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Marketing to Gen Z: Tips to Produce Messages that Resonate

Do you feel like Gen Z is an elusive creature that seems to nimbly dodge your marketing efforts without even breaking a sweat? Well, we’re here to tell you that Gen Z is open to marketing messages that speak the right language. We swear, it’s not impossible!  

Marketing to Gen Z may seem challenging, but when you break down their preferences and patterns, it becomes clear how brands can connect with this youngest group of buyers. 

Keep reading for our tips on marketing to Gen Z and how to produce messages that resonate.

Who is considered Gen Z? 

Gen Z is typically defined as those who were born between 1997 and 2012, making them anywhere from 12 to 27 years old. They are considered digital natives with technologies such as mobile phones, tablets, abundant internet access and other tech being completely integrated into daily life from the start.  

Because this age range has some still in middle school and others in their 20s, the buying power of this generation can vary; but overall, they already have strong buying power that will only continue to grow, so marketing to Gen Z with the right message can be positive for brands and audiences alike.  

How does Gen Z interact with brands?

Here are some important insights from Forbes on how Gen Z interacts with brands: 

They love video – 75% of Gen Z had a smartphone before the age of 18 and YouTube and TikTok are primary sources of video content. Remember to keep it short and sweet as the average attention span for Gen Z is 8 seconds. That’s just 8 seconds to capture their attention or they’ll likely bounce. 

They’re loyal – Once Gen Z finds a brand they like, they stick to it. When marketing to Gen Z keep in mind that 59% trust brands from their childhood, 46% in the 19-21 age range reported having a strong connection to a brand and 66% say they tend to purchase from their preferred brands for a long time. 

Value-positive interactions – Once Gen Z has locked onto a brand, they want to be an active participant. They seek out two-way interactions, want to contribute to brand ideas as well as product reviews. They desire a community feel, which is why micro-influencers (those with a smaller, close-knit following) tend to be better at connecting with this group. 

Influence family spending – Many brands don’t realize that even the youngest members of Gen Z contribute to decision-making. In fact, 77% reported having a say in family spend on food and beverages, 76% on home furnishings, 73% on household goods, 66% on travel and 63% on dining out.  

Omnichannel marketing works best – While this generation is digital first, it doesn’t mean that they are digital only. Almost all (98%) of Gen Z said that they shop brick-and-mortar stores at least some of the time, and 88% flat out said they prefer an omnichannel approach. This means consistent marketing messages across all touchpoints is critical to marketing to Gen Z. 

How to market to Gen Z

Now that we know a bit more about Gen Z as a group, how can your brand produce a marketing message that resonates? It’s going to take effort, but it’s not impossible. AdWeek reports that 99% of this generation hits “skip” on ads and 63% use ad blockers. Brands need to focus on developing the right message and finding the right place for that message. So, what should your brand do? 

In the same article, AdWeek shares some best practices for creating marketing messages from Gen Z marketer and journalist, Vaval Victor. Here’s the advice: 

  • Avoid turn-offs in copy such as “You should buy this!” or “Are you looking for the next…”, these types of phrases interrupt the experience. 
  • Lean into customer experiences that build credibility and trust. Be sure to embrace convenience, culture and appropriate cost. 
  • Examine your brand’s purpose. Brand values matter when marketing to Gen Z. 
  • Creativity is appreciated and celebrated. Memorable creatives should make your brand stand out from competitors and create a unique experience. 

Successfully marketing to Gen Z

Marketing to Gen Z isn’t impossible, but it does require an understanding of the audience and desire to develop the right marketing message. Remember that this generation can be extremely brand loyal, so creating that special connection will be worth it. Take time to develop messaging that hits the mark and uses the best practices above, and your brand will be able to cultivate a strong bond with these buyers. 

Is your target audience Gen Z? Connect with Beyond Fifteen to learn how we can help with your brand develop marketing messages that resonate with this generation.

Connect with a Beyond Fifteen Marketing Specialist today!

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