Monday, September 21, 2015

Marketers Plan to Target Gen Z

Generation Z (people born during the period of roughly 1996-2010) is becoming the marketing target du jour. Sunday's New York Times included a long article comparing Gen Z with Millennials and concluding that Gen Z is a distinctly different target market.

The differences go deeper than age. Note that Gen Zers range in age from kindergarten kids to college students, whereas Millennials are just graduating college and the older cohort segments are in their 30s, establishing their careers and their families.

Ad Age points out that Gen Z is the most diverse and multicultural consumer group in American history, and that Gen Zers are planning to make their own success, having grown up during the difficult Great Recession period, not to mention global unrest.

Fast Company observes that Gen Z has entrepreneurial drive and ambition. They saw adults lose jobs during the economic upheaval. They also witnessed the rise of entrepreneurial heroes who can make a difference, locally and globally. Plus they're digital natives, and apps are a natural.

Public Relations Society of America notes that members of Gen Z are realists. They're mobile-savvy and information-hungry. Sharing (info, images, etc) has always been part of their cohort culture.

Direct Marketing mentions the buying power and behavior of Gen Z, including their readiness to spend on food as well as clothes; their Facebook fluency; and their influence on household buying, especially food.

As so many headlines say, "Move over, Millennials." Members of Gen Z have their own wants, needs, hopes, priorities, and patterns that businesses must understand to be effective in marketing to this emerging consumer group.

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