Young generations named as X, Y, and Z based on their birth years, vastly differ in terms of their characteristic features. These differences are observed in many areas from education to professional life and from technology usage to consumption habits. The world of marketing, while watching Generation X (1965-1979) adapt to all the novelties and the transformation it has encountered, is just starting to digest the differences of Generation Y (1980-1995), characterised by passion for independence and defiance of rules. And now one of the most challenging tasks for marketers is to understand Generation Z (1995 and later), who was born into internet and technology, and to align their activities with this understanding.
Different from others, Generation Z is a digital generation from birth. Scoring the highest in technology and internet usage, the members of this generation spend their time online using phones, tablets, and computers. They can manage multiple screens simultaneously; they prefer to shop online instead of going to shopping centers. Moreover, they do not want to remain passive in digital environments; they would like to actively create content or participate in content creation.
Speed means everything to Generation Z. Obtaining first-hand information fast is a possibility they have had since day one. They use emoticons and emojis while communicating since these are faster than words. The fact that platforms such as Snapchat or Vine are becoming so widespread, is a sign of how important speed is to Generation Z and it also points out how much shorter their attention span is. The focusing duration of this generation is stated as being maximum eight seconds by some resources.
Generation Z believes in education and development through the internet. They are less interested in higher education diplomas compared to other generations. Additionally, this generation is interested in world matters, economy, and ecology. The majority of people from this generation turn to volunteer activities for they want to do good for the world.
Generation Z is not a good team mate; members of this generation like individuality. They dream of starting their own business when they graduate and becoming an entrepreneur rather than working at a company.
With these qualities, Generation Z will be one of the topics that challenges marketers the most in the coming days. Here are some of the steps that can be taken to win this generation that has no brand loyalty:
WHAT CAN BRANDS DO IN ORDER TO WIN GENERATION Z?
1. Make mobile a priority: Generation Z is the first “mobile” generation in the real sense. They use and trust mobile to search for and consume content, to shop, and to communicate. Brands must make mobile a priority within their expansion and marketing strategies in order to speak to Generation Z. In order to do this, they must formulate strategies that are integrated with social media and not just settle for web sites adapted to mobile.
2. Aim for simplicity: The most important differentiator for Generation Z is that they have grown up with first-hand access to everything everywhere. Even though they were born into a massive information pollution, they are aware of everything and can control information. That is why those brands, that have simplified all of their systems in an integrated way in order to provide them with the speed and simplicity they expect, will exist in the future. Systems that even call centers can manage over social media and that live on channels where they live, must be established.
3. Focus on reality: Members of Generation Z assigns their own stars on their own channels by themselves. Therefore, they immediately sense an insincere tweet or a fake viral. When creating content, brands should not be afraid of reality and “#NoFilter”. During marketing campaigns, brands must also focus on the true value of the brand. They must win Generation Z with better design, quality and production, creating value for them through these.
4. Be transparent: Generation Z is the generation of “sharing”. They share everything, everywhere, and among themselves. Therefore they expect brands to do the same. Not being able to appropriately manage a public message on social media or on a platform where information spreads fast via user comments, will cause you to lose Generation Z. While managing information, brands must be able to respond fast with a well-thought-out strategy.
5. Join the team: While caring about individuality, Generation Z also wants to feel group belongingness. Brands must strike this balance when talking to them and must enable them to get together with people like themselves. While doing this, brands must really be young rather than telling about their world of youth and they must be on their team.
6. Adapt to their areas of interest: This generation has endless areas of interest, can blend all of these together, and has an equally busy schedule. Therefore, in order to attract attention, offer content that is truly creative, relevant, and fun rather than adopting exaggerated advertisement. Create campaigns which they can blend and spread according to their areas of interest and create their own impact zones. Have these campaigns live on the channels where they socialize.