There’s a lot happening with Generation Z. As a marketer, it’s your job to keep up with them. And in 2020, there’s a lot to know about the youngest generation.
I remember writing my first article about Gen Z nearly three years ago. A lot has changed since then. Three years might not seem like quite so long a time to millennials, Gen X, or baby boomers. But to our youngest generation, three years is a significant portion of their formative lives.
In 2017, the oldest members of Gen Z were only 20. Now they’re turning 23. They’re drinking alcohol, graduating from college, and entering the workforce in a big way. That means they’re gaining even more spending power and becoming more relevant to marketers everywhere.
But it’s not just life events that are having an effect on Gen Z. There are broad societal factors at play. And they’re happening right now. Much like 9/11 had such a deep impact on young millennials, the coronavirus pandemic will define the lives of so many within Gen Z.
This is why marketers need to stay aware of how Gen Z is constantly changing. While many of their basic attitudes and beliefs will remain the same, there’s still a lot to consider. Here’s three things to know about Gen Z marketing in 2020.
Influencers. No generation is more affected by influencer marketing than Gen Z. According to a study from Kantar, 44% of Gen Z has made a purchase decision because an influencer made a recommendation. This compares to 26% of the general population. The wonderful thing about influencers is that there’s pretty much an influencer for every topic you can think of. And on top of that, influencers are trusted by their audience.
Brands everywhere are taking notice. According to Business Insider Intelligence estimates, brands are expected to spend a whopping $15 billion on influencer marketing by 2022.
The rise of TikTok. TikTok, the short-form video sharing app, has ballooned in popularity. For marketers looking to reach Gen Z, the platform is practically a goldmine. A startling 41% of its user base is aged between 16 and 24. (GlobalWebIndex)
“In its simplest form, TikTok has won the hearts of Gen Z consumers because it has democratized virality,” says Kieran Mathew, CEO and founder of Amplify, in an interview with Forbes. Indeed, the platform is defined by quick, easily-digestible videos. Oh, and the platform is also where many of those trusted Gen Z influencers are connecting with their audiences. If you’re looking to make a splash with young people, get up to speed on TikTok.
Defined by a pandemic. Looking ahead, it’s important to note the long-term effects the coronavirus pandemic will have on Gen Z. While the pandemic is being felt by virtually everyone, it’s impacting Gen Z in a way that older generations may not be able to completely grasp. These are kids that are missing out on formative moments of their lives. Graduations, school dances, playing sports, and socializing with friends are just a few examples. Zoom, remote learning, and social distancing will be cultural touchpoints that Gen Z will remember long after the pandemic has passed.
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What marketing techniques have you employed to engage with Gen Z? Sound off in the comments!