How to Market to Gen Z Effectively in 2023

16 min read
Marketing

As the newest generation to join the workforce, Gen Z is crucial for businesses looking to stay ahead of their competition. While trends within marketing and advertising are ever-evolving and hard to keep track of, it's vital now more than ever that your company understands who Generation Z (or Gen Z) are, what they expect from their online experience, and how you can effectively reach them in a meaningful way.

Here we'll explore the needs of Gen Zers entering college or the labor market for the first time in 2023, covering topics such as marketing tactics that resonate with today’s young professionals.

Who Is Considered Gen Z? 

Generation Z, or Gen Z for short, is the demographic cohort after Millennials and preceding Generation Alpha. Generally, this generation is defined as those born between 1995 to 2015. This gives them an age range of 8-28 in 2023.

The term "Generation Z" was first coined by the media in 2010, but it wasn’t until 2017 that the generation officially began to make its presence felt on the world stage. Today, Gen Zers make up around a quarter of the global population, with around 2 billion people—representing both developed and emerging markets—falling into this demographic group.

In terms of personality traits, Gen Zers are often described as tech-savvy, independent, and creative. They are comfortable with digital technologies and have grown up in an increasingly interconnected world. Gen Zers also tend to be more socially conscious than previous generations, often taking a vested interest in global issues like climate change, human rights, and sustainability.

How Is Marketing to Gen Z Different Than Other Generations?

When it comes to marketing to Gen Z, brands need to be prepared for a drastically different approach than what has been used for other generations. This generation is more connected and engaged with digital channels than any previous one, so traditional marketing methods won't have the same impact.

  • Gen Zers are true digital natives; they've grown up in an age of technology and instant access to information online. They expect their interactions with brands to follow suit, so they're looking for personalization and customization in their shopping experience. Marketers targeting this demographic should create unique experiences tailored to them rather than relying on outdated techniques.

  • Brands must also consider that Gen Zers don't respond well to hard selling. They're more likely to be influenced by influencers or peer references than an overt sales pitch. It's important to create content and experiences that are relatable and genuine rather than just pushing new products.

  • Regarding social media, Gen Zers are very active users and expect brands to engage with them through the platforms they use most. It's important to customize your content for each social media channel and ensure you're responding quickly to any comments or questions posted about your brand.

  • Finally, Gen Zers have a strong affinity for purpose-driven campaigns and causes, so marketing efforts should focus on connecting with this generation emotionally. Focusing on issues such as sustainability or social justice resonates strongly with this demographic, and brands that tap into these issues stand to gain more attention from Gen Zers than those that don't.

Marketing to Gen Z vs. Millennials

Marketing to Generation Z (born after 1995) and Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) requires different strategies for engagement.

For Gen Z marketing, digital media is the most effective way to reach them. This younger generation has grown up in a world of instant access to information, so they expect quick response times from brands. They prefer highly visual and emotionally engaging content, as well as platforms with more interactive features like polls, quizzes, and games. Regarding spending habits, Gen Z is less likely to impulse buy than Millennials and places greater emphasis on the value before making a purchase decision.

Millennials, meanwhile, respond better to traditional forms of media, such as television or print advertisements, rather than digital channels. They also prefer more personalized experiences, such as targeted emails and discounts. Millennials are also more likely to impulse buy than Gen Z due to their social media habits and the influence of influencers on decision-making.

When it comes to building loyalty from either generation, reward programs are effective. Millennial consumers prefer rewards with tangible benefits like cash back or complimentary products, while Gen Z prefers incentives such as exclusive access to content or events. Both generations have become increasingly socially conscious and demand ethical standards from brands before committing to long-term relationships.

How to Market to Gen Z

Gen Z has a unique set of expectations regarding content and email marketing. To make sure your campaigns reach this demographic, you’ll need to get creative. Here are eight tips for how to market to Gen Z:

Create Channel-Specific Content

Different channels require different types of content to engage with users effectively. For example, Instagram posts should be visually appealing and easy to consume to stand out from the competition. On YouTube, long-form video content is often more successful than shorter clips, as viewers may sign up for multiple videos in one session.

