Marketing to Generation Y and Z can be a daunting task.
Getting clients and prospects to engage with your start-up business is like learning a new language. It doesn’t simply just happen over a weekend. It takes time and practice to truly become fluent in speaking the “marketing language” of your clients. So what different dialects should you include in your start-up company’s marketing language to reach the targeted group effectively? Especially when you are targeting Generations Y and Z consumers. Each group has their own marketing language and how you sell to one generation won’t necessarily translate to the others. To truly succeed, business owners have to be proactive in learning to speak the marketing language of each individual generation. This comes by way of knowing their characteristics, what they value, their purchasing behaviours, and what marketing channels they prefer.
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Generation Y (“Millennials”)
The current age in 2018: 22 to 38
Attributes: This group, born between 1980-1996, has been talked about more than any generation to precede them. In comparison to their Generation X predecessors, millennials are inherently more tech-savvy having grown up with personal computers and the internet for the majority of their lives. They are passionate and seek instant gratification while valuing speed and on-demand services. They also love to travel, are driven by social causes, and are concerned with making a difference in the world. Studies show that millennials are delaying life milestones like getting married or buying a home. Instead, many of them prefer to rent or are still living at home with their parents. Pursuing education and accumulating student debt are major factors driving this trend. Because of this, millennials are big proponents of the “shared economy” and its appeal to their lifestyle. They’re more willing to spend their disposable income on services like Uber, Airbnb, Amazon, and Takealot than other generations. It’s also important to note that the average millennial will change jobs at least 3 to 4 times during the first decade out of university.
- Greatly Ambitious
- In Love with Change
- Globally Connected
- More Participative by Nature
- Embrace Diversity
- Strong Advocates of Giving Back to the Community
- Armed with Smartphones, Laptops and the latest, trendiest Gadgets
- “Plugged in” 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Immune to Traditional Marketing and Sales Pitches
Buying Behaviours: Millennials seek personalised products that are specific to their needs and lifestyle. They value experiences over material things. When it comes to interacting with businesses and making purchasing decisions, millennials first turn to their friends and online reviews. According to one study, “millennials, more than any other generation, prefer to use several different channels when it comes to the total shopping experience, both online or off.”
Communication Tips: The millennial customer-to-business relationship is highly influenced by technology. Millennials are most likely to use online and mobile banking channels due to easy-to-use websites and great apps. Make sure you have a strong online reputation that is well-maintained. Your social media channels should be engaging and up to date. Since many millennials were in their teen years upon its release, Facebook is still number one among their preferred social platforms. However, Instagram now ranks higher among many younger millennials. Give these clients opportunities to be co-creators for your brand since much of the daily content they consume online is generated by their peers. You can attract them by aligning your company with social causes and by turning your products and services into an experience that they’ll want to tell their friends about.
The current age in 2018: 3 to 21
Attributes: Also known as iGeneration, the oldest of them are just beginning to enter the workforce and consumer markets. Born between 1997 and 2015, this group is much more ethnically diverse and globally connected. Not surprisingly, Generation Z’ers are similar to their millennial siblings and have been referred to by various publications as “millennials on steroids”. Unlike any generation before them, Generation Z is comprised of true digital natives who’ve never lived in a time without the internet. Generation Z spends more time on their smartphones than any other age group, averaging more than 4 hours per day. These young tech-gurus are on track to become the largest generation of consumers by 2020. They have entrepreneurial mindsets and are captivated by social activism. They are social media savants and watching digital video, with YouTube being their number one social media platform followed closely behind by Snapchat, WeChat, and WhatsApp. The Millennials’ little siblings are growing up and growing up fast.
- Smart and Savvy
- Already Transforming how Brands interact with Consumers
- Immersed in a Highly Sophisticated Media and Computer Environment
- More Tech-Savvy than their Generation Y forerunners
- Approach Problems as a Team and see Everyone as Equals
- Will not Simply Sit Back and Watch
- Expect Honesty and Diversity
- Active Participants
- Loves Digital Video on Platforms like YouTube and Facebook
Buying Behaviours: Like millennials, they demand speed and expect things to be a click or a tap away. Social media has a much greater impact on the Generation Z shopper’s purchasing behaviours than it does on millennials. Many Generation Z’ers follow social media influencers who partner with brands to put their products in front of these younger consumers. Since they’re still young, Generation Z’ers also rely heavily on friends and family to help them make their purchasing decisions.
Communication Tips: Though attention spans are dwindling among all consumers, the average attention span of Generation Z is only 8 seconds. They’ve developed this filter due to growing up in a time of limitless options and information overload. Say what you have to say and do it fast. Make it snappy and memorable. Consider partnering with social media influencers to help promote your brand and extend your reach. Adding more video elements to your marketing strategy is one major way you can captivate this generation of YouTube lovers on their smartphones. This will allow you to increase their visualisation of your products and services. Attract this generation of consumers giving them a more seamless and interconnected experience for them to interact with your agency’s physical offices and online.