There has been so much talk over ‘marketing to millennials’ on the internet in the past year or so, that no one has really stopped to notice there is a new group in town—and they’re a lot fresher than we are. This generation is GEN Z.
What is GEN Z?
Well that is a very good question, because if you work with students, this new demographic is going to become very important to you. Anyone born after 1995 is classified as GEN Z. The generation that Forbes has coined, ‘the younger sibling at the dinner table’. The ‘just sit and learn from afar’ type that by 2020 is going to take up 40% of all consumers (crazy). Since this generation kind of crept up on us, the marketing strategies for this group are far and few between. So the question becomes, how do you grab the attention of the generation that grew up with technology, but has also spent their entire existence learning from millennial’s mistakes? We’ve got some suggestions:
They’re all about themselves:
GEN Z is not interested in what you’re selling; they’re interested in themselves. How is this going to help me? How is this going to make MY life better? GEN Z grew up engulfed in social media and many of them learned from a young age how to benefit from social channels and even make money—some making full-time paying careers simply through social media. Therefore, we need to look at them as not just consumers, but also potential partners. GEN Z has the power to help grow your business, and their social channels might work just as well as ‘word- of- mouth’.
On campus, it is important to scout out those students who have a strong presence on social media and use them to your benefit. Many GEN Z’s have become brand ambassadors for companies and product lines simply by having a follower number higher than 10k. By offering your service/ product in exchange for exposure, can lead to very successful marketing campaigns—no student relates better to someone than another student.
Signage and commercials simply aren’t going to cut it anymore. Your product or service must offer some type of value to GEN Z. A great way to do this is through in-app Loyalty and Rewards programs. With this program, you can award points to students for using your app which can then be redeemed for prizes. Many large companies have incorporated reward systems into their apps to increase usage and create loyalty. Some companies include Starbucks Mobile, Amazon Prime, and My Nintendo. By creating value to your users, they are more likely to come back to your app, and use all the features within your app if they know they are going to be rewarded for it.
Be Convenient and Be Everywhere
In recent studies, we have discovered that the attention span of a GEN Z consumer is a staggering 8 seconds. Yep, that’s it. With online shopping, next day shipping, mobile ordering and more—this generation is used to getting what they want right now. Ensure that you are able to tell your story quickly, and also ensure that you are available everywhere. For example, if you are offering mobile ordering on campus you want to make sure you can mobile order from all campus restaurants. In addition, your user interface should be simple and straight forward. If we look at some of the most popular social media apps, like Instagram and Twitter, you’ll notice their user interface has become more and more minimalistic and straight forward over the years.
Be the Brand Students Want.