by Liz Rosenberg, Blogger for InSight Marketing Solutions
They grew up in a time of deep financial crisis. They came of age in a time where reports of terrorism pervaded the nightly news. It’s not your friendly neighborhood grandmother and her weekly mahjong group. It’s the children, tweens, and teens that have never heard of mahjong but have been able to text message since birth. This is Generation Z, the newest and biggest generation around town.
According to Forbes, Generation Z currently makes up about 25% of the U.S. population. Although estimates fluctuate, most people agree that you belong to Generation Z if you were born after the mid-1990s. The oldest ones are in their first years in college or the workforce while the youngest are still in cribs. They may not have a lot of buying power now, but their population size and Internet presence will make them a formidable group in the future.
Generation Z - Courting the Biggest, Baddest Generation on the Block
So why should you market to them now?
- They’re looking for something and someone to trust. They were raised with the knowledge that skyscrapers could disappear at the hands of terrorists. They’ve witnessed attacks in seemingly safe places like schools and movie theaters. Growing up in this environment, Generation Z is understandably reluctant to trust people. If you focus on instilling goodwill amongst Generation Z, you can give them what they really need: something to believe in for the long haul. They’re searching for security, and if you’re willing to be there for them, they will return the favor.
- They may not have money now, but you better believe they will. When they do, they’ll care deeply about how they spend it. They acquired perceptions of money during the Great Recession, under a shadow of high unemployment and debt. They saw houses repossessed and banks on the verge of failure. They are scared of the monetary implications of becoming an adult, but time stops for no woman or man. Eventually they will enter adulthood and will both want and need to spend money. If you’ve already put in the work to win their trust, you will be sitting on a gold mine when these young ones enter the workforce.
- They love to share, and your business deserves the good press. These tech savvy teens and children are masters at Instagram filters and Snapchat selfies. They want to tell people where they’ve been and who they’ve seen. Getting Generation Z on board essentially guarantees word-of-mouth marketing.
After everything that Generation Z has endured from such a young age, they may be tentative to trust you or your brand. But once they do, they will become your most vocal and deep-pocketed supporters. They may be young now, but Generation Z will hold the key to business success for many years to come.
Liz is a blogger for InSight Marketing Solutions and an MBA student at the Yale School of Management. Prior to business school, she was a 12th grade AP Government and Economics teacher in Houston, Texas.
InSight Marketing Solutions is a full-service marketing company. This includes strategic marketing plans, online marketing, website development and strategy, social media, search engine optimization SEO, blogs, email marketing, branding, customer retention and referral, public relations, advertising, promotional items, events, fundraising and community outreach. InSight Marketing Solutions works with businesses of all sizes nationally, regionally and in the Hampton Roads cities of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Newport News, Hampton and Williamsburg.
Sources: forbes.com/sites/kathryndill/2015/11/06/7-things-employers-should-know-about-the-gen-z-workforce/#2715e4857a0b2602cd242188 and nytimes.com/2015/09/20/fashion/move-over-millennials-here-comes-generation-z.html?_r=0
Photos courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net nenetus (girls) and Supertrooper (boy)