Marketers need to understand Gen Z. Really, truly understand them

Marketing to some generations is harder than marketing to others. Gen Z is one such generation. They are powerful consumers – and a demographic group that marketers are keen to go after.

Contrary to the notion of Gen Zers struggling to earn a living, they are currently at a period of their lives in which they’re enjoying a high disposable income, reports The Drum. Thanks to a combination of student loans, part-time jobs and financial support from their families, this is a generation just waiting for brands to engage with them in their digital spaces.

But as well as being capable digital natives, they are also extremely smart consumers who can sniff out inauthenticity or dishonesty a mile off. If brands don’t know who they’re dealing with, they risk driving Gen Z away.

So how do you market to a savvy but value-conscious audience? Research shows that 76% of students think bargains are important or very important when making buying decisions. As brands work to make up for the drop in spending over the last 12 months, they would do well to focus more attention on this cash-rich, financially-savvy group.

Gen Z has big spending plans over the coming year. Just under a third (32%) plan to spend more on fashion, 29% on beauty, and 29% on tech. They aren’t just keen to get shopping, they’re almost frantic to start splashing the cash.

The challenge for brands is that Gen Z is notoriously less brand loyal than other generations. If brands want them on board, they’re going to have to work for it.

Here are three key challenges brands can expect to face engaging with Gen Z:

Reaching the target audience: Freshers week has long been seen as a perfect opportunity to target students. But with student learning split between on-campus and remote learning, brands need to look for ways of reaching students all year round.

Building brand affinity: Brands aren’t just dealing with a group of consumers in Gen Z. They are dealing with digitally savvy, content-creating, app-hungry individuals. Social media provided a refuge for many of this generation during lockdown – brands now need to collaborate with them, treating them as co-creators.

Staying relevant: As third-party cookies are phased out, advertising will move onto platforms. But how will that impact the digital experience? And can brands stay relevant, pushing out the right messages? Too many ads on Instagram is not going to win anyone over. The secret will lie in a brand’s ability to invest in the most appropriate platforms, with the most relevant content.

Gen Z expects to be treated as brand partners and co-collaborators. They are a generation driven by change and brands are going to have to change with them.

If you’re looking for ways to connect with Gen Z, get in touch with the team at Delta: