nearly 30 million visitors. With such a huge market for video and vlog stories, YouTube Marketing teams have a fairly well-farmed audience base for their brands. In April 2016, a report mentioned that 50% of the population below the age of 32 years may not watch or pay for TV at all. If you closely monitor the mobile user demographics, you are most likely to find that YouTube is a ubiquitous app installed and used by most Gen Z consumers.
One of my favorite brands, Gillette has mastered the art of Gen Z Marketing using YouTube stories. From shaving tips to celebrity interactions, the largest men’s grooming product manufacturers perched at the top of Gen Z pecking order.
Gen Z consumers are a very different shopper community. They are more likely to buy for experiences than for the products. Gen Z talk and share their experiences and older shoppers more freely and truth are not ashamed of castigating brands for failing to deliver on promises. According to an IBM report – “Uniquely Gen Z“, both Millennials and Gen Z are more likely to interact and buy with brands that provide a personalized, interactive experience. Instagram, the world’s most-used mobile app, is a ready-made destination to test and analyze your Gen Z Marketing tactics. So, a coffee-brewing company beats the world’s most preferred luxury car brand in follower-base! It can happen only on IG…
“Gen Zers already display characteristics and preferences different than those who’ve come before. To prosper tomorrow, retail and consumer products (CP) brands must engage Gen Zers today.” – The IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV)
According to a report, Instagram scores the highest density of fans acquired per minute among all mobile apps. The top 20 Instagram celebrities have an engagement rate of 5% and above (average), with a cumulative follower-base of over 1500 million. And, we are not counting the number of followers Instagram itself has (350 million, as of July 2019).
You would be surprised to know that Google’s Insta profile has 10.9 million followers. Yet, it’s not the most-followed tech company in the world. The coveted title is reserved for YouTube– which has over 22 million followers at last count.
Still doubting why your brands need a digital messaging platform?
WhatsApp has steadily grown to become the world’s largest messaging platform. For Gen Z population, WhatsApp is a staple to share messages, emojis, alerts, videos, and images. However, brands are only recently learning to steer within the WhatsApp ecosystem. I use Uber daily to hail from my home to office and back. I follow Uber’s WhatsApp group in my city to stay updated about the great deals, alerts, and price surge announcements by the cab-hailing company.
I was excited when I read about WhatsApp’s unique customer story from the Uber group. Uber’s use of WhatsApp is rather unmatched in the brand-consumer relationship. Manik Gupta, VP, Head of Product said, “We want to be there for our customers — wherever they are, whether they’re on or off the road. We’re thrilled to partner with WhatsApp to give drivers in cities around the globe a fast, familiar and reliable way to connect with a member of our team and get their questions answered.”
More and more customer stories are circulating via WhatsApp. It only makes sense for customer-dense services such as those in the CPG and Airlines industry to rely on fastest, and most-reliable customer interaction messaging platforms such as WhatsApp.
Another Local Marketing example is – EasyDay Grocery. EasyDay provides a channel called- Shop on WhatsApp.
Countless other brand-specific stories are glorifying how WhatsApp has become the go-to Gen Z marketing and communications platform for them.*
Why is WhatsApp Reliable?
Gen Z population is more likely to trust WhatsApp messaging from brands than other social media platforms for the simplest reason that it’s easy to share and circulate. Linked to a mobile number, it makes sense to leverage WhatsApp business to make likable, personalized messaging for each customer — without fearing that the users will opt-out of services.
Source: *WhatsApp Customer Stories
In-vehicle Passenger (Driver) Experience
Marketing and Advertising teams are creating and broadcasting in-time, in-place content for various groups of passengers. One of the ad tech enablers, SiriusXM, reaches over 60 million radio listeners already, and it’s expected to at least double its listener base by 2025.
Gen Z are taking more road trips compared to their older counterparts. This has opened up new avenues for automotive Human-Machine Interfaces (HMI) solutions that are working closely with players in Live Audio streaming, OTT Advertising, and mobile messaging. With a growing demand for a connected driving experience that links directly to user’s last shopping location, or browser history, we can expect infotainment and buying patterns to merge by 2030, if not sooner. My Gen Z friends are already all ga-ga about the seamless connectivity with SiriusXM, and Spotify.
Once Marketing teams truly manage to deliver in-passenger delight to Gen Z consumers, we can think of entering the next era of ‘uninterrupted, contextual CX anywhere, anytime.
Time to Look Beyond the Usual
Throughout 2011-2019, we have leveraged Marketing Automation, CRM, Mobile Payments, Social Analytics, Programmatic Advertising, and Email Marketing tools to make the biggest noise. Drawing inspiration from the rate of adoption of Chatbots, Voice Conversation tools, Connected TVs, and Product Recommendation platforms, we expect Gen Z Marketing avenues to grow further disruptive and competitive.