The thing is that technology is shaping much more than most of us can imagine. Being one of the Millennials, I can say that I still remember times when most of my interactions with the world weren’t happening by means of devices. To be honest, I remember life with no devices at all. You think I am too old? If you do, it may mean that you are one of generation Z. And if you don’t, you may wonder whether you should care about this generation thing at all.
Either you are running business, or working in marketing/sales, you definitely should, and I will explain you why. Generation Z include people that were born after 1995. So, they just started a career and earning their first money (sometimes way more than their parents🤭).By 2020, they will make up 40% of all consumers. According to Nielsen’s Total Audience report, today generation Z is the largest single segment – 26%.
Therefore, they are ready to become your target audience. However, members of this generation are quite different than Millennials, which means that you cannot effectively apply to them the same marketing approaches that you use with Millennials. For instance, as research shows, they spend less time on watching TV and would less likely access the Internet from PCs than Millennials. (In fact, on average they spend online just 8 mins from their PC versus the rest of the time from their mobile devices.)
During the event, David mentioned the key points of understanding what generation Z values – which we definitely loved – speed + quality, healthy life, freedom and community. In this part, we tried to extend them by adding results of our research and what we have learned from our experience.
- Speed + quality
You want it or not – but people who are born with these things as a part of their natural environment are different from those who learned how to deal with them being older. Yes, it’s a fact, and you need to consider the differences in consumers psychology with the regard to it.
While Millennials witnessed the shift from traditional customer service, which necessarily included such things like no way to purchase sth but go and get it, no other options to order sth except calling, human factor as a substantial part of customer service, etc. What came after? Customer service became automated.
- Healthy life
Comparing to workaholic Millennials that can survive without food, with liters of coffee only, generation Z cares about their health. They don’t overwork when it’s not really necessary and pay special attention to balancing out all life parts in the first instance. Moreover, they care about environment and prefer ecological products. Therefore, if you want to use their preferences for targeting, create products that can help them create the life they want to live.
Either it goes about work or communication, generation Z representatives value mindfulness. They don’t agree to do things just because they should. Individuality is important to them. That’s why when they use services, they primarily pay attention to such things as communication part with the service and how it expresses its individuality.
This generation is definitely a smart one, but also it’s extremely friendly. All the time they are sharing emotions by means of apps like Instagram and Snapchat. That’s why instant connection is so important to them.
As David has pointfully mentioned, there’s such difference of how Millennials and gen-Z use smartphones during festivals. While the former usually make pictures that say: “Hey! Look where I am! Meanwhile, be jealous sitting at home!”, gen-Z are used to take selfies with friends that say: “Hey! Look how happy we are! Join us!”
Summarizing all mentioned above, we can say that emotional component is the most important thing in how to engage with generation Z. Make them laugh, cry, or whatever else but do bother about creating an emotional connection!
One more powerful hack of dealing with gen-Z is to create something that is helpful for society because they do care about it! So make sure you keep it balanced out – in the end of the day, you don’t want it to be just about selling, right? 😌
Here’s some more data. According to “Think with Google” statistics, “today’s teens got their first phone when they were around 12”. Moreover, 78% of gen-Z representatives have smartphones nowadays. Millennials and earlier generations witnessed the appearance of first smartphones (remember Nokia 1100? 🤩), but Z’s could observe only the appearance of new versions of iPhone, Android, Windows.
Today’s teens spend more than three hours per day watching videos on their phone and using instant messaging apps. They don’t call taxi anymore. Instead of going to buy gifts and flowers in our break hours, they text delivery service on messengers. Gen-Z have never seen the world without devices, which undoubtedly influences the way they deal with products and services. Those things that most of us consider to be cool seem to be just normal for gen-Z.
Apparently, representatives of generation Z value instant services and don’t want to waste time on things that are supposed to be fast. While Millennials (and earlier generations) are more inclined to compromise on CS, generation Z people won’t just accept lack of quality, but go and find sth better.
What does it mean for us, business owners, marketers, and salespeople, whose targeting audience is generation Z?
- Easier and faster
Instead of making things sophisticated, we should make them easy and fast. You have just 8 second to keep their attention! So instead of using human support on the website, add chatbot to your social media channels and combine automation with the human assistance.
Francois Jobin, a co-founder at Wirkn, mentioned the most popular chatbots among teens: “Some of the most popular bots that are finding success with this elusive audience include Sephora & H&M for makeup and wardrobe tips, Weather.com for just what it says, and a variety of games and fun bots like daily joke bot Funny or Die.”
- Messenger as the main marketing channel
Next important thing is marketing channels. If your buyer persona is of generation Z, it’s so obvious that you don’t even need to research it. Messengers are the main place where you can find them. Example: instead of setting up email campaigns, it’s more relevant for targeting generation Z to use messenger automation.
- Chatbots as the tool to create human-like services
Gen-Z are individualists, thus they value personalized approach in just everything, and chatbots are a great tool for that. Make your chatbot friendly and funny. There are always ways of making conversation really engaging.
What can we learn from this?
Again, compromising on things don’t work here. Nowadays, it’s critical for services to be responsive on social media. The perfect scenario happens when they show how they work from inside, staying close to the audience. The solution isn’t just to have a conversational interface, which can be a pretty straightforward answer, but using smart automation that behaves in a human-like fashion and thus provides a remarkable user experience. I have already noted that and I need to remind you about it here – to create worthy user experience, it’s not enough to run messenger automation, but it should be combined with human support.
It’s the age of instant connection and personalized experiences, and gen-Z is proving that by preferring messengers and chatbots. Therefore, the more you leverage smart automation, the more chances you have to to build strong relationships with the people of generation Z.
This article was published in cooperation with Diana Dalkevych.