Out With Millennials, In With Generation Z


For the past few years, advertising agencies have been focused on capturing millennials' engagement, but now it's time to look at the impact that Generation Z (born in the mid-1990s to the early 2000s) is already making on the marketing industry. 

Gen Z has had technology at their fingertips their entire lives, and with that comes a digital expertise unmatched by any other generation. Not every business will need to target these young adults, however, those that do will have to evolve their advertising strategies—and fast. Gen Z is estimated to make up 40% of the population by 2020 and already represents around $143 billion in buying power. Our Boca Raton advertising agency suggests that marketers quickly build recognition with Gen Z using the following tips in order to capitalize on their loyalty and buying power in the very near future (harsh, but a reality). 

Influencer Marketing 

One of the biggest differences between millennials and Gen Z is the favored use of influencer marketing. Nonetheless, the effectiveness is contingent on the influencer. Iconic celebrities have been paid thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars to promote products on social media—yet this type of campaign won't work with the younger demographic. These young adults prefer to be approached by more relatable people such as admired Youtube and Instagram vloggers. As they age, we do not expect this preference to fade away, giving companies the opportunity to explore and test the best influencers for their products or services. 

Accounting for Attention Span and Platform Preference 

Millennials’ average attention span is 12 seconds, but it has been reported that Gen Zers’ span is only a fleeting 8 seconds. Providing quality and engaging content that appeals to this audience and captures their attention is more important than ever. Businesses need to immerse themselves in their world to understand what this generation enjoys and what captures attention. While it requires companies to vigilantly stay up-to-date on relevant social media trends, the return in engagement will be more than worth it.

For reference, here are some important statistics to remember when targeting Gen Z.

Top Social Media Platform Preferences:

  1. Youtube

  2. Facebook

  3. Instagram

  4. Snapchat

  5. Twitter

  6. WhatsApp

  7. Pinterest 

The right social media platform used to attract this generation’s attention is just as important as the content. Businesses need to adjust their messaging when using each social media channel in order to fit the reasons why Gen Z uses them. 

According to a study conducted by Response Media, Gen Z:

  • Shares their desirable selves on Instagram

  • Displays real-life moments on Snapchat

  • Discovers news on Twitter

  • Watches informational videos on Facebook

Using this information, messages can be tailored based on the preferred social media platform and how frequently it is being used. Successful marketing tactics include videos, short text, images, and live streaming. These are great ways to have this young population interact with a company and get their attention. 

Gaining Trust by Taking a Stand 

Gen Zers are known to have more pragmatic and civic mindsets, which creates a demand for more cause-related brands that contribute positively to society and take a stand on environmental, political, and other relevant issues. This demographic is more impacted by the values and missions that reflect their personal morals and beliefs. Businesses need to make sure they are clearly and repeatedly expressing their values to Gen Z in a transparent and authentic way in order to obtain brand loyalty. 

Here are values that resonate the most with Generation Z:

  • Family 

  • Individuality 

  • Human Equality

  • Personal Success

  • Financial Security 

  • Authenticity and Transparency 

It's pointless for a company to attempt to take a stand publicly if they haven’t decided on any corporate values or missions, or even worse, just aren’t sticking to them. This is where having a powerful and effective brand strategy comes into play. A brand strategy acts as a road map for executives and employees when deciding what exactly they stand for and can be extremely helpful when trying to foster emotional connections with Gen Z.


Need to strengthen your brand strategy? Looking to find out more about marketing trends you will see in 2019? Call Keenability today for a free consultation.