Generation Z: The Target Audience of Tomorrow

Today, there is a whole new generation of users, Generation Z whose lives play out on social media more than it does offline. Also known as Gen Z, these are people born between 1995 and 2010. Gen Z users are comfortable collecting and cross-referencing information from multiple sources, across multiple devices.

Approximately 80 million people strong, Gen Z is quickly becoming the largest generation to exist in human history. Gen Z users are the most fluent in online communication and are Extremely Online. It is prudent for marketers to understand how Gen Z thinks and how to market to them as they are the target audience of tomorrow:

Decoding Generation Z

Gen Z is more used to branded content: They have been exposed to the Internet through social media, streaming services and smartphone games. All of these platforms show ads to users, something that they have become accustomed to since the start. These users don’t mind watching ads before they get to the content as much as the generations before them. This is largely due to the fact that most of them have never known an internet experience that didn’t have advertising. On the contrary, they have been exposed to brands through content and influencer marketing. Their friends share branded content and people they follow on social media show them products they can buy. This opens excellent opportunities for content marketing in the future.

Gen Z users behave differently on every platform: Gen Z users understand it better than anyone else that you can’t use the same content and messaging on all social media channels. This reflects in the way they share their own content and also in the way they consume content. They share their best content on Instagram and save less filtered pieces for Snapchat. They will consume news on Twitter and entertainment on Facebook but never the other way around. This indicates to marketers that they need to tailor the messaging purposefully and create a personalized experience that appeals to Gen Z users.

Gen Z users are opinionated and smart at spotting fakes: According to research, Gen Z users care about ‘cause marketing’ and have strong opinions on issues like climate changeand gender equality. They prefer brands that support their views. They are intelligent when it comes to identifying if the brands actually care about the causes or just pretending as a show. Gen Z users have the skills to dig deep into a celebrity’s account and uncover a problematic post from years back which exposes the true colours of the person. Such incidents are a clear message to brands and influencers alike to be authentic about what they actually want to commit to and err on the side of caution when it comes to cause marketing.

Gen Z users care about the content, not the platform: According to research, 34% of the daily video consumption for Gen Z users comes from YouTube while only 27% of it comes from Netflix. These users are not worried about where they are spending time-consuming content. These users watch an average of 68 videos a day across all social media platforms. They are very clear about the way they consume content i.e. if they like it, they will share it.

How to Market to Gen Z?

Understanding the behaviour of Gen Z gives marketers an opportunity to devise a marketing strategy that is tailored to the target audience of the future. Marketers can take the following steps to promote a brand’s products and services:

  • Video Marketing: Gen Z prefers videos as their primary medium for content consumption. They spend more time watching videos than millennials across various social media platforms and streaming services. YouTube is especially going to be big as it is widely used for entertainment purposes.
  • Native ads: Gen Z audiences are more open to native ads on social media platforms. According to research, they are 15% more indifferent towards ads than millennials and cited YouTube to be their preferred platform for ads due to engaging video ads.
  • Relatable Content: as mentioned, Gen Z users gravitate towards content that they find relatable and share the content they find enjoyable. Give them content that will catch their attention and is memorable.

Understanding the pulse of this demographic will be the key for marketers in the future as the Gen Z audience will be the target audience for the businesses going forward.