As the attention of advertisers shifts from Millennials to Gen Z, new trends in marketing are bound to emerge to accommodate this group. Those ages 18-24 were the subject of a recent article from Facebook titled, “Gen Z: Getting to Know the ‘Me Is We’ Generation.”
Gen Z operates on a core set of values that brands can leverage to create powerful content that resonates with this group of 2.4 billion young people. This generation is expected to influence 143 billion dollars in spending just in the United States. Here’s what Facebook is saying about the ‘Me is We’ generation.
Confident, Caring, and Mature
Influenced by Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials, Gen Zers are a unique combination of all three generations preceding them. They are strong yet kindhearted, independent yet they possess a sense that they belong to something larger than themselves. Gen Zers value inclusivity, diversity, equality, and sustainability. They care deeply about the Earth and the people who inhabit it.
Marketing to Global Citizens
According to Facebook’s report, Gen Zers are well aware of the world around them. They see themselves not just as citizens of their own countries, but as citizens of the world. This global worldview is widely held by Gen Z. Below, you can see it broken down by country. When Gen Zers from different countries were asked if they see themselves as global citizens, these were the results.
- United States-52%
These insights from Facebook are incredibly useful when developing marketing campaigns. It’s clear that Gen Zers care about the world around them, and advertisers should market to them accordingly. Brands that can authentically connect with this generation on the basis of altruistic values will garner the most attention and make the most sales.
Creating a Community
As individual as Gen Zers may be, they thrive on creating authentic, value-driven connections within their communities. If a brand is able to contribute to a community, Gen Zers will welcome it with open arms. They post in online communities in a way that ignites passion and helps others. Reciprocity is a non-negotiable among Gen Zers.
Brands should strive to resonate with Gen Zers’ passions. By offering exclusive experiences and collaborations, companies are able to get directly involved with the Gen Z customer base. Personalized, individual-specific communications are valuable currency when marketing to this generation. A whopping 60% of those surveyed prefer to talk to brands via instant messaging.
Connecting to Culture
With instant access to facts, opinions, books, movies, music, and more right at their fingertips, it’s no surprise that Gen Zers are curious, questioning individuals. They can easily nurture their interests and get involved with cultures and lifestyles they find intriguing. Instagram is the platform of choice when exploring avenues such as music, travel, fashion, film, and food.
As a brand, the best way to reach this generation, according to Facebook, is to use visuals to convey your message. Your content marketing strategy should no longer be limited to long articles and text-only social media posts. Gen Zers are known for communicating in GIFs, stickers, emojis, and images. The more you incorporate visuals into your strategy, the better your connection to your audience will likely be.
A striking 77% of Gen Zers say they favor a brand if it promotes gender equality across social platforms. Equality is at the root of what this remarkable generation holds near and dear. Whether it’s transgender rights, body positivity, or combating racism and homophobia, Gen Zers aren’t afraid to fight for what they believe in, and they expect brands to take a stand too.
Based on Facebook’s findings, it’s clear that Gen Zers value sustainability and eco-consciousness. According to Facebook, 61% of Gen Zers would pay more money for ethical products that have a lower impact on the Earth and its people. This desire to protect and preserve natural resources stems from Gen Zers’ deep sense of connection to the world around them. Their ‘Me is We” attitude compels them to care about how their everyday decisions will impact the world.
Key Takeaways for Marketing to Gen Zers
At the end of the analysis, Facebook provides marketers with several strategies they can implement to make good use of the data presented in the article.
If you want to market to this generation, you have to go to where they hang out online. Craft your words and curate images that speak to diversity, non-traditional lifestyles, and a global worldview. Then, deploy your content across the generation’s favorite platforms such as Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger.
Selfish brands won’t stand out to Gen Zers. Brands who find ways to contribute to the greater good of society will reap the benefits of their altruism in the form of the internet’s most valuable currency: attention. Your brand’s way of giving back can’t be inauthentic or random. Find a way to directly tie the good you are doing back to your brand in order to connect with Gen Zers.
Rather than focusing on Gen Zers as potential customers, it’s best to start showing up in the communities that have formed around this generation’s passions, interests, and causes. Marketers should shift their focus from customer avatars and begin to consider community demographics. They can then form their marketing strategy around maintaining an open line of communication and an active effort to participate in the dialogues that matter to Gen Zers.
A Final Word on ‘Me is We’
If marketers want to resonate with Gen Zers, it’s going to require an overhaul of the way they approach advertising. Gone are the days when pretentious, flashy ads promising a life of luxury and material goods were enough to make products fly off of the shelves. When it comes to this generation, marketers will find that altruism, human connection, and love must be exhibited in order to resonate and generate sales.