Marketing to Gen Z vs. Millennials: What’s the difference?

Difference Between Marketing to Gen Z Vs. Millenials

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Gen Z can seem like somewhat of an enigma to those born before the ‘90s– especially when it comes to their online habits. The first generation that grew up with full access to the internet, Gen Z has a fundamentally unique perspective on all things social media. 


Naturally, marketing to Gen Z is wholly different from marketing to Millennials – a group that has not been socialized into technology since birth. While both are important groups to consider in marketing efforts, Gen Z makes up over 26 percent of the population and accounts for a large chunk of eCommerce sales in 2021. Gen Zers are currently between the ages of 6 and 24, and most growing businesses should count them as an essential audience subset for marketing. 


In this article, we’ll explain how to market specifically to Gen Z and why it’s important not to just lump them together with Millennials. 


How should you market to Gen Z online?


Be authentic. 


Whether it’s marketing through the unique personalities of market-specific influencers, or using video as the primary form of media – Gen Z expects all things genuine.


If you’re determined to increase sales to Gen Zers, ask yourself if you’re staying genuine in your marketing presence. Think anecdotal storytelling coupled with images and video that feel just within reach and applicable to Gen Z lifestyles. Just don’t expect too much loyalty: Gen Z is generally much more brand-independent than Millennials, but they can be swayed by original yet transparent messaging.


This brings us to our next tip, which is a surefire way to give your marketing strategy a genuine spin.


Don’t shy away from influencers.

Influencer marketing comes naturally for some founders and for others it may feel totally foreign. It’s clear, however, that it’s an important key to sales among Gen Zers. 


Influencers with large social media presence in a particular niche (e.g. fitness, travel, fashion) have developed a strong bond and high level of trust with their followers. What better exposure for your brand than having them speak highly of you to hundreds of thousands of consumers?


Think about whether or not a good friend’s recommendation has the power to sway your opinion. The answer is probably yes. For Gen Z, having grown up deeply influenced by technology and online personalities, influencers play a similar role in their lives.


The bottomline? Regardless of your exposure to influencer marketing as a business owner, it’s time to get in the game – especially if you’re primarily targeting Gen Zers. 


Choose your social platforms wisely.


Gen Z spends most of their internet time on video platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat and YouTube. It’s also been reported that Gen Zers tend to have an average attention span of 8 seconds when it comes to watching digital ads. For Millennials, this increases to 12 seconds. The gap may have to do with the popularization of very short video clips – sometimes even disappearing after a single view – on platforms frequented by Gen Zers. 


What NOT to do when marketing to Gen Z


Right off the bat, it’s important not to have the same expectations for Gen Z’s habits as you might for Millennial’s. Don’t anticipate that Gen Zers will be loyal to your brand, as their value of independence takes precedence. Moreover, you shouldn’t bank on one single style of advertisement or discount as being effective on Gen Z. The same goes for types of media. 


Be sure to experiment and run A/B tests on types of campaigns, messaging and choice in media on both web and mobile platforms.


Running simultaneous campaigns for both Gen Z and Millennials


As we’ve seen, it’s important to distinguish between Gen Z and Millennials in your marketing strategy. However, that does not mean that you can’t run campaigns targeted for each of them simultaneously. 


Just be sure to remember the following:


Know your channels.

You’re already familiar with what Gen Z and Millennials each look for when they make purchases. Now you can apply this to your own company to determine which channels work best for you.


Secure your marketing budget. 

Perhaps the easiest way to ramp up digital marketing efforts is to apply for a revenue-based financing advance. It’s non-dilutive working capital that can quickly finance your recurring marketing spend – such as Google ads or even payments toward influencers. You pay back the advance as a percentage of your future monthly revenue, and the advances are designed to work seamlessly with your digital marketing channels. 


Set up your campaigns.

Now you’re ready to get going. Consider your unique messaging for each group as you craft your ads, then simply go about your ad campaigns as you normally would. Monitor your traction among both groups and make adjustments as necessary.


Ready to amp up your marketing campaigns with a boost in your budget? Drop us a line with your story at [email protected] 

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