4 Shocking Stats about Gen Z and What it Means for Your Business.

Emily Hamid

by Emily Hamid



Get into the heads of Generation Z and find out what you need to know to adapt your social media strategy to remain in this crazy game we call…digital marketing.

If you aren’t part of Generation Z, I’m going to tell you some shocking facts that will ultimately help you in your future marketing activities. And if you are part of the Generation Zer’s, I’m going to pick apart your consumer and brand loyalty habits and call you needy, so be warned. But, we’ll also call you the soon-to-be most influential generation due to approximately $143 billion USD total spending power in 2018 and more estimated in the years to come.*

Who exactly is Gen Z? Gen Z is loosely defined as anyone born between 1997 and 2010.* They are not only “digital natives,” who grew up with high tech in the home and the internet, but more distinctly, they grew up with social media. Let’s summarize them as, everyone who can use a smart phone straight out of the womb.

The most important thing to know is that they will become the largest population of consumers by 2026.*

Estimated US Consumer Population in 2026:*

  • 14M Silent Generation
  • 66M Baby Boomers
  • 65M Gen X
  • 80M Millennials
  • 82M Gen Z
  • 43M Gen Alpha

Which is why brands have to learn everything they can about Generation Z – their values, characteristics, consumption habits, what makes them loyal to a brand, frustrations and more in order to step up their social media marketing – and as the Gen Zer’s would respond, #WhyAreYouSoObsessedWithMe?

“47% of Gen Zers who engaged with a brand feel dissatisfied or neutral about that brand’s response.”

This means marketers have to perform above and beyond in the customer care area and all interactions on social. Neutral sentiment towards brands and mediocre community management for “just getting by” is no longer acceptable from a social media marketing perspective. It will be necessary to make the interaction exceptional in order to be memorable in a positive way.

“44% of Gen Zs, if given the chance, would submit ideas for product designs.”*

Involving your customers is becoming increasingly important. We’ve all heard of contests that have gone viral for the worst reasons – one’s where customers were asked for product ideas and it horribly backfired. Those are brazen examples of precisely what not to do. Gen Z customers simply want a voice – to be heard and to make a difference. Actually listen to them and let them know that you are listening. There are so many social listening and deep listening tools out there these days – use them. But if that’s not your expertise, we can help. #ShamelessPlug

“45% are more favorable to brands that have been endorsed by celebrities or athletes.”* But, “63% of Gen Z members prefer real people to celebrities when it comes to advertisements.”*

It’s not shocking that the younger generation is skeptical of celebrity endorsements – we now know what really goes on behind those advertisements. But even though the influencer boom works almost exactly the same way, with sponsorships, Gen Zers are more inclined to trust “real people”. Of course, in today’s social media age the lines are blurred and the meaning of “celebrity”, “real-ness” and “authenticity” is all a matter of perception. Nonetheless, this statistic proves that some form of influencer endorsements are here to stay. Whether it moves more towards the realm of community influence by “real people,” only time will tell.

“76% of Gen Zers want brands to respond to their voices and feedback — and view "responsiveness" as a metric of a brand’s “authenticity”.”*

Brands can no longer hide behind their shiny campaigns like in the ‘60s. Interact with your audience and most importantly, be real. Your audience does not only want to see a personality or face behind the brand, but they want to see an authentic one. Your Gen Z audience is smarter than ever, meaning they’ll call you out on fake responses or marketing ploys, especially on social.

The verdict? If you are targeting Generation Z, customer centricity is key - carefully listening and acknowledging their values and needs, nurturing thoughtful interaction, then offering genuine responses and acknowledgement through actions – like I said at the beginning, needy.

That’s all well and good, but what’s the real lesson here? Gen Z is the now, but what, or rather who, is next? In this ever-changing market, adaptability is the biggest strength if you want to continue reaching younger customers and the newest group of major consumers. Get in touch to learn how EIGHTYDOTS can help you adapt and innovate your marketing strategy to create immediate and lasting impact.

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