Keep It Short

Attention spans can be short with Gen Z, so keep your message clear and concise wherever possible. Try using succinct but exciting headlines, and ensure the content is easy to digest.

Use Video – A Lot

Visuals are a great way to capture your audience’s attention, so video whenever possible. Gen Z loves it! Consider creating tutorials or educational videos that help people understand a product or service better.

Champion Authenticity

Gen Z appreciates honesty and transparency more than any other generation before them. They want to be able to trust the brands they purchase from and rely on companies that are open and honest about their practices. Showing customers behind the scenes how products are made or introducing employees goes a long way in building relationships and brand loyalty with this demographic.

Be Transparent and Accountable

When mistakes happen, take accountability for them. Don’t try to hide the truth or brush it aside. Gen Z is used to seeing companies own up to mistakes, and they respect brands that do so.

Utilize the Power of Influencers

It’s no secret that influencers significantly impact the Gen Z audience’s perception of products and services. Reach out to influencers in your industry and get them involved with your marketing campaigns through sponsored posts or endorsements.

Invite Gen Z To Participate in Your Marketing

Inviting Gen Z to co-create content is another excellent way to engage with this demographic. Ask customers for product reviews and feedback or invite them behind the scenes of product development efforts. This will make them feel valued and part of the process.

Get Everyone to Create

Encourage employees, customers and influencers to create content for your brand. This will help build trust with Gen Z, who are more likely to engage with content from a place of authenticity and transparency.

By following these eight tips, you’ll be sure to engage Gen Z customers on a deeper level. With the right content and strategies in place, you can make your marketing campaigns successful with this demographic.

Gen Z Social Media Marketing: Where Do They Hang Out Online?

Gen Z has grown up surrounded by technology and are highly digital natives. As a result, they’re comfortable with social media and use it extensively. They use multiple channels to connect with friends, family, and brands—a mix of general interest social networks like Twitter and Instagram plus niche-specific platforms like Twitch or Discord.

When marketing to Gen Z, businesses should avoid making assumptions about what works best on which platform. While certain age groups may be more attracted to certain networks than others, Gen Zers don’t necessarily follow “rules” when it comes to where they hang out online.

Instagram

Instagram is especially popular with Gen Z due to its highly visual content and emphasis on storytelling. This platform uniquely engages users with interactive media such as GIFs and Boomerangs, making it perfect for the mobile-first generation. Instagram Stories allows brands to be creative in sharing their messages while still staying true to their brand identity.

Snapchat

Similarly, due to its transient nature, Snapchat is integral to Gen Z’s social media experience - users can quickly post photos and videos without worrying about them lingering online forever. While Snapchat is often used for casual conversations and personal interactions, it can also be an effective platform for marketing campaigns. Brands can use the platform to create exclusive content only available on Snapchat or leverage influencers to reach more of their target audience.

TikTok

TikTok is another platform that has become increasingly popular among Gen Z, as they are drawn to the app’s creative and often humorous content. Marketers can use TikTok to create engaging videos that tell a story or feature influencers while also leveraging hashtags in order to get their content seen by more users.

YouTube

Finally, YouTube is another great source for Gen Z social media marketing. This platform allows brands to reach users through entertaining and informative videos that appeal to this generation’s short attention span. Additionally, YouTube provides a wealth of options, including live-streaming capabilities and interactive features such as polls and quizzes.

It's clear that any successful Gen Z social media marketing strategy should include tactics designed specifically for Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube. By taking advantage of these platforms’ unique features, marketers can create campaigns that are engaging and effective. Additionally, leveraging influencers and understanding how to effectively use hashtags across each platform will help take your campaign to the next level.

Challenges that Gen Z Faces

One challenge marketers face when thinking about how to market to Gen Z-ers is how quickly trends come and go within their demographic. To keep up with their ever-changing tastes, it's important for marketers to stay on top of what’s popular among this group to create effective marketing campaigns. That means being aware of new apps, social media platforms, and other emerging online tools while staying up to date with how Gen Zers are using them.

