January 2, 2019 Last updated January 2nd, 2019 1,812 Reads share

What Makes Gen-Z Tick

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Generation Z – those born after the mid-1990s represent a powerful and dominant group with a lot of buying power. But marketing to them isn’t easy as they have digital in their DNA. Since they are engaged, ambitious, and ultra-communicators, so their approach to buying is quite different.

By 2020, Gen Z will constitute one-third of the US population according to a study. Thus, the brands need to be geared up to match the needs of this important customer segment.

To offer them premium customer experience and design effective marketing strategies, you must first know them as well as their preferences.

Wondering how Gen Xers communicate with each other? And how your business can serve them better?

Let’s walk you through the ways in which this generation uses social media, consumes media and shops. Plus we also present the strategies, you can employ to meet the varying needs of this digitally demanding generation.

How Gen Z uses social media?

The Gen Xers grew up during the most game-changing and accelerated periods of technological advancements in human history.

Surveys have shown that they spend over 3 hours 38 minutes on their smartphones. This is almost 50 minutes longer than an average internet user.

They are video-centric, fearful of missing out, and authentic story seekers. 24 by 7 access to the information on their mobiles completely redefines how they communicate, network, or buy.

How Gen Zers consume media?

It’s essential for the media companies to understand how this new customer segment consumes content. They generally use their smartphones for media and entertainment. About half of them are connected online about 10 hours a day on their mobiles.

Being digital natives, media consumption is embedded in their daily lives. So, they do not need to even make a conscious decision to consume content. Indeed, they use OTT (over-the-top) services for video content and do not watch satellite or cable TV.

Mobile devices are their source of entertainment which they use to watch their favorite TV shows, music, and videos for more than three hours every day.

Redesigning retail for Gen Z

The old rules of retail do not apply to this Generation. So how brand owners and retailers engage with these shoppers with a shorter attention span but a sharper eye?

The shopping habits of this generation vary from others as they are happier with access than with ownership. They hop between retailers snapping pics and screen grabs and leave a trail of hashtags. Also, they expect businesses to be accessible at all times and at all places.

Gen Xers differ considerably from a millennial customer in their spending habits. In fact, they are really shrewd with money. They tend to comparison shop and leverage various tools to hunt for the best prices.

The Gen Z retail insights which have emerged from industry research show:

  • These digital natives expect a seamless retail experience.
  • Being tech-savvy they do not trust marketers but trust their peers and will not pay more for ownership if they can pay less for access.
  • Retail trends have shown they would opt for products that can be made available quickly and then improved regularly with their inputs.
  • Statistics prove they use multiple platforms instead of owning multiple devices. They talk about social media channels instead of hardware tech manufacturers. The avatars have replaced their usernames as the symbol of their identity.
  • They expect constant innovation and like the products that change frequently.


How to market to Gen Z?

The members of this generation are anticipated to make up around 40% of the customer market in a few years. With more people from this group joining the workforce in the near future, their purchasing power is projected to increase.

You cannot ignore the enormous potential of this untapped market. To successfully market your products, you’ll have to come up with appropriate strategies to target and engage them. Firstly, you need to understand their psychology and personality and only then you can engage them effectively.

The Gen Z members are technologically inclined with incredibly short attention spans. They focus on self-education and desire to contribute to make the world a better place.

Strategies to Market to Gen Z

Marketers can maximize the potential of this customer base by employing the following strategies:

  • Be mobile-friendly: Design and optimize the content for mobile usage, as this generation uses a variety of screen sizes for their daily tasks. You can create mobile-friendly materials that can be accessed with ease. Break up long paragraphs into shorter sentences or use bullet points or subheadings. Adding a lot of white space will make your page easier to navigate and read. Also, get rid of pop-ups as these turn out to be a huge turn-off.
  • Present shorter and crisp content: As Gen Z has an attention span of eight seconds, so they have no patience for long and winding pitches. You must get right into the heart of the matter as the post-millennials won’t stay just to understand what you are trying to sell or offer them. Use visuals instead of plain text to keep them interested. Be creative and use more GIF’s, images, emoji, etc.
  • Create videos: A video can help you capture the interest of your audience, relay message clearly and concisely, and boost your brand’s reputation. You can take advantage of YouTube to reach and engage Generation Z. The videos you create must be entertaining as well as educational. Embrace edutainment to keep up with the demands of this generation.
  • Support social causes: You can reach Gen Z by showing how you care and support for worthy causes. They appreciate the socially conscious brands. You may need to gear up your efforts towards philanthropy as part of your company values.


Gen Z digital natives are go-getters, ambitious, engaged and ultra-communicators. This is the first generation born and raised in the internet era where being digital savvy is a norm. You need to identify and understand the Gen Z trends and their psychology to identify what makes them tick.

What strategies do you employ to engage and market to these digital natives? Comment and let us know.

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Shuchi Sankhyayan

Shuchi Sankhyayan

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