“They grew up with a smartphone in hand, social networks are a way of life, they communicate in real time with messages and emoticons and they have no memory of a once disconnected world.”
This is how the U.S. bank Merrill Lynch defines the centennials.
In just 2 short years, Generation Z (or the Centennials or post-Millennials) will be the world’s largest demographic. This means they’ll also very likely make up the majority of your customer base. With every new generation we like to believe that we were highly different and perhaps even more evolved than the one before us. In reality, our basic behavior has changed very little in that past 40-50 years. Sure we carry with us mobile computers now and we’re likely to text more than we speak on these phones, but for those born after 1995 there is one very definitive identifier that is highly significant when it comes to marketing to Gen Zs.
Centennials are unique in that, unlike every generation before them, they grew up with a smart phone in their hand. They don’t know of a world without social media, the internet or online shopping and they communicate via text, video and emoji.
A different world view requires a different marketing perspective. Specifically a shift in methods of communication and the language we use.
So let’s take a look at 3 Gen-X characteristics and how they pertain to online marketing.
1. Screens are both as Automatic and Important as Breathing.
Members of Gen Z often toggle between as many as five screens at once, with 91% of them saying they take their devices to bed with them. [According to Pew]
Your marketing should be focused almost exclusively on on-screen content, with a heavy bias to mobile-friendly formatting. Texting is used for intimate communication, whilst video and photo is for public. Video content specifically will be given priority over other types of content within social media feeds. 5+ screens means short attention spans, so your content also needs to be direct and to the point. In fact, the agency Publicis estimates that centennials’ attention span is just eight seconds, while millennials can concentrate for about 12 seconds.
2. They are Immune to Traditional Online Advertising and Marketing
“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.” [Seth Godin]
Having grown up with pop-up ads, banners ads and in-ffed sponsored posts, Gen Zs are immune to them. Instead focus on native video content that thinks outside the box of convention. New, fresh ways to engage are imperative, no more hard sales – instead think an open and genuine conversation that offers value in exchange for their valuable attention. They are also concerned about privacy and the permanence of the content they share online. The consequence of this is that they are migrating to social media sites and apps that center around temporary/disposable content, such as Snapchat, or Instagram stories. You need a balance between focused, planned professional content and quick, disposable, raw shares.
2. Social Causes Matter
“70% of millennials and post-millennials are willing to pay more for a product that makes an impact on issues they care about.”
Gen Z’s expect more from Brands, they want to align themselves with companies that share their values and beliefs. They are also highly active in social activism and expect companies to do the same. Having grown up in a turbulent political environment, with ongoing war and terrorism, and with the threats of extinction and climate change, it’s not surprising that they need to feel as though their daily interactions are making a difference. What causes and charities does your business support? What are your company values, what is the culture? It’s never been more important to share them and video is the ideal method for this type of communication.
This information is nothing to be worried about, instead it’s a wonderful opportunity to take a look at your current marketing materials, maybe put some out of pasture and conceptualize fresh new content that not only speaks to Gen Ys or Gen Zs, but to the heart of your brand.
Front Runner Films: We love to tell stories. We love to tell humorous and heartfelt stories that help bring your company, your product, and your passion to light. Our team boasts over two decades of experience in every aspect of filmmaking, as well as a work ethic that is fitting of our name. We do whatever it takes to get the job done right, on time and on budget, and most importantly we will deliver to the very highest quality. Every time. Because we love to do it.