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How to market to Millennials and Generation Z

For any marketer, figuring out young people’s needs and desires is a big stepping stone to a successful campaign. Millennials and Generation Z represent an enormous group of potential buyers with a huge spending power. And thanks to these digitally savvy generations it is now easier than ever to reach them through social media and online destinations.

But marketing to these two group isn’t quite the same, beyond different needs and tastes, each generation approaches online advertising in their own way, therefore, marketers and brands will have to adjust their approach to reach their preferred target audience effectively.

Generation Z is made up mostly of teens, born between 1996 and 2010. Millennials, born between 1980 and 1995 are now starting to buy homes and build families with the last of its members being still at University or embarking on their first jobs.

Though millennials seem to have all the spending power, Generation Z really is not to be underestimated and will increasingly influence new trends and buying behaviours in the future. But as both groups grow up with digital being an option, there are some key differences you should be aware of when marketing to them.

It’s all about that YouTuber

Generation Z is the first generation completely emerged in the digital age. They never knew a world without Internet access and mobile phones. They are very much looking for authenticity in their marketing and want to see real people in advertising. As they heavily relate to their online creators, noticeably more than to traditional celebrities, influencer marketing is a strong tactic to use when trying to effectively reach these teens. Compared to the 63% of Gen Z users preferring real people, only 37% of millennials find this to be true, yet 40% think that their favourite YouTuber might understand them better than friends and family.

If wanting to target to either of these groups, finding the right YouTuber or Instagrammer can create a massive advantage over traditional ways of marketing, as the personal approach and understanding these creators offer are something that is admired by both generations.

Who spends more time online?

It turns out, both generations spend a similar amount of time looking at screens. A whooping 17 hours each day! This may, of course, be at work or University but for the teens of Generation Z, this shows an indication for a lot of after school web surfing and smartphone time. Interestingly, the habits during screen time differ widely. Apparently, millennials spend most of their time on Amazon, whereas Gen Z really does love YouTube. Almost three-quarters of Gen Z asked in studies visit the site daily. This offers a unique opportunity for any brand to showcase their products on YouTube as ads or to collaborate with YouTubers for promotional purposes.

What do they like?

Deep focus recently published information on the differences between the generations and their online behaviour. What stood out to us when that they actually asked the question we were all dying to know the answer to. ‘‘Which ads capture your attention?’’

It seems no category had an absolute majority, but ads that include celebrities or athletes capture the attention of 20% of the millennial viewers and 27% of Gen Z. Advertisements that create an emotional connection far better with Millennials, reaching 31% but Gen Z seems to be left cold with only 20% of them liking this type of marketing. So maybe in your next strategy meeting, bring these points up and see where it can take you.

Keep in mind that these young generations have an increasingly short attention spans, Millennials loose interest after just 12 seconds but you may loose Generation Z after just 8 seconds! Make sure you’re off to a good start to capture views for the remaining time or play it cool and advertise with boomerangs, snap chats and Instagram stories.

Can we even catch them online?

The answer is yes! Polls suggest that online ads are more effective with millennials users though. Millennials are generally more aware of online ads and like to shop online more frequently than the younger generation (this will, of course, be influenced by disposable income and busy work schedules) Seventy-one percent of millennials said that they’d been exposed to an ad for a company before making a purchase, but only 59% of Gen Z users said the same.

Marketing to Gen Z through online advertising is more difficult than marketing to millennials using the same methods. We suspect this to be mainly influences by how the time is spend online.

The last few tips

We could write a whole book about the fascinating differences and similarities these two generations offer. But you might be a millennial and your attention span is apparently very short so here are a few short pointers that can help your campaign to really be effective.

Do you want to capture the attention of the influencers of tomorrow? Give us a shout and we can enlighten to ways that will get those likes up.

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