Category: Generations

The impact of generational differences on communication.


Things to Know About Gen Z

The newest crop of consumers are Gen Z. Just when you adjusted to Millennials, it is time to rethink some things for this new generation. While you don’t have to change your whole digital strategy just yet, you’ll definitely want to experiment with new ways to up your game and reach younger generations online.

Generation Z are the demographic cohort succeeding Millennials and preceding Generation Alpha. Researchers and popular media use the mid-to-late 1990s as starting birth years and the early 2010s as ending birth years.

Key Points for Marketers

To market to Gen Z you will need to:

  • Embrace video marketing, especially for mobile devices
  • Focus on how your product provides value
  • Consider offering discounts and rewards

Gen Z Stats

  • As of 2020, Gen Z makes up more than 40% of U.S. consumers. (Fast Company)
  • The generation has an estimated purchasing power of $44 billion annually. (LinkedIn)
  • 48% of Gen Z identifies as racially or ethnically diverse. (Pew Research Center)

Online Activities

  • Gen Z spends an average of 11 hours on their mobile devices per week. (Criteo)
  • Roughly 75% of Gen Z most frequently uses a smartphone over computers and other devices. (Institute of Business Management)
  • Over 32% of Gen Z transactions take place on a mobile device. (Criteo)

Online Preferences

  • 60% of Gen Z will not use an app or website that loads too slowly. (Institute of Business Management)
  • Gen Z prefers interactive and “Choose your own adventure” content, with 55% saying they’d like to be able to choose the plotline of the movie or TV show they’re streaming. (Cognizant)
  • Gen Z uses social media for almost 3 hours a day. (World Economic Forum) 62%  use Instagram and 60% use YouTube daily. (Business Insider)
  • One in four Gen Z women say they learn about new products from social media influencers. (Morning Consult)

Online Behavior

  • On average, Gen Z will pay attention to content for a span of eight seconds — four less than millennials. (VisionCritical)
  • 66% say that the high quality of a product matters most to them when making a purchase. (Institute of Business Management)
  • 65%  value coupons, discounts, and rewards programs. (Institute of Business Management)
  • Creativity is important. 77% of Gen Z reports doing creative activities when offline and 48% say they regularly do creative activities online. (Snapchat)

Insight into Gen Z Every Marketer Needs to Know

Consumers age 18-22 or Gen Z do not trust businesses to act in the best interests of society, according to “The Reckoning: Brand Relevance, Respect and the Rise of a New Generation,” a study by BBMG.

BBMG and GlobeScan conducted a national survey of 2,058 consumers to better understand people’s relationship with brands and brand trust, leadership, loyalty, participation and evangelism.

Key Study Findings

  • By a margin of five to one, Gen Z does not trust businesses to act in the best interests of society
  • 47% think brands should speak out on issues
  • 37% trust large companies where employees reflect a culture of being empowered to have a positive impact
  • 28% care about equality – social, racial, women’s rights, LBGTQ rights
  • 32% of Gen-Zers hope to make a difference by doing meaningful work in their careers

Five Strategies for Marketers

One outcome was defining five strategies for brands to be seen as authentic to you consumers.

Companies have to be careful as they market to GenZ. They are quick to spot insincerity and will not tolerate untargeted efforts to get their attention.

Be Brave

Brands should take a stand and give voice to their values. Gen Z isn’t afraid to take a stand on the issues that matter and they expect the same from brands.

Hold Space

Gen Z values opportunities for their voices to be shared, heard, expressed and validated. Successful brands will create space for the authentic expression of their experiences and creating platforms that amplify their voices and drive impact.

Welcome All

Gen Z is driven by a powerful desire for fairness and equity. They are the most diverse generation in our nation’s history. They want a world that welcomes all people no matter their race, ethnicity, gender identity or sexual orientation.

Fuel Passion

Gen Z has an entirely new perspective on wealth, well-being and the workforce and they’re seeking brands and communities to help them challenge the status quo.

Own It

Authenticity matters. Gen Z is ready to champion brands that show bravery on the issues that matter. They are also the first to call out brands that promote a commitment to doing good while staying silent about the negative impacts that make their success possible.

Understanding Gen X

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If you want to reach people born 1964-1982, you need to know about the profile of Generation X. A comprehensive report based on GlobalWebIndex’s research with a global sample size of 94,314 gives you lots to consider.

Most Gen Xers are busy professionals, have families, and have great spending power. Their online activities are more driven by purpose and intent than casual browsing.

Meet Gen X:

  • More likely to be getting online via a smartphone than a PC/laptop
  • Moving with digital trends, just as Millennials and Gen Z are
  • Spend almost 2 hours a day on social media and the majority have a Facebook account
  • Purposeful in how they use social media, using it to keep-up-to-date with the news and find products to buy
  • Price-conscious discounts and rewards are important in encouraging them to buy

Gen X Favors Smartphones 

PCs, laptops and tablets capture the biggest share (56%) of Gen Xers daily time online, but mobiles have made great headway in becoming the go-to device for this generation, who are slowly becoming just as attached as Millennials.

Digital Natives, Too

The myth is that unlike younger consumers, Generation X aren’t digital natives. In reality, they’re a highly engaged audience, drawn to meaningful and purposeful interactions online.

Purchase on Mobile

Gen X have been a key force in mobile eCommerce. Almost three quarters have made a purchase online from a mobile device.

Important Audience

Marketers and communicators need to understand the needs of Gen Xers without excessive generalization, tailoring brand message and strategy accordingly. Gen X’s return and interaction is potentially more rewarding than any other current generation. Get the full report.