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Gen Z is your future customer. Here's how to engage with them now

Gen Z is the generation after millennials, born between 1997 and 2010. They have grown up with social media and on-demand entertainment and their influence over what's cool, trending, and important shouldn't be underestimated. "We're already seeing the impact Gen Zs have on millennials and Gen Xs when it comes to brand selection, online behaviour, and customer engagement," says Desirée Gullan, executive creative director at G&G Digital.
Gen Z is your future customer. Here's how to engage with them now

Not only do Gen Zs have massive influence over their preceding generations to get what they want, but their parents are also being influenced by them and are becoming more discerning about where they spend their money. “Gen Zs are also strong drivers of corporate responsibility,” adds Gullan. “Their purchasing decisions are determined by their values, and if a brand's mission and purpose align with theirs, that's where they’ll spend their parent’s money.”

With nearly two billion Gen Zs who want relevant information and instant answers, brands should respond appropriately. "It's important to make your campaigns attractive for Gen Z from the get-go. Stay relevant, use their language to resonate and engage, and give them quality over quantity," says Gullan. Here’s how your brand can connect with Gen Z, now.

Keep it short and simple

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Gen Z enjoy visual content and love creating short-form videos themselves. Brands should do the same. "Include short-form, fun, and entertaining videos into your marketing strategy and make sure they are not too polished and stuck-up. Make them real and authentic, more like user-generated content without striving for perfection,” suggests Gullan.

Mobile only

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Gen Z’s digital-first lifestyle and proficiency with electronic devices make online messaging and texting their go-to. They appreciate an unfussy design that messaging platforms, like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, get right. Use real and simple language and fast responses and your brand will have what it takes to communicate effectively with impatient Gen Z.

Tell it like it is

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Unlike previous generations, Gen Z is not brand loyal, and their purchasing decisions are cemented by their communities. When Gen Z don't like a service or product, they'll share their opinions on social media. Thankfully the same applies to positive brand experiences. Incentivise them to review their experiences of your brand and you can increase your brand’s reach and influence substantially.

They’re socially responsible

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Gen Z is more aware of their environment than previous generations. “Because they can access so much more information, they're more aware of social, political, and economic challenges, which influence their purchasing decisions,” says Gullan. “Create campaigns that have a positive impact––to the environment, society, economy, or to the individual via their personal development.”

Protect their privacy

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Make it easy to opt in or out of your marketing communications. Gen Z prefer to solicit brand engagement and not have it forced on them. “Nothing makes Gen Z unfollow a brand faster than TMI.”

Don’t let regulations restrict creativity

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Although regulations can restrict how you engage with Gen Z, there's still much opportunity to have fun, be creative, and think out of the chat box. Understand the regulations and focus on what you can do and do that well. “Always aim to resonate rather than sell, and do so with flare, fun and creativity.”

As the oldest Gen Z are now entering the workforce, marketers should not ignore their importance and influence. They'll soon earn their own money and spend it on brands that resonate. “Brands that tap into Gen Z's values and way of living can reap the rewards and influence of this vast target market who are not afraid to tell it like it is.”
   
References 

1. Pew Research Center. Defining generations: Where Millennials end and Generation Z begins. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/01/17/where-millennials-end-and-generation-z-begins/. Accessed on 13 June 2022.
2. Research Gate. Next Generations Of Consumers - Challenges And Opportunities For Brands. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283739097_NEXT_GENERATIONS_OF_CONSUMERS_CHALLENGES_AND_OPPORTUNITIES_FOR_BRANDS. Accessed on 14 June 2022.
3. McKinsey & Company. Meet Generation Z: Shaping the future of shopping. https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/consumer-packaged-goods/our-insights/meet-generation-z-shaping-the-future-of-shopping. Accessed on 13 June 2022.
4. Sprout Social. How to make sure you're marketing to Gen Z the right way. https://sproutsocial.com/insights/marketing-to-gen-z/. Accessed on 14 June 2022.
5. G&G Digital. Powerful e-marketing and POPI. https://gullanandgullan.com/powerful-e-marketing-and-popi/. Accessed on 14 June 2022.
6. LinkedIn. How are the traditional or regulated industries adapting to the digital marketing era? https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-traditional-regulated-industries-adapting-digital-garcia. Accessed on 14 June 2022.

G&G Digital
Using deep insights and a thorough analysis, G&G positions your brand first by weaving storytelling, smart solutions and interactive digital strategy to place your brand where it belongs, above all.
Read more: Desirée Gullan, Gen Z

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