"I have no idea how to get Millennials to _______________"
-Every client that I've spoken to in the last 16 years.
Ever since 2002, business owners have struggled to attract the Millennial generation, those born between 1981 and 1996. Millennials are quite different than the Boomers and Gen X who I worked with during my tenure at my advertising agency in the 2000's. And it has taken the marketing world, especially the small- and medium-sized businesses a long time to figure them out (if they have at all).
But to be honest, that's not important right now.
Today, let's talk about the next generation that is quickly coming to market, Generation Z. You do not want to be surprised by this incredibly large generation. By 2019, Gen Z will account for 32% of the Global population. This year, the oldest ones are turning 21. They can drink, smoke, vote, and spend a lot of money. It's estimated that Gen Z has a purchasing power of $44 billion today!
Gen Z is very different from the Millennials, Gen X, and even the Boomers! We haven't seen a generation like this since before WWII. Gen Z is more like our Grandparents from the "Greatest Generation," and when you combine that with the internet world in which they have grown up in, these "kids" are something special.
5 Things Marketers Need to Know About Gen Z
Here are 5 things to know about Gen Z that will help you better understand how to market to this impressive and large group:
1. They want to IMPACT the world.
60% of Gen Z wants to make an impact in their world, that is nearly double compared to Millennials. They see themselves has change-agents that have a moral responsibility to make the world a better place.
2. They are more socially AWARE.
When you grow up in a world that has "always" had the internet, you tend to be aware of everything that is going on around you. Because of that, Gen Z is more socially aware, pragmatic, and innovative. They are concerned with what's going on around them, and they want to find solutions to solve the problems that they see. And they believe technology and awareness are the answers.
3. They want to play it SAFE.
They grew up in a world of crisis. From 9/11 to the Great Recession, the world has been in turmoil since they were born. They are not risk-takers. They drink less, use drugs less, and have lower pregnancy rates than previous generations.
4. They are SAVERS.
They were shaped by economic struggles: the 2008 Wall Street implosion, the Great Recession, and high unemployment rates. Because of that, they learned what it means to be on a tight family budget. Gen Z has already started saving for the "rainy day" and "retirement." They also are always looking for a good deal, discount, or sale price.
5. They are ENTREPRENEURS.
They are a whopping 55% more likely to pursue some form on entrepreneurship than Gen X! (Which I admit seems counter-intuitive to the risk-averse style.) However, I believe that their desire to impact the world and their fear of being down-sized fuels the entrepreneurship goals.
So, what does that all mean to the small- and medium-sized business that wants to market to this highly-complex and large generation?
It means that you need to be on your "marketing toes" and speak to them in an authentic, straightforward message that connects with these important factors in their lives. Also, get ready to lower your price or be willing to negotiate. These kids want a good deal.