As time goes by, the generation that makes up the category of “young adults” changes. For years now, marketers have targeted Millennials as the youngest adult group, but that has changed. Gen Z is now the young adult generation. So how does this affect your marketing strategy?
There are several differences between the two groups:
- Diversity. Each succeeding generation tends to become more diverse in many ways, matching the increasing diversity in the overall population. Compared to Millennials, Gen Z is more diverse because:
- Platforms. Gen Z has different patterns of social media usage than older groups. While almost all (96%) of Millennials are on more than one platform, most of Gen Z is on five or more platforms, according to Gartner. Facebook remains the top social network for Millennials, while Gen Z prefers YouTube. While Gen Z and Millennials both follow brands on mainstream social platforms, Gen Z users are not as likely to like seeing branded content on those social platforms.
For digital marketers, this means a multi-platform strategy will be needed to connect with Gen Z, incorporating tone and theme specific for each platform and functionality.
- Greater expectations. Gen Z is more interested in issues – what stand a brand takes and how they talk about it. Gen Z also wants their money to follow their ideals, so they expect brands to sell their products and services using activism. They also want brands to actively participate in solving society’s issues. Gen Z prefers “buycotting” to boycotting, meaning they will spend on a brand to support its activism as opposed to boycotting brands they disagree with.
For digital marketers, this means focusing social media content on the issues that matter most to Gen Z to engage them. However, it’s important to remember that Gen Z young adults are still just that – young adults – and they’re dealing with typical young adult milestones such as first job, first living arrangement away from parents, settling down in a romantic relationship, etc. While they are in transition to becoming independent adults, they are not, in most cases, responsible for anyone but themselves.