Generation Z: why we should be paying attention to them

  • On February 15, 2018
  • In blog

Generation Z: why we should be paying attention to them

Move over Millennials

With so much talk about Millennials of late, many people brush aside the talk of Generation Z. But we really shouldn’t. Generation Z is commonly recognised as people born between 1996 and 2014, meaning the older individuals of this generation will be turning 22 this year (I don’t know about you but I’m starting to feel old)!

My point being, Gen Z are already in the workplace, graduating from university, and most importantly, taking key steps into roles in the next couple of years. They could already be, or will soon be, key decision makers within businesses. With almost 25% of the UK population being Gen Z (The Marketers Forum, 2017), it’s time we started paying attention to them.


Communication is about to change, and brands should listen up

The way in which we communicate is set to change drastically as these generations evolve, and the “coming of age” for Gen Z is no exception.  As I am a millennial myself, I was amazed at the difference between how my generation and Gen Z interact with brands, business and people.

Personal preference of course, but my chosen route to access the latest news would be to switch the TV on, or open an app on my mobile. I also grew up in an era where people became obsessed with things if they were seen to be worn or used by celebrities – cue the world of influencers.

Gen Z, however, are known to revert to other channels for leisure, news and other information. With 95% of Gen Z watching YouTube regularly for programmes, video blogs and general information sources (Adweek, 2017). Unlike the millennials, Gen Z trust real people opposed to celebrities, hence the growing popularity of micro-influencers (Business Insider, 2017).


Attention spans are shorter

What you may find even more shocking is that Gen Z have an attention span of 8 seconds. 8 SECONDS! As a marketer the challenge I now face (amongst many others) is finding out how on earth you sell something to someone in 8 seconds. Oh, and to top it off, Gen Z are known to skip ads 3 seconds faster than other generations (Research Live, 2017).

Unsurprisingly, because of Gen Z’s reduced attention span and fast-paced, multi-tasking personalities, they are also known to be less brand loyal.


Gen Z summarised & what this means for brands

Generation Z are unlike any other generation. They are money conscious, and always looking for a bargain. Despite their shorter attention span, Gen Z are reported to spend up to 11 hours a day on social media, and are 29% more likely to buy something online than Millennials (The Drum, 2017).

What this means is that brands need to look at new ways of engaging with their audiences. Gen Z are easily bored, like physical interaction and are sick of re-targeted ads. Marketers need to think of new ways to engage with this generation that won’t be at risk of being blocked or disregarded.

Programmatic Direct Mail can be an alternative to re-targeting ads that are commonly blocked by Gen Z. As Arsenal FC and The National Trust found out, incorporating direct mail into marketing campaigns is well received by Millennials and Gen Z (Marketing Week, 2016). Find out more about how Paperplanes can help you incorporate direct mail into your marketing strategy, with programmatic technology by getting in touch today! 


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