It’s back to school season and as Gen Zers head to college, marketers are realizing that they present a unique challenge. Ilyse Liffreing of Digiday reports that, while often grouped with millennials, Gen Zers are at “different life stages, care about completely different things and need to be programmed for and communicated to entirely differently.”
This realization has spurred an effort by agencies to begin researching this audience. Characterized by a progressive ideology and short attention span, Gen Z is very digitally savvy, having never known life without internet access. This generation also saw their parents go through a recession, in turn affecting their own purchasing behaviors.
Agencies and brands “are bulking up their own Gen Z expertise.” In order to help brands establish a connection, the Day One Agency created a website where Gen Zers answer questions covering various topics and the NFL partnered with AwesomenessTV for a series targeting Gen Z fans.
Sony Music Entertainment even created its own video production company, called Astronauts Wanted, to reach Gen Z. When asked what sets this group apart, Christine Murphy, Astronauts Wanted’s svp of branded entertainment, said, “They kind of have this heightened sense of intuition… and they really are progressive.”
It is estimated that by 2020, Gen Z will number 2.6 billion and have an annual purchasing power of $44 billion. It would be wise for marketers to begin differentiating between millennials and Gen Z.