Another challenge marketers face when targeting Gen Z is that they're very picky about their brands. This generation has grown up with access to more information than ever before, so they know what they like and don't like regarding products and services. To stand out from the competition, marketers need to be able to communicate what makes their brand or product special in a way that resonates with this demographic.

Finally, marketers need to be aware that Gen Zers are highly skeptical of traditional marketing tactics. They have grown up in a world where they can access almost any information they need with just a few clicks of a button, so they don't have time for anything that isn't relevant or authentic. Marketers must be vigilant about providing honest and transparent content if they want to gain the trust of this demographic.

Gen Z marketing is all for diversity, which means that they are looking for representation of all backgrounds in the brands and content they consume. Influencers lead the way in this regard — Gen Zers turn to their favorite influencers to get a glimpse into how people from different walks of life live while also getting an honest take on products and services. As such, marketers need to consider utilizing influencer marketing campaigns when targeting Gen Z consumers.

Memes also play an integral role in Gen Z culture. In fact, many members of the demographic use memes as a form of communication rather than relying on more traditional methods like text messages or emails. Marketers should be aware of this trend and take advantage by creating meme-based campaigns that appeal to Gen Zers.

It's worth noting that Gen Zers are increasingly looking for sustainability and ethical production when they shop. As such, marketers should focus on highlighting their products and services' eco-friendly and ethical aspects to attract younger consumers. It's also key to remember that transparency is important — if a company has made an effort to become more sustainable or ethical, then it should trumpet its successes loudly and make sure everyone knows about them.

Given these marketing trends, it's clear that Gen Z marketing effectively requires a multi-faceted approach with an emphasis on diversity, influencer integrations, memes as communication tools, sustainability initiatives, and overall transparency. With the right strategies in place, marketers can effectively reach this valuable demographic and make an impact.

FiveCRM Use Cases for Marketing to Gen Z

FiveCRM is an invaluable tool for marketing to Gen Z. It provides powerful features beyond traditional data-based tools, providing comprehensive and efficient ways to manage customer relations, capture leads, and maximize your sales efficiency.

  • For instance, with FiveCRM you can automatize your outbound efforts with automated dialing sets, call-backs, and workflow automation. This can help you reduce your call transition time significantly and enable you to manage up to 999 separate databases with unlimited data storage to scale and grow your business.

  • FiveCRM also offers exclusive lead scoring tools customizable for your sales pipeline so that you can focus on the most impactful leads throughout the entire sales process. Additionally, their performance and marketing tools provide valuable insights into operational performance, allowing you to capture as many sales leads as possible while focusing on higher-quality leads.

  • Finally, with FiveCRM’s comprehensive customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities, Gen Z marketers will benefit from having easy access to customer data in one central location. This allows brands to build personalized relationships with each customer and provide a more dynamic, engaging experience.

FiveCRM is the perfect tool for Gen Z marketers looking to take their marketing efforts to the next level. Its comprehensive features and capabilities make it easy to manage customer relations and capture leads while maximizing sales efficiency. By utilizing this powerful CRM platform, you’ll be able to create a more successful Gen Z marketing strategy and generate better results.

Marketing to Gen Z: Final considerations 

When considering how to market to Gen Z, it is critical to remember that they are a generation that values authenticity. This means that any digital marketing efforts should be honest and transparent. Additionally, Gen Z has been born into the digital age and is accustomed to an always-on smartphone society where information is accessible from almost anywhere at any time. 

If you're looking to reach the latest generation of consumers, Gen Z, FiveCRM can help. Our marketing tools are designed to reach Gen Z with the right message at the right time. With our integrated tools and features suite, you'll have everything you need to market your business or brand to this digital-first generation effectively. You can use these insights to develop targeted campaigns that strike a chord with this young demographic

Contact us today to see how FiveCRM's marketing tools can help you reach Gen Z and understand their behavior better!

Michael King says...

"I can’t think of a time where a client has requested something that we weren’t able to do with FiveCRM. Unlike most systems, it has a lot of flexibility."

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Managing Director, Senior Response

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“Each client, and each of their campaigns, has its own unique specifications. We essentially needed to set up mini CRMs on one platform to meet those requirements.”

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