Get ready to feel old. Just as some of us are starting to wrap our brains around the so-called millennial generation—who they are, what they bring to the table, how to engage with them effectively—it’s already time to start considering the next generation, Generation Z. We’re talking about the folks born between 1998 and 2008—folks who now make up 22 percent of the entire U.S. population.

And sure, right now, Generation Z people are a bit too young to be regarded seriously as a consumer demographic—but that’s all going to change in just a few short years. It’s changing even now, actually, and marketers have to be ready to engage with this demographic.

Understanding Generation Z

So how do you do that? What do you really need to know about Generation Z? To start with, it cannot be overstated just how immersed this generation is in technology; these are individuals who were learning to use an iPad before they even learned to walk. A second and related consideration: Because of the media environment in which they’ve grown up, Gen Z-ers crave authenticity, have low vulnerability to traditional marketing, and can ultimately tell BS when they hear it!

Some specific marketing takeaways:

  • By and large, Generation Z prefers to hear from “real” people—as opposed to celebrities. Commercials with famous spokespeople won’t go nearly as far as ads in which everyday people share their story.
  • Generation Z is savvy to social media, and of course that includes SnapChat—but it also includes Facebook. While Facebook is sometimes written off as being for older demographics, it actually fares really well with this younger set.
  • Generation Z thrives on participation; allowing them a chance to interact with your brand, and to really do something in the way of active brand ambassadorship, is much more effective than providing passive ad content.
  • Members of Generation Z tend to trust their first impressions, and to size up people and brands rather quickly—so if you want to engage them, it’s vital to do so within those first few seconds.

Are You Ready for Generation Z?

Ultimately, marketing to Generation Z will require you to shift strategies and engage in whole new ways—and that means empowering yourself with the most advanced marketing tools and techniques. Learn how to do that by connecting with the ACES sales and marketing department!