Yes, it’s true: Gen Z is more global than previous generations. But that doesn’t mean they all share the same jokes, memes or slang. Just because Gen Z students frequent similar restaurants -- whether they’re New York or Sydney -- doesn’t mean they don’t have cultural differences.
Earlier this October, Alex Gallagher, CMO of UNiDAYS, spoke at Advertising Week in New York about the relationship between marketers and Generation Z — and the need for marketers to understand their own particular brand’s relation to Gen Z in all its depth, nuance and detail.
In the age of buzzword bingo, every CMO is bombarded with news of groundbreaking technologies and new trends. While I haven’t achieved CMO status just yet, I’m still targeted with a barrage of ads and messaging on LinkedIn about the “Top Five Things Every CMO Needs to Know About…. (fill in the blank) SEO, AI, Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, Chatbots, VR/AR” or whatever other hot online topic happens to be circulating that moment.
Want to know something that’s even harder than marketing to Gen Z? Becoming an entrepreneur. Yet that’s precisely what 97% of Gen Z in the UK aspire to do according to an Open University study. And that’s not the half of it. “This is a generation that has actively had entrepreneurial opportunities growing up – in many ways, if you’ve grown up managing your personal brand on Instagram, you’re much better wired to think of yourself as an individual brand” says Arun Sundararajan, a business professor at New York University.
Dear Retailers, Being born into a digital-centric world, I spend so much of my day-to-day life online, whether I'm scrolling through social media, working on my Mac or watching Netflix. So it’s not surprising that when it comes to shopping, I’m often excited to log off and head in-store. Years ago, in-store retail was a boring maze of racks, store layouts weren’t fun enough to engage me, and the lack of online reviews made me want to give up all together. And when it came to online shopping, I found the experience frustrating and impersonal. On the whole, shopping was time consuming, disconnected and an expensive hobby. Fast forward to 2018, and things have drastically improved (although there’s still work to be done). I love to shop in-store, but being able to browse and shop online is still important. I expect retailers to embrace technology in the way that I do and make my experience as positive and rewarding as possible. So here’s some tips, with love from me to you, in winning my generation over:
Marketers Beware: Gen Z and Millennials aren’t so similar after all. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but for all the brands out there who have been told that Gen Z are Millennials on steroids, you’ve been fed #FakeNews. It’s time for the marketers who have simply been lumping the two “digital” generations together to learn the difference between them, which in turn will ultimately lead to a major difference in your marketing returns.
We know that Gen Z’s spending power is only set to increase, and considering their always-on love for travel, Gen Z represent a seismic opportunity for hospitality brands if they know how to capitalise on attracting them. So how is the hotel industry evolving to cater to this generations distinct habits, likes and needs?
Whilst millennials are tech- savvy, Gen Z are tech native, which may lead you to believe that the best way to engage this notoriously finicky generation is via their screens. But... more and more brands are embracing a "phygital" approach to attract Gen Z consumers.
Gen Z present a demographic with interests, expectations and consumer habits that are distinct from those of Millennials or Gen X, so if you’re a brand that has an “it’s complicated status” with Gen Z, you’re in good company. Today’s students admit that social media drives their purchasing habits more than any other form of merchandising model. Find out how online retail giants, like eBay, have the size, scale and reach to out – social social.
There’s been a lot of talk lately that Gen Z can’t be trusted when it comes to brand loyalty. While it’s true marketers cannot (and should not) rely exclusively on loyalty programmes to win Gen Z consumers, it’s also true they shouldn’t just toss them out the window. There’s room for contradictions when marketing to Gen Z and brands should consider that there are additional if not alternative ways to cultivate brand loyalty.
In an era where travel is becoming more and more determined by social media, the definition of “what’s important” to do whilst on holiday gets blurrier with each passing year. And no single group is redefining what holiday time well-spent means more than Gen Z. With roughly $143 billion (in the US alone) at Gen Z students' disposal, it’s high time travel marketers paid closer attention to what activities these new holidaymakers are looking for.