When it comes to marketing events both on and offline, there are more considerations to think about than ever before. As brands grapple with communicating to a range of demographics, with each requiring a unique strategy, one generation in particular, Generation Z, presents a new challenge for marketers.
These ‘Digital Natives’ - born from the mid 90s onwards - are more tech-savvy and tech-reliant than their predecessors, which often means they’re less responsive to traditional tried-and-tested methods of advertising.
In today’s article, we’re going to be delving into the world of Generation Z, exploring a suite of approaches, tools and tactics that businesses can use to maximise engagement.
Hang out in the same spaces
Having grown up using social media and the internet, it’s no surprise that this is where Generation Z spend a sizeable chunk of their time - both socially and as a consumer. Therefore, as a business it’s essential to hone your marketing strategy in order to effectively initiate them to your brand or products.
However, even your typical social media marketing campaigns may not hit home hard enough, as ‘Digital Natives’ are accustomed to consuming data quickly and in highly visual formats. This is where making use of the likes of Snapchat and Instagram will help you tap into their psyche with punchy, personalised and to-the-point brand messages and video clips they can instantly relate to.
It also goes without saying that, as a business looking to tap into the growing Generation Z market, you must ensure all your online marketing efforts are mobile-friendly, so you can make an impact across the web no matter their medium of consumption.
Bolster your brand through social media and email
With research showing that 85% of Generation Z use social media to learn about new products, implementing a robust social media strategy to bolster your brand is a no-brainer.
However, despite Facebook being the most popular medium for product awareness overall, the ‘Digital Natives’ tend to favour Instagram over YouTube and Snapchat over Twitter, so be mindful to concentrate your efforts in the right areas to cater for this demographic.
Interestingly enough, the same research showed that even though this younger generation predominantly research and shop online, they do still see value in personalised communication via email, too. So adopting a two-pronged online approach that integrates both should mean you cover both angles.
Keep communications concise and engaging
To differentiate your Gen Z marketing from the competition, it’s key to communicate with them on their level and have an understanding of the distinct nuances between Gen Z and their close predecessors, Millennials.
Having grown up in the fast-paced world of social media, and tech-centric notions from the start, Gen Z have a natural affinity to technology and the digital world as it’s always been the norm to them, unlike Millennials - and, as a result, they have an even shorter attention span of just 8 seconds, compared to twelve.
For brand promotion, this means it’s essential to create attention-grabbing and straight-to-the-point brand messaging. With less time to portray your message, there’s no place for ‘fluffy’ adverts or complex concepts, so keep yours direct and eye-catching in order to have the greatest impact.
Gain buy-in with influencer marketing
Affiliation with industry influencers on YouTube or Instagram has been gaining popularity as an effective means of reaching the younger consumer for some time. But, it appears its ability in reaching Generation Z is even more potent that it is has been with Millennials, with Google claiming that 70% of teenage YouTube subscribers find content creators more relatable than traditional celebrities.
Also tipped as ‘cultural trendsetters’, these influencers have the ability to connect with their audience in a more genuine and organic way, which means brand associations with these individuals can be a very powerful marketing tool indeed.
Sell the benefits, not the product
On the whole, Gen Z are more results-driven consumers, putting more value on the benefits and success a product brings, so it’s time to switch up your selling technique, providing them with an experiential vision of how your product or service will positively impact them.
Focusing on the end game and what it will personally deliver to them rather than bombarding them with a myriad of special offers and discounts will up their buy-in, as they’ll be able to envisage the benefits more clearly - which means your product will ultimately appear more desirable.
Don’t forego the physical aspects of your brand
Although online is where this tech-centric generation do the lion's share of their browsing and purchasing, there is definitely still a place for your brand to resonate with them in the physical world, too.
Why not consider using well-positioned promotional vehicles like exhibition trailers on the high street or at an event to maximise brand exposure? This can easily be tied in with online marketing methods to create a seamless transition between on and offline and can strengthen the bond with your brand.
With Generation Z already a highly influential demographic in today’s global marketplace, we hope you’ll find this guide helps your business maximise its marketing efforts with this tech-savvy generation.
About the Author
Justin Isles is the Director of The Events Structure, the UK’s only single source provider of state-of-the-art exhibition trailers, promotional vehicles and other event marketing solutions.