Marketing efforts need to be tailored to the special needs of the company. Otherwise, the resources might be wasted. When it comes to different generations, different marketing practices might be needed. For example, the consumption habits of the Baby Boomers and Gen Z are entirely different. When companies try to target these two different groups with a single strategy, they end up losing one of these groups.
Today, it is becoming more and more important to target each individuals based on their characteristics. Gen Z will be the next consumer group. So, it is important understand the main characteristics of this generation. Also, their consumption habits and decision-making process plan an important role in the marketing process. Brands need to focus on what gen Z needs and which products they prefer. So, before getting deeper on how to target Gen Z with marketing efforts, let’s check out who this generation is.
Who Is Gen Z?
Today, each generation has its own names. We have Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y (Millennials) and Gen Z. Each of these generations have their unique characteristics. From our grandparents to the new tech-savvy individuals, things have significantly changed. Therefore, it is only natural to expect different characteristics in each generation.
When we talk about Gen Z, we talk about individuals born between 1995 and 2010. This generation is born into technology and the internet. They know how to use a smartphone and other digital products from young ages. Also, they have been involved in social media platforms more than any of us.
The use of technology and the internet has its own effects. The boundaries between the online world and offline world are becoming more transparent. Individuals in this generation look for new ways to live both in the online world and the offline world. This also makes them different from Gen X and Millennials.
Why Is Gen Z different Than Other Generations?
One of the main difference of Gen Z from other generations is in terms of technology. This generation is born inside the internet. And they are accustomed to online lifestyle. When the previous generations are considered, technology was never this much integrated in their lives.
Also, Gen Z thinks differently than their previous generations when it comes to ethics and politics. There is an increasing tendency for eliminating any sort of discrimination. One of the most important characteristics of them is inclusion regardless of ethnic background, race or economic status.
Of course, this is mainly due to increasing social media use. Today, individuals often engage on social media platforms. These platforms have become a new way of communication. This online communication blurred the barriers between different individuals. Now, people care about a common interest and a common cause rather than a common background.
When all of these characteristics are considered, targeting Gen Z is a tricky subject. There are lots of factors and variables to consider. Well, how can you actually target this generation for your products and services?
How to Target Gen Z Customers?
Gen Z has a different decision-making process than the previous generations. These individuals care more about the environment. They are more sensitive about how ethical a brand is. They want to have unique products rather than mass production. And they are starting to avoid popular brands.
The individuals of this generation are more careful about collecting information about the products and services. They dive deep online to find information about how the product was manufactured, where it was manufactured and how it was supplied. These became some of the important questions in the production chain. And these questions are not limited to Gen Z any longer. More and more consumers are interested in the production process of the products.
What is more, the individuals of Gen Z compare the information they find about the products. They no longer directly buy a product without searching that product online. Still, the word-of-mouth continues to be a valid form of information collection for this generation. They ask their friends and family about the products they use.
When this complex factors are considered, how can brands create strategies for this generation?
Understand What Gen Z Needs
The first and most important thing brands need to do is to understand what Gen Z needs. And brands need to acknowledge that this generation has different needs and expectations than other generations. So, what does this generation really need?
- More information about the products (manufacturing process, who manufactures the products, supply chain details)
- Environmentally responsible approach in the manufacturing processes
- Human-centric approach in marketing messages
- Methods and approaches to improve the world
- Collaborative consumption (accessing a product rather than buying that product)
- Engaging with brands
Try to Meet Their Needs
The next step for brands will be trying to meet these needs. Of course, this might require a tedious work for the brands. One of the relatively easier step is to find a cause that matches the brand identity. Also, providing transparency about the manufacturing process can really benefit the brand.
Understand Which Platforms They Use
Using different communication channels (omnichannel marketing) can provide a huge advantage for the brands. Today, individuals prefer different communication channels and platforms. Still, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are among the most popular social media channels. It is possible to reach most of the individuals in Gen Z by using one of the channels.
Find New Ways to Position Your Brands on These Platforms
Brand positioning plays a key role to reach the customers. When it comes of Gen Z, brands need to careful about their steps. The individuals in this generation can also negatively promote a brand. Although they can change their mind about the negative opinion, the damage in the meantime can significantly hurt the brand image. For this reason, it is important to create a coherent brand image to prevent any negative situations from the beginning.
Of course, it is not easy to take all of these steps at once. But even a slow progress will benefit the brands to reach customers in Gen Z. This generation is becoming the main consumers around the world. The brands can only be successful when they understand their needs and try to meet these needs.