If you’re seeking more conversions (and who isn’t?), there’s good news: By partnering with a top media planning agency, you can develop a new, personalization-based strategy that targets perhaps the most important demographic in advertising and marketing today: Generation Z.
Generation Z: Powerful enough to challenge the digital ad duopoly
Generation Z (roughly defined as anyone born between 1995 and 2015) are now the largest age cohort in the U.S., according to Bloomberg. Yet sheer size isn’t the only reason why this generation should be top of mind for marketers; Gen Z, like Millennials before them, has come of age. They’re amassing buying power, entering the work force in vast numbers, and driving the consumer economy.
Brands and agencies that devoted extraordinary resources to unmasking the secrets to Millennial marketing are casting an evaluating eye on Gen Z. Those who best understand younger consumers will reap sizeable benefits — and those who don’t may get left behind.
Even the most powerful entities have plenty of skin in this game. Google and Facebook, the seemingly omnipotent Digital Ad Duopoly, are facing serious regulatory scrutiny over their privacy and data management practices.
The real existential risk to this duopoly doesn’t come from a legislator’s pen, however. Instead, it’s the needs, wants, desires and habits of Gen Z that pose the most pressing challenge.
Facebook has been hemorrhaging younger users for years, and is largely irrelevant to Gen Z, though its other properties (Instagram and WhatsApp) remain very popular with younger users. YouTube, also, remains a popular Gen Z platform.
Brands need to be acutely aware that consumer loyalty is more fickle than ever. The process of discovering an app, falling in love with it, and then dropping it for something else has accelerated. Gen Z, in particular, is fluid in their app choices. This makes even the most established platforms vulnerable.
Yet these very same characteristics also present an opportunity for brands savvy enough to recognize them. By gaining a deeper understanding of Gen Z consumers, brands can anticipate what they want, provide them with the kind of advertising and marketing messages that resonate, and ultimately increase sales.
Targeting generation Z
So now that we understand why Gen Z is so critical to effective advertising and marketing, let’s discuss a few things brands need to know when creating personalized campaigns with media planning agencies.
Gen Z is driven by values
More than 60% of Gen Z say they are “socially conscious.” These values drive their decisions in terms of purchasing and patronage: More than half of Gen Z members say they are more likely to support a brand that signals support for charitable, environmental or social causes.
Gen Z strongly dislikes conventional online ads
While older generations may tolerate irrelevant digital ads that interrupt their viewing or reading experience, younger people are far less forgiving — and far more likely to use ad-suppressing technological tools, such as the Brave web browser. In order to succeed, brands will need to accommodate these preferences by delivering personalized, targeted and highly relevant ads through channels that young people prefer (Snapchat and Instagram Stories, for example).
Half-baked attempts at connection will backfire
An example: Google created a guide to Gen Z called “It’s Lit” — and was greeted with widespread derision as a result. Younger consumers are marketing savvy and will instantly spot (and ridicule) a ham-handed attempt at being culturally relevant. Brands should instead take the time to study the online behavior of Gen Z through the lens of the platforms they use.
BIGEYE believes a great media planning agency can play a critical role in helping businesses connect with younger consumers. If you’d like to learn more about what we can do for your next marketing campaign, please contact us today.
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