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Marketing to Gen Z: Capturing the Digital-Savvy Generation

Insights and Strategies to Engage a New Wave of Consumers

Gen Z marketing

Marketing to Gen Z can feel like trying to nail jelly to a wall. This generation, born roughly between 1997 and 2012, has grown up in a digital world, making their habits and preferences vastly different from those of previous generations.


So, how do you capture the attention of a group that lives online and is notoriously hard to impress? Let’s dive into some effective strategies for engaging this elusive yet influential audience.

 

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Gen Z Characteristics: Authenticity is King

Gen Z is allergic to anything that smells like a sales pitch. They can spot inauthenticity from a mile away, and they aren't afraid to call it out. This generation values realness, and they gravitate towards brands that keep it genuine.


According to a study by McKinsey, 63% of Gen Z prefers to see real people in ads rather than celebrities.


"75% of Gen Z said they are more likely to buy from a brand that contributes to social causes." - DoSomething Strategic

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Short-Form Content: Keep It Snappy

If there’s one thing Gen Z doesn’t have, it’s patience. Long-form content? Forget about it. This generation thrives on bite-sized, easily digestible content. Think TikTok videos, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts.


These platforms are a goldmine for reaching Gen Z. The trick is to create engaging, memorable content that gets your message across in a matter of seconds. A report by HubSpot found that short-form video is the most effective content type for engaging Gen Z.


"Short-form video is the most effective content type for engaging Gen Z." - HubSpot

Cause-Based Marketing: Stand for Something

Gen Z is not just a consumer group; they are change-makers. They care deeply about social, environmental, and political issues. Brands that align themselves with causes important to Gen Z are more likely to earn their loyalty.


For example, brands like Patagonia and Ben & Jerry’s, known for their strong stances on environmental and social issues, resonate well with this audience. According to a survey by DoSomething Strategic, 75% of Gen Z said they are more likely to buy from a brand that contributes to social causes.


Strategies to Engage Gen Z


  • Leverage Social Media: Gen Z lives on social media. Platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat are their go-to places for content. Your brand needs to be where they are, creating content that feels native to these platforms. It’s not just about being present; it’s about participating in trends and creating relatable, shareable content.


  • Emphasize Transparency: Gen Z appreciates brands that are transparent about their practices and values. Whether it’s how you source your materials, how you treat your employees, or your stance on social issues, being open builds trust. Brands like Everlane, known for its “Radical Transparency” policy, have successfully tapped into this desire for honesty.


  • Support Social Causes: Show that your brand cares about more than just profits. Engage in cause-based marketing by supporting issues that matter to Gen Z. This could mean anything from sustainability initiatives to social justice campaigns. Make sure your efforts are genuine and not just a marketing ploy. Authenticity here is crucial.


"63% of Gen Z prefers to see real people in ads rather than celebrities." - McKinsey

Capturing the attention of Gen Z might seem challenging, but with the right approach, it's entirely possible.


By valuing authenticity, embracing short-form content, and supporting causes that matter, your brand can build a meaningful connection with this digital-savvy generation.


Remember, Gen Z is all about realness and relevance. Get these right, and you'll find a loyal and engaged audience.


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