5 Ways Gen Z Is Changing the Marketing Industry

This is a guest post from Technology Advice.

Who is Generation Z? Though they are often mislabeled as
Millennials, the 72 million people comprise a unique generation on
their own. Made up of the 72 million people born between 1996 and
2010, Gen Z is young, connected, and natives of the internet.
Through their consumer power and their growing presence in business
and retail as they age, Gen Z truly is changing the marketing
industry. Here are 5 ways they’re doing it:

1. They like email.

Sure, Gen Z-ers might be doing other things on the internet more
often than they are checking email. They do have a preference for
texting, social media, and other apps. But they are open to using
email, and they consider it an important tool for staying in touch,
particularly with businesses and retailers. In fact,
in a recent survey,
46 percent of them cited email marketing as
an important factor in their buying decisions.

They are also incredibly open to their own future email use,
even more so than other generations. While only 23 percent of
members of Generation X and 36 percent of Millennials foresee their
personal email use increasing over the next five years,
48 percent of Gen Z was able to say the same.

2. They are results-driven…and they can’t be tricked.

As net natives, Generation Z grew up with technology at its
fingertips. They never experienced a world free of smartphones and
social media like those in the generations before them. So they
know how the internet works. They can spot sponsored content better
than anyone else, but they still want to feel a connection with the
companies they are buying from.

An IBM and National Retail Federation study found that
Gen
Z-ers want to actively share their opinions, collaborate and
co-create with brands
.” Because of this, a personal approach
is important when marketing to Generation Z. You need to really
reach, and that isn’t always necessarily achieved solely through
the product you are trying to pitch.

Truly unique products or services are rare these days.  And the
number of different places to buy online seems without limits.
Whatever it is you are selling, your Gen Z buyers can likely get
something similar from somewhere else. Because of this, you never
want to focus on selling only the product.  Instead, sell the
results, the experience, and what you can do for them.

As you sell, and as they correspond with you directly, make sure
you’re tracking the growth of those relationships through your

customer relationship management system
. By some estimates, a
confirmed email contact, even if they haven’t purchased from you
yet, is worth up to $30 in future revenue (or more, depending on
what you’re selling.) Those contacts are incredibly valuable, so
make sure you treat them that way.

3. You have to make it count.

Because they know they live, it is imperative to be strategic
when marketing to Gen Z. To get—and more importantly, to
keep—their attention, you have to ensure you are providing good
quality content, with no filler.

Strategic timing is another key element of successful email
marketing to Gen Z. Time your email blasts carefully, and make sure
you aren’t sending out too many. They don’t check it all that
often, and you want to have a meaningful presence in their inbox
when they finally do open it. Too many emails will overwhelm and
they will all get tossed in the trash.

Instead, use smart analytics to understand how your emails are
being received, what subject
lines
will pique their interest, how often they are being
opened, and when.

4. If it doesn’t work on mobile, it doesn’t work—period.

Chances are good your Gen Z recipients are checking their email,
texts, and social media not on a desktop or laptop, but on mobile.
That’s how they access most of the web. So your content is only
going to get the job done if it functions flawlessly on that
platform.

Ideally, your sites, emails and apps are mobile-first designed.
 At the very least, you need to ensure that all your text, photos,
graphics, links and embedded videos all look great and load quickly
when opened on a smartphone or tablet device.

With
85 percent of Generation Z
citing an easy mobile experience as
the most important element of making a purchase, optimizing your
mobile display in every email is a step you definitely cannot
skip.

We should assume no one will take the time to read through an
email that is formatted poorly or doesn’t show up well on a
phone. And, since they likely won’t take time to reread it later
on a computer, make sure you get it right the first time, every
time.

5. They are the future…

…and as such, they represent the coming New Normal. Though
some Gen Zers are still pretty young, overall their generation is
the one we should start tailoring our marketing strategies to.

They do—or are at least starting to—hold buying power. A
recent survey of digital marketers found that
62 percent of digital advertising’s decision makers
have
their sights set on Gen Z. They consider them a top priority, more
so even than Baby Boomers or Millennials, perhaps in part because
they know Gen Zers are starting to act on brand preferences
now.

Though members of Generation Z are still young—the oldest
among them are just now entering their 20s—they are starting to
make buying decisions that will shape the brand landscape for years
to come. Now is the time to be making plans for how to meet the
demands of this connected, force-to-be-reckoned-with
generation.

Laura Hudgens is a writer for TechnologyAdvice.com. She is a
communications instructor and freelance writer who studies and
writes about technology, media, science, and health.

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5 Ways Gen Z Is Changing the Marketing Industry
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5 Ways Gen Z Is Changing the Marketing Industry