Marketing to Generation Z Teenagers: 10 Awesome Tips

The Upfront Analytics TeamBranding, Strategy, Trends, UFA Polls Surveys4 Comments

Marketing to Generation Z, the mobile internet generation, will require new age thinking and strategies for campaigns to work effectively.


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Marketing to Generation Z: Information Age Non-Conformists

Generation Z is rapidly ascending upon us – and marketers need to quickly learn how to capture these hard to read 15 year olds. More specifically age 13 -20.

The problem with Generation Z is that they are unlike any of their predecessor generations. Though they may be influenced by them, teenagers today are completely unlike Millenials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers.

They are rather eclectic in their tastes – nonconformist if you will. Furthermore, they are the epitome of the information age: inundated with screens, programs, apps, games, and any digital aspect that you can imagine.

Companies have a lot to gain if they can learn how to properly market a product or service to Generation Z. The above infographic gives 10 awesome and valuable tips that every marketer needs to understand before they attempt to market anything toward Generation Z.

10 Tips for Marketing toward Generation Z Teens:

Tip 1: The most important thing is to take them seriously. They aren’t just teenagers – they are consumers. Gen Z teens have access to serious cash. Gen Z population will reach 80 million people. Spending will reach $200 billion by 2018. 9.7% of adults say that their children influence 100% of what they buy (up from 7.6% in 2014).

Tip 2: Understand user persona. They are go-getters, activists, and dream big.  75% of teens want to convert hobbies to full time jobs. 72% of high school students want to start a business someday and 61% would rather be an entrepreneur than an employee when they graduate college

Tip 3: Identify correct social platforms with market research before you begin promoting and marketing your product. Gen Z prefer Snapchat &  Instagram. Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn are less important

Tip 4: Mobile marketing should be the primary platform. Everything about your product and campaign needs to be mobile friendly – websites and ad campaigns. Gen Z teens receive over 3000 text messages a month. They watch 2x as many videos on mobile as any other demographic. 70% watch 2 hours of YouTube per day

Tip 5: Produce a video. Even something small. Especially on mobile: YouTube, Vine, Periscope, Meerkat

Tip 6: Your product pitch should be brief and to the point. Generation Z has an attention span of 8 seconds. Approximately 11 percent have ADHD.

Tip 7: Your campaign can be edgy and should be progressive. But don’t be trashy. 88% say that they are exploring their sexuality more than in the past. However, drug use, alcohol consumption, smoking, and teenage pregnancy is at their lowest levels for decades.

Tip 8: Develop unique products & campaigns and provide visual depth. Gen Z shuns conformity and tradition. They like storytelling and visual displays.

Tip 9: Don’t be too local or provincial. Go global, in terms of both locales and backgrounds. Gen Z is America’s last generation with a Caucasian majority. Gen Z has global aspirations, and draws inspiration from all over the world.

Tip 10: Promote an uplifting and positive message – ideally your product can make the world a better place. 60% want to change the world, compared with just 39% of millennials.

Additional Generation Z Market Research Data:

We’ve found mobile games to be an invaluable tool for recruiting, engaging and researching Generation Z.

Our primary data collection process involves market research through games, and we launched our first mobile game suite, The Pryz Manor, to collect data.

Below are just a few of the significant differences that we’ve found between our youngest age group, 13-17 year olds, compared with the rest of our player pool:

Gen Z Activity Levels:

  • 13-17s were more likely than other age groups to have gone running/jogging during the previous month (61% versus 18%).
  • 13-17s were more likely than other age groups to choose Twister over Trivial Pursuit (56% versus 22%).
  • 13-17s were more likely than other age groups to choose a Just Dance game over a Zumba DVD set (63% versus 31%).

Gen Z Pop-Cultural Awareness:

  • 13-17s were more likely than other age groups to be able to guess or give adequate clues for ‘Taylor Lautner’ (68% versus 21%).
  • 13-17s were more likely than other age groups to be able to guess or give adequate clues for ‘Taylor Swift’ (68% versus 50%).
  • 13-17s were less likely than other age groups to be able to guess or give adequate clues for ‘The Simpsons’ (52% versus 73%).

Gen Z Technology Usage:

  • 13-17s were more likely than other age groups to say they download music or movies at least a couple of times a week (31% versus 13%).
  • 13-17s were more likely than other age groups to say they prefer to use social messaging over SMS, voice calls or email (45% versus 21%).
  • 13-17s were more likely than other age groups to have used Kik (28% versus 6%) or Snapchat (19% versus 8%) during the previous week.

Now that you have a better sense of where 13-17 year olds are coming from, what can you do to meet them halfway?

Always keep in mind that Generation Z have grown up with a music player, on-demand television, games console and supercomputer in their pockets. Asking them to sit through a 40 minute telephone survey or navigate a complex online question matrix is like asking a Millennial to start exchanging letters with you.

Instead, try to think of ways that you can fit your research into the flow of their everyday lives. Maybe augment your online outreach with Whats App or Kik messages, add Snapchat Stories to your next ethnography study, or even break sections of your survey down into snappy Buzzfeed-style quizzes.

Whatever your approach is to Generation Z market research, make sure to keep it fun and fast.

Interested in more market research data? We would love to hear from you: Click here to reach out.

4 Comments on “Marketing to Generation Z Teenagers: 10 Awesome Tips”

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