Marketing and making an impact on Generation Z

By June 22, 2017General

Marketing professionals and PR gurus have long been obsessed with targeting the millennials. But the oldest of this generation, typically born between 1980 and 2000, are now starting to turn 35.

So where should we turn our attention to if we want to target a younger consumer group? Introducing Generation Z…

These new kids on the block have been defined as being born between 1995 and 2001 and are aged between 16 and 24 – so technically they’re a subset of the millennials (also known as Generation Y).

By 2020, Generation Z will account for a massive 40% of all consumers, so there’s never been a better time to win them over with your brand story.

In order to do this it’s important to understand what makes Gen Z so distinctive from other demographic groups. Overall, these guys are tech-savvy and utilising every digital platform going, so what can you do to make sure you’re being seen and hitting the spot?

1. Give them all the info they need.

To give some context, when the Gen Zers came into the world, home internet connections and mobile phones were widespread.

And since then it’s been a story of instant gratification: they’ve had access to google pretty much all their lives and Siri has catered for their every request since 2010. This demographic needs and expects information at their fingertips, at all times.

2. Give it to them quick.

On a similar note, this demographic group doesn’t like to be kept waiting.

An American study in 2015 put the average attention span for a Gen Zer at 8.25 seconds – which is officially less than a goldfish! So make sure you show off your brand and give them what they need in eight seconds or less.

3. Treat them as shrewd customers.

Gen Z has never really needed the help of a librarian in their studies, or a shopkeeper in their search for the perfect present.

Everything’s done online and they’re completely independent when it comes to conducting the relevant research and collating information.

4. Show them the value.

There’s been social, economic and cultural unrest around the world since they were born and they’re probably used to parents losing jobs, taking redundancy and finding it hard to buy a house.

Nothing is certain and they dig a little deeper – always looking for the benefits and value of what’s on offer.

If you want them to click on your blog post, watch your video or like your Instagram photo, you need to help them understand what you’re saying, why they should care and how it can help or entertain them.

5. Sell a lifestyle and be relevant.

Because Gen Zers have seen for themselves that there’s little certainty when it comes to jobs and finances, they hanker for personal satisfaction and consider this to be a more tangible measure of success than material successes (just consider how much time they dedicate to posting all the fun stuff they get up to on Facebook!).

They don’t want to hear how great your brand is – they need to see it for themselves. So you need to make them feel like they’d be missing out without you.

They’re actively looking for industry experts to entertain them, engage with them, and give them that social edge.

6. You need to be everywhere.

It’s been said that Gen Zer use five screens intermittently – usually a smartphone, TV, laptop, desktop and tablet.

This knowledge is vital because they can lose focus on one device in a second and flit to another platform there and then.

If you’re playing ads on YouTube, you may well have lost your target audience the minute the ad starts because if they can’t skip your ad, they’ll be looking at the TV or checking Facebook on their phone while they wait for their chosen YouTube video to start.

It’s fair to say that few brands and businesses have considered how to go about appropriately communicating to this significant demographic.

If you consider all of the above, Gen Zers are possibly the demographic that are most exposed to digital and social advertising, but also the shrewdest consumers in this space.

Hotcow is a non-traditional creative agency that specialises in experiential marketing that goes viral. Our campaigns generate buzz through crowd participation, PR and content sharing. Contact us on 0207 5030442 or email us on