As Gen Z’s income rises, will your marketing ride the wave?

The latest generation to enter the workforce has long been pursued by youth-oriented brands. And now that Gen Z is growing up, it’s time that everyone from insurance marketers to carmakers pay more attention to this demographic’s preferences.


First, a quick refresh on Gen Z:


  • Currently 11 to 26 years old


  • 68.6 million live in the U.S. (20% of population)


  • Grew up with multiple screens, always connected


  • Experienced a global pandemic during their most formative years


  • Represent about 20% of the U.S. workforce




Being the first generation to grow up with multiple screens connected with web, Gen Z very much prefers the feeling of being in control – even when it’s the plot of something they’re streaming. What does this mean for marketers?  We need to create more interactive content where the user is in the driver’s seat. Even if you already think you know them based on gobs of data, ask them directly about their preferences, offer more options than ever and deliver more personalized content. Sounds easy enough but of course, your first step is to reach them with a brand that connects through the media they prefer. To that end, we’ve gathered some statistics from some great sources.


Structure your appeal with these Gen Z brand attribute preferences


According to LinkedIn’s research, Gen Z tends to focus on brands with these qualities:


  • Eco-Friendly: 62% would pay more for an eco-friendly product.


  • Socially Responsible: Companies are forming Corporate Social Responsibility Strategies to appeal to Gen Z consumers and employees.


  • Reliable: Over half of Gen Z members say they look for reliability in a brand, with smart and innovative qualities also ranking highly.


  • Relevant: Connect with them on the channels they already frequent, matching their interests and personality traits with which they identify.


Reach Gen Z where they socialize and consume content


THINK MOBILE: Gen Y are being dethroned as the mobile zealots. According to 99 Firms 74% of Gen Z spend their free time online and 66% report using more than one device connected to the internet at a time. And it’s not unusual to find them on their devices after midnight.


While they are the top generation on TikTok, Instagram is Gen Z’s preference when it comes to following brands.













Source: Marketing Charts

Visual: 99 Firms


EMAIL: According to Statistica, Gen Z prefers that brands contact them via email (57%) with social media being a close second at 44%.


VIDEO CONTENT: While YouTube is their favorite brand, Netflix is the preferred service for more than three-quarters of Gen Z streamers. In general, they spend only about an hour a day watching movies/video and don’t believe they need cable or traditional television.


OUTDOOR: More than anyone, Gen Z-ers love to travel on a budget and post their experiences. That could give your outdoor campaign some added legs if it’s cool enough to be photographed or make its way into a selfie. Oh, and don’t forget the QR code.


DIRECT MAIL: While they are the most digital of all, Gen Z is charmed by a cool throwback. Receiving something physical is considered a welcome break from the screen and that’s paying off for marketers. In a UK survey, nearly nine out of 10 participants said they preferred a blend of physical and digital marketing – 42% searched for a brand online after receiving direct mail and 84% scanned QR codes on a mail piece.


If you could sum Gen Z-ers up in a word, it would have to be Individuality. While they obviously share many traits, they despise being lumped together or generalized. We’re using more pronouns than ever thanks to them and need to recognize their desire to always be themselves. Gen Z is self-reliant, entrepreneurial and all about pursuing their own path ­– be sure they spot you along the way by respecting their personal identity.

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