Zeroing in on Generation Z

Not so long ago, members of Generation Z (born between the mid-to-late 1990s and the early 2010s) were considered as the “customers of tomorrow.” Well, tomorrow is now today, and this generation—which has a lot of power—has very definite preferences when it comes to what brands they will follow and purchase. Are you up to date on what “Gen Z” is looking for? And are you aware of how you can reach them even more? (Hint: It’s not through their mobile devices.)

Generational shift

It may be hard to believe, but it was only a few years ago when brands focused their marketing efforts on Generations X and Y—with Generation Z visible on the horizon. Today, the presence of these younger shoppers has taken root and made an impact. Attention to Generation Z is among the top trends that marketers needed to keep up with in 2023. A recent article in Forbes gathered findings from experts at Forrester, Gartner, and Experience Dynamic, and declared the need for brands and businesses to readjust and adapt to the marketing demands of Generation Z.

What makes Generation Z unique

Each generation has certain differences which distinguish it from earlier and later age groups. Where Generation Z is concerned, these shoppers…

  • Were born in and grew up in an age of particularly sophisticated technology—specifically, smartphones.
  • Saw digital ads, knew what social media was, and became mobile-savvy very early in life.
  • Are influenced by their peers in regard to shopping and following particular brands.
  • Prioritize transparency, ethics, and authenticity above everything else.

All of the points listed above overlap and affect the other. For example, Leah Leachman of Gartner stated that 76 percent of customers would recommend a brand that offers an exceptional digital experience. This then underlines the second point of the importance of being “digital first,” and the potential this has on attracting more followers/customers based on peer recommendation. Oh, and where digital is concerned, keep in mind that there is more to this presence than desktop computers and mobile devices…

Generation Z and out-of-home advertising—with digital

As the purchase power and brand expectations of Generation Z increase, there is another method which marketers should strongly consider in attracting the attention of these young shoppers. Earlier this year, it was reported that out-of-home (OOH) advertising—billboards, bus wraps, and subway cards, among other examples—was making an unexpected comeback as a powerful marketing tool. Adding digital to these outdoor displays has strengthened the power and relevancy of OOH, and vaulted it into the future. Now, DOOH ads are visible in venues such as malls, gyms, and even schools, among other places which reach greater numbers of people, regardless of their age (or generation). Despite all of these advantages, will Generation Z be receptive to DOOH ads?

The advertising tastes of Generation Z

As explained in The Drum, since Generation Z generally wishes to maintain its collective individuality, these young people likely shy away from types of digital ads that appeared in “the old days,” as almost 100 percent of them will bypass an ad (if that’s an option) and actively apply ad blockers to their computers and mobile devices. Perhaps surprisingly, just over half of Generation Z have positive opinions of OOH ads. That’s because unlike pop-up ads, which can be distracting, a stationary OOH ad literally stands alone. It can be passed by or paid attention to. The choice is with the person who sees it. If a brand were to be represented via a DOOH ad (remember, this is a “digital-first” audience) that related to the values of Generation Z, the positive perceptions of this advertising, which would extend to the brand, would increase—greatly.

Points to keep in mind for a Generation Z and DOOH relationship

Marketers who want to try reaching members of Generation Z through DOOH should create ads that…

  • Tell interesting stories that are relatable
  • Feature diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Apply user-generated content
  • Have humor

And, it goes without saying, these ads must be authentic.

Do you think members of Generation Z would appreciate what goods and services your brand has to offer? The EGC Group will not only help your brand become visible to this young audience, but do so through methods which they relate to—from social media to digital out-of-home advertising, among others.

Give us a call, and we will help you bridge the “Generation Z gap.”