Over the past several years, marketers have focused all of their attention on figuring out how to reach millennials. However, a new and bigger group is emerging - poised to dominate every industry and change the landscape of sales and marketing as we know it: Generation Z.
While millennial marketing is still receiving the lion's share of consideration when analyzing demographics based on age, the rise of Generation Z - also dubbed as the "Post-Millennials," the "iGeneration," and the "Homeland Generation - is slowly becoming an area of interest among forward thinkers across various industries.
Defining the Generation Z Psyche
To come up with the best ways to engage and reach Generation Z, it would be wise to understand their psychology. What does research say about the mindset of the members of the post-millennial generation? How do we differentiate Generation Z from predecessors like the Baby Boomers and Millenials?
- Technologically Inclined. No surprises here, but the first thing every marketer must take note of Generation Z is that they are remarkably technologically inclined. People born in this generation have not known a world without the World Wide Web and their gadgets - be it laptops, desktops, smartphones, or tablets. Throughout their formative years, they have been heavily influenced by adults from the tech-savvy Generation X.
- Short Attention Spans. Given that individuals from Generation Z are tech-savvy, it goes without saying that they have an incredibly short attention span. This means that marketers should strive to deliver pitches and ads short enough to hold their attention but long enough to impart important messages.
- A Value on Self-Education. Another distinct quality of individuals from Generation Z is their keen interest in "self-education." In fact, 33 percent prefer to watch their lessons online while 32 percent choose to collaborate with their classmates via the Internet.
- Contributions. Surprisingly, a distinct characteristic of the Generation is their desire to contribute to making the world a better place. Despite their age, members of this generation strive to bring positive changes in their communities. Ninety-three percent of them say that their decision to work in a company is majorly influenced by its impact on society. To prove their point, 30 percent of Generation Z is willing to receive a 10-20 percent salary cut just to work with a company that shares their causes.
Given this essential understanding of the Generation Z psychology, let's look at the ways marketers can explore and maximize the potential of this market.
Aim To Be Mobile-Friendly
One of the key characteristics of Generation Z is being tech-savvy. This means targeting this market not only means marketers must put everything readily available on the Web, but also design their content for mobile use. Since Gen Zers use a variety of screen sizes for their daily tasks, it's crucial to take steps into creating mobile-friendly materials that they can easily access.
A few ideas to keep your site mobile-friendly include breaking up your long paragraphs into shorter sentences and using subheads or bullet points. Adding a lot of white space would also contribute to making your page easier to read and navigate. Getting rid of popups would be a great idea as well, especially since being too salesy is a huge turnoff for Gen Zers.
Serve "snackable" content
On average, the attention span of people is recorded to be at a measly eight seconds, which means our pet goldfish could concentrate longer than human beings. This is especially true with Generation Z.
Generation Zers have no patience for long and winding pitches. This means marketers with lengthy content and ads risk losing their leads from this age range if they don't do something about it. Simply put, retaining the attention of individuals from Generation Z requires you to put out "snackable" content. Make sure to get right to the heart of the matter because these post-millennials have no intention of staying and sifting through mounds of data just to understand what you are trying to sell or offer them.
One way of keeping them interested is to take advantage of visuals instead of plain text. Since Gen Zers have an incredibly short attention span, heavily text-based pages would be unattractive to them. Remember, the iGeneration is also the age of emojis and GIFs. So, be creative and use more images to retain their attention.
Produce "Edutaining" Videos
A great video can produce three amazing results:  You can catch the interest of your audience;  You can relay your message in a clear and concise way; and  You can boost your brand's trustworthiness and reputation.
In an age where social media is the go-to place for basically everything under the sun, it is impressive how video-sharing sites like YouTube have attracted the attention and gained a huge following among Gen Zers. As a marketer, it then becomes crucial to take advantage of this platform to reach Generation Z and engage them.
For starters, it would be advisable to come up with videos that are both educational and entertaining since the psychology of post-millennials lean on "self-education." With the keen desire of Gen Zers to learn new skills via the Internet, it's important for marketers to embrace the idea of "edutainment" to keep up with the demand.
Support Social Causes
Making sure that you show how you support and care for worthy causes can be the key to mastering how to reach Generation Z. As mentioned earlier, post-millennials genuinely desire to make the world a better place. One of their defining qualities is the yearning to bring change in society. This is why socially conscious brands are widely appreciated by Gen Zers. If your brand is known as simply a money-grubbing company, then you can expect individuals from this generation to not even spare you a glance.
If you still do not have efforts geared towards it, then perhaps now is the time to consider incorporating philanthropy as part of your values as a company. Build your brand into a socially conscious one by supporting worthy causes.
Members of this up-and-coming generation are anticipated to make up at least 40 percent of the customer market in a few years. Before we know it, Generation Z has already transformed itself as the largest untapped market today - with a potential that could exceed anything we have ever seen from the Millennials and Baby Boomers.
What about you? What post-millennial marketing tips do you follow? Do you already have go-to strategies on how to reach Generation Z?