Forget Millennial marketing, here’s how to market to Generation Z

First of all, who on earth are Generation Z? Well, this new force to be reckoned with in today’s society are those born in 1995 and after, barely reaching 18 years old, just getting out of high school and entering the workforce. They’re young, they’re tech-savvy, and by 2020 they’ll make almost half of consumers. So, if you have a product or service to sell, understanding ‘Gen Z’ will be critical if you want to succeed in the next decade and beyond.

So far, media and market research companies have unfairly given this generation the rep of being totally addicted to their screens while having the attention span of a cat. However, a lot of that “research” is based on stereotypes and bias which are simply not true or helpful. So, let’s see what Gen Z are really like and how you can adjust your marketing campaign to grab their attention.

1. They’re highly tech-savvy and quick to lose interest

Not really a surprise but yes, it’s worth noting that if you want to reach this generation you’ll have to get online, be on social media, reach out in interesting and creative ways that get to the point. One report states that this new generation has an eight second attention span, down from 12 seconds in 2000. So if you want to get your message across, it better be quick. Plus, if you’re taking them to a website to showcase your company/product/service, then you should make sure loading time is optimal, studies have already shown half of users tend to leave a website if loading time exceeds a mere 2 seconds.

2. They want to make a difference in the world

Fortunately, this younger generation is set on being do-gooders, more than millennials. 60% of 16 – 19 year-olds want their jobs to impact the world, 26% currently volunteer, and 76% are concerned about humanity’s impact on the planet. They favor companies which have good values and planet-friendly goals, so if your company is leaving a positive impact socially or environmentally, make sure to make use of this aspect in your marketing. If you don’t, then consider weaving some philanthropy into your company, say…donating a percentage to charity for every purchase a user makes, giving a pair of shoes to homeless for every pair bought from your online store, donating a meal for every food order made from your website. The possibilities are endless and the benefits are significant, it’s truly a win-win situation.

3. They’re not all on Facebook anymore

As Facebook’s audience gets older, Gen Z are moving out and congregating on faster paced social platforms like Snapchat, Whisper and Twitter,  — which are all more visually engaging that cater to the youngsters’ eight-second attention span we mentioned earlier.

4. They’re a lot more visual than past generations

Think how much they love emojis to communicate, since images convey messages much faster than text. So when conjuring up your new marketing material, think visual, eye-catching, and minimal text. They also love videos; websites with introductory videos on the homepage have a much higher attention rate than those without. Videos are visual, engaging and if they’re under 3 minutes long then you’re all set.

5. They’re on mobile and they hate ads (especially sleazy ones)

Shockingly, younger generations are mostly on their phones, tablets or on any mobile device that lets them connect to the internet for content. So, make sure your own content is mobile-friendly. Make text “bite-sized”, meaning try to use more spacing and bullet points to simplify concepts instead of a wall of text no one is going to read. Avoid pop-ups like the plague, everyone hates them, and Gen Z have a particular loathing for them. Almost half of them have some kind of ad-blocker installed so don’t even bother with the flashy “BUY NOW” type ads, which even if they are somehow seen they certainly won’t be paid attention to. If you want to advertise, be subtle, weave it gently into their content to educate them about your company/product/service and built trust. That’s the way to the Gen Z-ers heart.


So there are a few tips on Gen Z for you to wrap your head around. As a marketer, it’s crucial that you keep up with the latest trends and truly understand the audience you’re marketing to. Now before you brush this whole concept off and go into grumpy-grandpa mode thinking “oh these kids are all the same”. Here’s a helpful little excerpt from an infographic made by Marketo.

So take your time, read up on this mysterious (not really) generation and start applying your newfound knowledge to your marketing tactics.

Got something to share about marketing to Generation Z? Tell us in the comments.


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