The vast majority of consumers grew up in the halcyon pre-internet days. They know what life was without Facebook and had to rely on roadmaps to find their way around. While this is the recent past for many, for Generation Z consumers, it sounds positively prehistoric.

Generation Z consumers are an up-and-coming consumer demographic born between the late 1990s and the early 2010s. Like Millennials (those born between the early-1980s and mid-1990s), Generation Z consumers are digital natives as computers have always been part of their lives. However, Generation Z-ers are also social natives, as they have never known a time without social media and smartphones.

By 2020, Generation Z will account for 40 percent of all consumers. If marketers want to engage this powerful group of young consumers, they need to understand their specific behaviours and adapt their digital marketing strategies to capture their attention.


1. Find the right fit

When it comes to communicating with these young digital consumers, it’s all about finding the right fit. Generation Z-ers are clearly engaged with social media, but they take a multifaceted approach by using different platforms for different activities. Snapchat is for sharing their real-life moments, Twitter is where they read the news, Facebook is for gleaning information while Instagram is where they share their aspirational selves.

Understanding how they fragment their social media time is central to consumer engagement. When it comes to customer interaction, marketing posts must fit the type of content consumers expect to see on each social media platform. It’s also essential the message is succinct and to the point, as you only have a few seconds to grab their attention.


2. Focus on real people

There’s nothing Generation Z-ers find more interesting than other Gen Z consumers. If real teenagers are used to help produce or create marketing messages then other Gen Z consumers will be more responsive to it. These young consumers value authenticity and want to see people who reflect their own lives. That means using real teens and not models to tell the story. A recent Hollister campaign, which used Snapchat geofilters to provide a real-life take on the brand, is an excellent example of this approach in practice.


3. Embrace social responsibility

The Generation Z demographic has a unique consumer mindset. Never before has a generation been so focused on responsible behaviour that delivers a greater good. Issues such as racial, gender and income equality, as well as environmental issues, all resonate with these young consumers. Standing out in the crowd and having a voice when it comes to these issues can become a key differentiator for many digital brands. However, once again, it’s essential any stand a brand takes is authentic. Generation Z consumers are bombarded with so many messages that they can easily distinguish between the meaningful and the fake.


4. Extend messaging to physical stores

Many retail brands have been trying to figure out ways of driving more online sales to young digital consumers. Why? Well, you might think Gen Z consumers would love making purchases online, but they actually make far fewer online purchases than Millennials.

A survey of 1,400 consumers by Ernst and Young found that 74 percent of Millennials make at least one online purchase a month, compared to just 49 percent of Generation Z consumers. That means, as well as creating digital messages that engage consumers, those messages must also extend to the physical space with a level of integration between the two. That includes things like online store locators that push traffic to physical stores and in-store returns of online purchases.


Harness the power of Gen Z consumers

Demo the BRIDGE Store Locator today to see how we can help you drive those all-important Generation Z consumers to your physical stores. Schedule your demo today.


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