Marketing to Millennials has been the major concern of many online professionals for a number of years. But watch out – Generation Z is coming of age. And while it is true that there is some overlap in relation to what they are interested in, there are significant differences to keep in mind when planning your campaigns that could just help you tap into this new consumer group successfully.
Who Are Millennials and Gen Zs?
The first thing to consider is the definition of these two consumer groups. Where does one end and the other begin? Broadly speaking, Millennials were born between 1982 and 2000, with some people extending the time frame to 2004. Gen Z is born between 2001 and the present, although some people define them as older teens, up to 24 years old.
How Do the Two Groups Differ?
Millennials are the tail end of the pre-internet world. They are not native users of technology such as smartphones, iPads and blogging. They have had to learn about them from scratch, with some more enthusiastic about the potential than others. If they do have a smartphone (and many of them do), they got it at a much later age than a Gen Z and don’t use it in the same way.
Millennials make calls, text, read email and search the internet. They might engage in social media, particularly Facebook. Gen Z, on the other hand, tend to be practically married to their phones. They use them to listen to music, watch videos, and check out what is new on their favorite networks – currently Snapchat and Instagram. In fact, many of them go on Snapchat an average of eleven times per day.
Gen Z watch a great deal of video on YouTube, about two to four hours’ worth each day, and only about 30 minutes of cable per day. There is a growing trend of cutting the cord and not buying cable any longer, but rather, watching videos on Netflix, Hulu and so on. Millennials have the opposite pattern of usage, still watching TV in a traditional manner and not spending nearly as much time on YouTube.
The Gaming Craze
The main Gen Z hobby is online gaming. They often own more than one game console and far more games than Millennials. They also watch content on YouTube that will help them do better at the game, such as hacks, hints and tips.
The Influencer Iceberg
Gen Z spends a lot of time on social media following influencers. These are not celebrities, which Millennials tend to follow, but ordinary people they feel have something valuable to say about various topics like beauty, makeup, fashion, sports and so on. And yes, they also follow gamers who do live broadcasts on YouTube that show them playing the game, tackling tough tasks and getting all sorts of rewards.
If you are not already actively trying to build a reputation personally as an influencer in your niche, you could be missing out. Surveys show that Gen Zs are pretty savvy when it comes to online marketing and hype, and will be far more likely to trust recommendations from people they network with, even though they don’t really “know” them, than to trust marketing materials from a company.
Influencer marketing is thus far just showing as the tip of the iceberg, but it will certainly be increasing in importance if you want to market successfully to Gen Z.
Tolerance and Improving the World
Millennials tend to have a pretty optimistic outlook but Gen Z really want to make the world a better place. They are more tolerant of diversity and tend to embrace it rather than be entrenched in their own religious and other points of view the way Millennials can be. They also like doing business with companies who are ecologically aware, charitably inclined and sell products that can make the world a better place, like Toms Shoes.
Use this information when planning your marketing campaigns to help you distinguish between Millennial and Gen Z consumers.