How Advertisers Reach the Tech Savvy Gen Zers
We may like the same products, but there is a big generational gap in marketing and advertising. Millennials use catalog coupons while Gen Z uses online promo codes. Millennials prefer going in-store. Gen Z prefers online. As technology advances, so does Gen Z, making the generational gap more evident. They are the most technologically advanced generation the world has seen. To successfully advertise to this market, a company must understand how technology is integrated into Gen Z’s lifestyle and then adapt its marketing efforts to attract this generation.
Day-to-day convenience has a much higher value now than generations in the past. More shopping is done online. Social interactions are more virtual than face-to-face. Kids are entertained by shows on-demand on their iPad. And these activities are done instantaneously. The need for instant gratification has become an addiction for Gen Zers, and it is because they have never experienced a time without technology. Joeri van de Bergh’s book “How Cool Brands Stay Hot,” states, “the attention span of an average American has been reduced to just eight seconds” (213). That is why apps like Vine (discontinued) and TikTok are huge hits among this generation. TikTok only requires, at most, one minute of a viewer’s time before they are scrolling to the next 30-second video. I myself have found that I am more inclined to open TikTok over YouTube, because I am more invested in a 30-second video versus a 9 minute one.
Although iPhones and tablets are not as widespread in the older generations, technological communication has been around for two centuries. For years marketers have been communicating to the world through television. Now, however, there are more distribution channels requiring marketers’ choices to be more customized to the specific audience. Bergh explains, “Gen Z takes up approximately 30% of the global population.” Of that 30%, “86% of Gen Zers use their smartphone multiple times per day, being online almost all the time” (211). Social media, games, apps, emails, cookies, and browsing history are all ways to virtually communicate to Gen Z. It may seem overwhelming, but there is opportunity for advertising in the wide array of channels.
With different generations and age gaps, marketing cannot remain stagnant. Marketing must adapt to the lifestyle and current times we are in. Gen Z’s attention span does not benefit from long advertisements. Their lives go at a fast pace, so convenience and instant gratification is valued in their day-to-day activities. We must be intentional during the creative process when it comes to adapting and creating advertisements catered to Gen Zers. Your advertisement is competing with others’ as well. Therefore, keeping it short, appealing, and current ensures that your message is received.
Bergh, Joeri van den. How Cool Brands Stay Hot: Branding to Generation Y and Z. Kogan Page, 2016.
Fry, Richard. “Millennials Overtake Baby Boomers as America’s Largest Generation.” Pew Research Center, Pew Research Center, 28 Apr. 2020, www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/04/28/millennials-overtake-baby-boomers-as-americas-largest-generation/.
Hulyk, Taylor. “Marketing to gen Z: uncovering a new world of social media influences.” Franchising World, vol. 47, no. 12, Dec. 2015, p. 32+. Gale General OneFile, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A438626524/ITOF?u=chazsu_main&sid=ITOF&xid=46c53bc1. Accessed 11 Feb. 2021.