Who makes up Generation Z (Gen Z)?
Those born after 1996 make up this new generation of consumers. Most of them were born into a world where technology exists everywhere and in every area of their lives – therefore, technology is a huge driving force in their consumer decisions.
For this group, social media is an important part of their everyday lives. Diversity is also a huge representation of this generation, as they are a very inclusive generation. Let’s explore each characteristic and talk about how marketers and advertisers can best target members of Gen Z.
A Technological World
Gen Z does not know of a world without the Internet, streaming videos, smart phones, and social media. Because of this, they favor small amounts of streaming content when it comes to advertising, and they are mostly consumed on their phones, tablets, or computers through apps like YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook.
Connected through Social Media
Social media apps are the main source for how members of Gen Z consume media daily. For Gen Z, social media is how they stay connected with their friends/family, and influencers. What are influencers? Influencers are those found on apps like Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Music.ly. They are the ones who have thousands of followers on these platforms; they are becoming an increasingly important driver of consumption and consumer decision-making for Gen Z.
The Rise of Digital Media Influencers
Unlike previous generations who idolized famous TV or movie stars, members of Gen Z fawn over the “digitally famous” – normal teens/young adults who received their fame through Vine, Snapchat, YouTube, Music.ly, or Twitter. Marketers should take notice of the increasing trend of using influencers to endorse their products to their audiences. These influencers have an unusual pull on their followers, Gen Z is influenced easily by them since they can identify and relate to them as opposed to a traditional celebrity. According to Defy Media’s 2016 survey (shown by the graph), Gen Z is more likely to follow on social media and make purchases recommended by their favorite YouTube influencers than traditional celebrities.