Having travelled to the UK recently, it really struck me how quick society is to stereotype & generalise an entire generation. Yes, I’m talking about that word…’Millennial.’ As a so-called Millennial agency, we find it hilarious that brands and agencies alike can spark such polarised, ill-spirited viewpoints on a generation. Sure “they’re just a bunch of lazy, over-sensitive entitled crybabies?” Not exactly. To stereotype an entire generation with such polarised stereotypes (that are also far from true) is laughable.
For years, ‘millennial’ was a buzz word within agencies and brands alike. Generation Y have grown up in a different world, with a whole different worldview to that of Gen X. As they enter their peak purchasing years, brands and agencies are still struggling to communicate and engage with this audience on a more meaningful level – maybe because they don’t understand them! And to make things worse, it’s back to the drawing board again as they try to get up to date with Generation Z marketing – this generation is a totally new wave of content creators who are constantly multitasking. Hold tight for some new stereotypes!
The purpose of today’s post is a brief introduction (and maybe a small rant about millennial stereotyping) to Generation Z marketing – we want to highlight how brands and agencies alike can win the attention of this new cohort – but only if they adapt their way of thinking. To start, it must be noted that traditional forms of advertising don’t work for Gen Z – at least not on their own. To even sit at the same table, advertisers need to adopt new social technologies and focus on telling organic stories across multiple channels – not once, or twice but all the time.
If you didn’t know, Gen Z care less about planned, carefully articulated campaigns – with an average attention span of 8 seconds, you better hope your content is short, original and constantly updated. Generation Z marketing is about spontaneous, unfiltered and humorous content that is created and delivered by real people – or even dogs for that matter.
If the term influencer marketing doesn’t come to mind, it should! You might want to check back in next week when we go through an introduction to influencer marketing in Ireland.
For brands to truly engage the Generation Z audience, you must start with your story. No matter what channels are used, your communications needs to be original. What makes your brand truly relatable to this audience? Generation Z live on experiences, therefore you need to build out the brand through experiential activities. Your story must be developed into an omni-channel strategy that is quick, reactive and constantly accessible. Whether this is through your website, an on-street activation or digital display ads, the communication must be seamless for the end user. The first step to success is listening to your audience! They have a voice and guess what, they love to feel appreciated! Brands thrive on innovation yet innovation can only happen when you understand new trends. Understand your audience, talk less and listen more in order to build an authentic and active discussion with Generation Z.