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Marketing to Gen Z

February 5, 2019

‘Aren’t they just teenagers?’ Yes, yes they are, but by 2020 these ‘little’ teenagers will account for 40% of all consumers! It’s time to go on a speed date with Generation Z to get to know them and work out a rewarding marketing plan that caters to this upcoming, making it rain, generation.

Gen who?

Generation Z (or Gen Z) are people born between the mid-1990’s and early 2000’s. They are an open-minded and digitally native generation and are very uniform across the globe because of their diversity.

Z experience

How do we communicate towards Gen Z? Well, before you even consider to approach Gen Z it’s important to know what they want to spend their money on.

Gen Z prefers (62%) to spend their money on an experience rather than something material. However, these two can go hand in hand. When trying to sell a product, you could create an experience around it. For example: people don’t just want a drink, they want a fun night with friends while having a drink.

Next to this ‘experience’, these are the top 5 factors Gen Z considers when purchasing a product:

  1. price
  2. quality
  3. brand name
  4. social responsibility of brand
  5. eco-friendliness

This teaches us that they value price, quality and brand name, just like Millennials and other generations. But remarkable here is that the value of social responsibility and the sustainability of a product means a big deal to this generation comparing to previous ones. These observations should stick with you when creating a product or when developing a marketing plan. Shine a light on what your ‘eco-friendly’ brand does to contribute to a better world.

How to catch Gen Z

Stop investing in ads on cable television or in magazines if you want to target Gen Z. Instead, move more of your marketing budget to mobile applications and social media. Why? Two third of Gen Z’ers check the mobile application of a store or brand for discounts on a regular basis. Gen Z’ers (77%) also browse social media to look for ideas on what to purchase. What a godsend! In addition to that, Gen Z is 59% more likely to connect with brands on social media than the overall population.

When you’ll advertise to Gen Z on social media, keep in mind that this generation has grown up with a constant overflow of ads. They have developed a strong ad filter in order to stay sane. This results in an average attention span of 8 seconds. So, keep your messages short, snack-sized and delicious! Also; don’t forget that Gen Z prefers information about new products, discounts and trends. Detailed product information is not one of their cravings.

Realness please

Gen Z highly values the opinions of others. They don’t care what you proclaim, they listen more attentively to peer reviews and celebrity endorsements. When speaking about ‘celebrity endorsements’ this doesn’t just include mainstream celebrities. Gen Z loves ‘real people’ and 63% of them say they prefer to see them in ads rather than celebs. This means YouTubers, Insta-famous people and other ‘online’ celebrities are invaluable and could also be very important to you in the future.

Gen Z is an open-minded crowd that loves social, looks for experience and admires realness. Breath, recap and go for it. Generation Z isn’t that scary. Well, not yet anyways. Now go prepare for the next big spenders and good luck!


Elise De Bock Elise De Bock
Content Developer

Online Marketing