Marketing Tailored to Gen Z

By Katelyn Lugo

Gen Z is an essential demographic for many brands. They’ve grown up, and businesses need to make sure their marketing tactics have grown up with them. Ensure you’re reaching them on the right channels and with the right messaging!

Qualtrics research from January 2022 reveals 9 insights about Gen Z that can be used to tailor your brand’s channels and interactions with this generation. Let’s go into detail about the insights we believe are the most valuable.

  • Gen Z expects brands to deliver on their promises – and they’re not afraid to look for alternatives when they don’t.

Unlike former generations, Gen Z is not brand loyal. They will not hesitate to switch brands if they experience unmet promises. This simply means that you, as a business, should do what you say! Free shipping … fast shipping … quick & friendly customer service … phrases such as these. Don’t promise something in your ads that you cannot deliver, unless you want to be called out on social media by Gen Z AND lose customers.

  • Gen Z is more aware of brands’ values and likely to stop buying from a brand if they don’t feel a connection to those values, and they are more aware of how brands are addressing social and environmental issues.

This generation is more likely than former generations to research brands to determine their values and what they stand for. Social consciousness (meaning caring about climate change, racism, gender-inequality, LGBTQIA+ discrimination, and more!) is a top priority for Gen Z, and they believe fixing these societal issues starts with the government as well as with businesses. If your brand hasn’t chosen a side on these issues, if your values don’t match those of the Gen Z consumer, or if your brand isn’t doing anything to help mitigate these problems, this generation will stop buying your goods/utilizing your services. They’re even likely to not want to work for your company!

  • Gen Z is least likely to promote brands and companies. However, Gen Z buyers are more likely to be influenced by celebrities and public figures, as well as their friends and family.

Don’t count on grassroots or word-of-mouth marketing from this group. Do count on influencer marketing to reach them! As of 2021, over 70% of Gen Z say they follow some or many influencers. And, most notably, “Nearly 1 in 4 Gen Z women say influencers are where they most often learn about new products to buy”. Here are the channels that Gen Z follows the most influencers on:

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  • Gen Z does their research before purchasing – those reviews matter!

This generation is more likely than any other to read customer reviews before buying. Have you checked out your brand’s reputation on your website, on Google, on Yelp, and on Facebook? What your customers say matters. And Gen Z is checking that out. How you respond as a brand is also important! Copy and pasting responses is not an actual response. Reponses to reviews should be tailored and thoughtful to what the review actually says. Respond to ALL reviews, not just the bad ones. Happy customers like to see responses to their reviews as well! Lastly, whoever creates the response should add their name at the end. It adds a nice human element that is appreciated by everyone!

  • Brands need to reach Gen Z where they are: online and on social media platforms.

“For Gen Z consumers, maintaining a social media presence was the second highest ranked way for brands to maintain relevance, second only to ‘providing superior product/service quality’.” Social media reigns supreme these days. When the pandemic began in 2020, people were stuck in their homes. What else was there to do than try new social platforms and use existing ones more often? Here are the top social media platforms used by Gen Z. Is your business on Snapchat, TikTok, or Instagram? It better be if you want to reach this crowd!

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There are endless insights into Gen Z available out there for advertisers and brands to follow. What works best for you will depend on your product/service and actual demographics within the Gen Z generation. Be sure to research thoroughly and test! Test messaging. Test creatives. Test platforms. Put your brand in front of Gen Z and see what happens!