Three Tips For Building A Gen Z Marketing Plan

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Senior Director of PR & Operations at ChicExecs PR & Retail Strategy Firm.

Although brands like to harp on about millennials, this generation is actually approaching their forties. If you want to target teens and college-aged young adults, Gen Z should be your focus.

This up-and-coming generation has a lot to offer the world—especially product-based brands. If you haven’t already updated your customer profiles to include Gen Z shoppers, hop to it!

Gen Z is a huge consumer group, and their buying power alone makes them worth your attention as a business. Here’s why other brands are building their marketing plans around Gen Z, as well as how your brand can appeal to this group of young shoppers:

Why Brands Are Marketing To Gen Z

Gen Z includes people who were born after 1996, so the oldest Gen Zers are turning 26 this year. While they share some similarities with millennials, Gen Z is more educated and more racially and ethnically diverse than any previous generation.

Every generation is valuable, but marketers are paying particularly close attention to Gen Z because:

• They’re digital natives. Gen Z has never known the pain of dial-up internet or rewinding VHS tapes. They’re true digital natives, so their lives are largely lived digitally. Gen Z is online all day, which makes it easy for marketers to track their consumer behavior. Hello, cross-channel attribution!

• They make up a large percentage of consumers. Gen Z makes up 40% of the United States’ consumer population.

• They have a lot of influence and buying power. With buying power estimated at $150 billion, Gen Z is clearly the future. Even if they’re too young to buy on their own, they have a tremendous impact on what their Gen X parents are buying—teens are persuasive, after all. It’s a good idea to get in now and build trust with these consumers, so they’ll be your customers for life.

Three Tips To Master Gen Z Marketing

Gen Z is different than any preceding generation. That’s why brands have to rework their approach if they want a chance at earning Gen Z’s business. Follow these three tips to better market to Gen Z shoppers:

1. Reassure them.

Gen Z is growing up during a time of turmoil. They’re living in the shadow of the pandemic, when systems are breaking down. They aren’t sure who to trust, which means brands have to work even harder to earn Gen Z’s business.

This means reassuring Gen Z shoppers with approaches like:

• Timely responses to problems or outages.

• Using plain language and getting straight to the point.

• Writing accurate marketing copy (don’t promise something if you can’t deliver!).

• Collecting reviews (with pictures or videos) from real customers.

• Encouraging user-generated content.

2. Be a responsible brand.

More than half of Gen Z consumers said knowing a brand is socially conscious influences purchase decisions. It isn’t enough for your brand to serve the general public—you need to stand for something and commit to lasting change.

You can embrace corporate responsibility through:

• Partnering with a charity.

•Volunteering.

• Offering disaster relief.

• Pro bono services.

This goes beyond just doing the right thing; product brands have to embrace activism to draw Gen Z’s attention. It’s hard to draw a line in the sand and have an opinion about something, but you have to be willing to alienate yourself from shoppers who don’t align with your beliefs.

3. Invest in short-form video content.

Nearly 80% of Gen Z reports using social media to learn about new brands. But that doesn’t mean they’re on Facebook and Instagram all day. Gen Z prefers short-form, interactive video content and gravitates to Snapchat and TikTok. So, if your brand isn’t already making short-form videos, now’s the time to start!

In my experience, Gen Z also expects more interaction from the brands they follow. Be sure to reply to all of your followers’ comments in a timely manner. This will not only encourage more engagement, but it will show Gen Z that you take their opinions seriously.

The bottom line is Gen Z is both the present and the future of our economy. These young adults and teens are figuring out the world right now, so make sure your brand is there during their journey. Follow these three tips to fine-tune your marketing plans and build a robust Gen Z following.


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