Future Now: The Audience of the Future is Generation Z

29 Nov 2018 | Audience Development, Marketing, Segmentation

As we’ve been exploring the AMA’s theme of Future Now this week, we’ve been looking a lot at practical applications, conversions, case studies and getting to grips with data driven thinking. But we’ve skipped a big part of the future picture . . .who are our next customers and what are they like? Today we are going to take a peek into Generation Z - the audience of the future (and maybe even one of your audiences now).

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Generation Z in a Nutshell

Born between roughly 1995 and 2015, Generation Z and have grown up in the digital age. They are true digital natives; they have never known a time before digital. The oldest cohort of this group are just beginning their adult lives, and are our next generation of theatregoers, venue hirers, promoters, and marketers. So who is Generation Z?

  • 3 - 23 years old (note that what we understand about Generation Z right now comes from the older members of this group)

  • They are very politically driven

  • They have been exposed to an unprecedented amount of technology, According to U.S. consultants Sparks and Honey in 2014, 41% of Generation Z spend more than three hours per day using computers for purposes other than schoolwork, compared with 22% in 2004.

  • Genderfluid and have a live and let live attitude

  • The are engaged with each other, but are fiercely independent.

  • They are empowered to share.

  • Self identify as being loyal, compassionate, thoughtful, open-minded, responsible, and determined.

  • Look to Instagram and Youtube for the role models.

  • They will choose jobs based on a positive and flexible work environment over high salary.

  • Suggestive advertisement - for example, tailored adverts (Netflix suggestions of “you may also like…”).

  • Spend 24% of their money on food - they care about the food they eat and we have seen a massive increase in veganism and gluten-free living.

  • Conservative attitudes (they are not big into partying or drinking), but their beliefs are quite liberal, especially when it comes to identity, gender, race, and sexuality.

  • They are inclusive, but also have an independent streak.

If You Want Gen Z’s Attention You Better Get Real

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Gen Z is looking for brands that are real and honest - transparency and authenticity is key for them. That means speaking to them like a human - and making real connections is critical. They love to connect with brands that stand for something - not just pay lip service to ideas - but really live them. There are three things to keep in mind when targeting Generation Z:

  1. Be where they are online (more on this below).
  2. Real talk - be authentic and really engage.
  3. Don’t force it - content for one is not content for all - if it was designed for YouTube, it may not work on Instagram. Be selective.

When Thinking Strategy Think Like A Customer Not a Marketer

They are socially and technologically empowered, and fiercely independent and entrepreneurial. This means messages must change from “we can get you there” to “ we can help you get yourself there.”  Have an opinion - being part of something bigger is really attractive to Gen Z.

Another key to Generation Z is how they use technology. Just look at yourself. How many digital devices are around you right now? I can count three right on my desk - a tablet, an smartphone and a desktop. Wait, make that four - there is a laptop hiding under some papers. Being from a (cough, cough) older generation, I am certainly not a digital native - but my kids - firmly Gen Zers - have known nothing else but a digital world. They are constantly bombarded with messages, ads, posts - it is never ending and it is hard to get away. Which means - if you want their attention you have to convince them you are worth it - and be at the right place. For example, for Gen Zers Facebook is not a channel for sharing but rather an informational hub. Snapchat, by contrast, is the real-life platform, where teens share what they’re up to privately with select friend groups. Instagram, meanwhile is the aspirational platform, where they post only carefully groomed images of themselves.

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What Apps are Gen Z Using?

  • Instagram is the most popular app for brand discovery with 45 percent of teens using it to find cool new products

  • Facebook comes in at 40 percent of usage - and really is only used for information. 

  • Gen Z uses Twitter for news.
  • And before making a purchase? Gen Zers are two times more likely than Millennials to turn to YouTube.

  • Gen Z girls are more likely to be on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest and Tumblr, while Gen Z boys are more inclined to spend time on Twitch, TV, and Reddit.

  • They are multitaskers, so think multiplatform when creating campaigns. Video on mobile versus desktop etc.

  • They are very mobile-driven so make sure you are mobile optimised.

  • They are very visual (think memes and emojis) and they have short attention spans so be sure to use plenty of video in your campaigns and keep it tight.

  • Growing up as digital natives means they take privacy very seriously and expect the organisations they engage with to  be the same. 

  • Forget celebs - think micro influencers. YouTubers and Twitch streamers are more interesting to Gen Z.

Collaborative Marketing Works Better With Generation Z

Let’s consider a different approach for Gen Z - what if we viewed them as collaborators and where each of them were brand ambassadors? Why this collaborative / bigger than approach? Generation Z has the need for something more than “just being sold to”. Think about retail brands like TOMS (a pair of shoes is donated with each purchase to someone in need). Or Mossman Australia that invited customers to design swimwear. The winning design and designer got tons of exposure and Mossman’s brand became an instant hit. These campaigns all capture the spirit that Gen Zers love.

Within the arts and culture sector, we already have an advantage of standing for something and being important to the overall good of society. But it is how you capture that goodwill and get Gen Z’s attention.  

The next generation is certainly tech-savvy, socially conscious and politically engaged. This is an audience that will respond best to marketing that isn’t too earnest or self-conscious, but takes a more creative and open-ended approach. Ticketsolve can help you make the most of this marketing through powerful integration with Google Analytics and Mailchimp, so next time you’re starting a campaign, don’t forget about Gen Z!

PS: And if you are already thinking past Gen Z - you are looking at what is currently referred to as Generation Alpha. This includes anyone born from around 2013 to 2030. Generation Alpha is set to come of age from about 2030 to 2040.

And don't forget to sign up for The Future Now AMA Digital Marketing Day (Glasgow and London) on the 5th of December - we'll see you there!

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Future Now AMA Digital Marketing Day

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