Marketing Strategies for Gen Z

April 13, 2020

Every generation has its own tag with the most recently labeled being Generation Z. This demographic is loosely identified as those born between the mid-1990s, into the first decade of the 2000s. Right now, this grouping is made up of teenagers and young adults in college, or just entering the job market.

For businesses, this demographic is highly important as their growing buying power will likely dominate in the coming years. Not to mention, at this stage they already have a strong influence over the purchase decisions that older generations make. It is long established that younger generations tend to set and influence trends.

In the U.S., this group is estimated to have a buying power of about $44 billion, which expands to close to $200 billion when you factor in their influence over parent and home purchases. Their influence over brands is undeniable.

Generation Z is particularly fascinating as they are the ones born into the internet age and as digital natives, are better equipped to navigate cyberspace. They are much more comfortable and adapted to doing online research, cross-referencing, and collecting data before making decisions. In order to appeal to this generation and secure their patronage, it is vital to understand what makes them tick and tailor your marketing efforts to match.

1. Social and Environmental Responsibility

Gen Z are a very empathetic lot. They take consideration and care of the less fortunate very seriously and are drawn to companies and brands that embrace the same values. Brands that cultivate an image of being eco-friendly and socially responsible connect better with this demographic and are rewarded with loyalty and praise.

But appearances are not enough. Because Gen Z is more attuned to weeding out fakes with their online prowess, these attitudes must be at the core of company values. Adopting these attitudes for the sake of a campaign rather than make a full commitment towards caring for the world and its constituents can badly backfire for a business.

2. Personalization

This is a somewhat tricky attribute of Gen Z. On one hand, they expect businesses to offer them a more personalized experience. This is typically accomplished through tracking shopping behavior and preferences. It gives them the sense that they are being considered as individuals and not just another cog in the wheel that adds to revenues.

And on the other hand, they greatly value privacy. They generally dislike having to share personal details online. On the upside, this does not apply, for most, to contact details and purchase history. Especially when the business offers assurances that this data will be kept confidential. The best approach here would be for businesses to take whatever necessary measures to safeguard private information shared and openly declare this commitment.

Also, keep in mind that Gen Z does feel somewhat bombarded by marketing efforts. They resent the disruption through such channels as email and text messages. Businesses need to curtail this approach in favor of interacting with these consumers on their own ground, like Instagram and TikTok.

3. Mobile Optimization

Mobile-friendly sites and snackable content that can be quickly and easily consumed should be the standard now. Three-quarters of Gen Z access the internet regularly through a handheld device. It is also through these devices that the majority will make purchases.

Thanks to the proliferation of Wi-Fi, it has become easier to access the internet wherever through smartphones. Optimizing websites for mobile use helps make them more navigable and improves the likelihood of a Gen Z buyer completing their purchase unhindered.

4. Building Social Media Presence

Gen Z has a distinct manner in which they make use of different social media platforms. It is not quite the same as with other generations. Facebook is mostly for information gathering, Twitter for news, Instagram for posting about themselves, and Snapchat for sharing their experiences. YouTube is also visited for getting shopping recommendations, with Instagram also being top for brand discovery.

It is important to consider how Gen Z uses these platforms when deciding where to build an online presence and what types of content to create. This should also guide you on where to push ads.

5. Entertaining, Educational, Viral Videos

Video content is clearly king for Gen Z. A survey found that YouTube was identified as the coolest brand by Gen Z. This platform was a top pick for those wanting to find entertainment. They also use the platform for more serious pursuits including wanting to learn a skill or gain knowledge. Video content that focuses on selling experiences rather than products tend to have a more profound effect. The goal here is to hint at the benefits of your products, without making the video an opportunity for product placement.

The manner in which Gen Z tends to immerse themselves online has been a worry for many. Ironically, these young people feel they are making deeper real-life connections when watching videos alongside others. Sharing viral videos also allows them to cross-generational divides and relieve the stresses they experience in the real world. Tapping into this medium is important for brands that wish to connect with Gen Z. Understanding the reasons they have a strong preference for video can guide content creation that will meet this need.


Gen Z are a highly lucrative market that can be expected to become more valuable as they age and start taking on bigger purchasing decisions. To ensure a stronghold in this market, businesses will need to better understand what interests them and tailor their marketing efforts to capture their interest and goodwill. From being environmentally conscious to developing meaningful snackable video content, it is important to take a multipronged approach.

Taking a tailored approach when strategizing on how to connect with a target market helps to ensure better results and responsiveness. For the best return on digital marketing efforts, there should be a focus on the technology channels the demographic frequents and customizing content that will have a desirable impact.

Are you looking to better strategize your digital marketing plan this year? Then let us help you. Contact us on 866-530-2729 today.