Marketing to Generation z

How to market to Generation Z and Millennials

65% of marketers intend to increase their spending on marketing to Generation Z and Millennials this year. It’s no wonder Spotify and Snapchat have both recently released reports on marketing to these groups.

It’s no surprising considering that by 2030 millennials’ estimated annual income will exceed a whopping $4tn and by 2020 Gen Z will be the largest group of shoppers worldwide, accounting for 40% of all consumers.

As Gen Z move into the workforce the question on every marketer’s lips is how to effectively reach both these groups who between them hold serious purchasing power.

It’s simple, fail to engage with these groups and your brand will lose out.

That’s where we come in. In this article we’ll be sharing our expert insights and advice on how to market to these notoriously hard to reach groups. Ready to create a killer marketing strategy that will get your brand noticed?

Who exactly are Generation Z and Millennials?


Let’s start with basics. Any marketer worth their salt knows that a thorough understanding of their target audience is an essential first step to creating an epic digital marketing strategy.

Firstly, Millennials. Aged between 23-36 millennials are a diverse group. Whilst 35% of millennials in their twenties still live at home with parents, 65% in their thirties are settling down and getting married whilst a whopping 46% are parents themselves.

93% of millennials are financially independent, so if you still think of them as a group of fresh-faced teenagers think again.

Being born in the 1980s-1990s millennials were the first generation to be born and bred in the age of information. Think the emergence of the internet and the launch of smartphones.

Millennials make up a massive 25% of the world’s population and have huge spending power.

So that’s Millennials, but who are Generation Z?

Aged between 13-22 Gen Z are a group that have grown up completely immersed in a digital society.

Marketers are fascinated with generation Z and how to market to them. It’s no surprise considering that their purchase power is a whopping $44 billion in the US alone.

What’s more, this group are distinct from the generations that have come before them. As a recent report stated:

Gen Z have a unique relationship with digital culture that manifests in how they use digital tools”


A massive 98% of Gen Z owns a smartphone. They have grown up truly surrounded by all things digital and have a unique relationship with the world of digital as a result.

So how can marketers reach these groups?

With a massive 88% of Gen Z using social media to find new products and a whopping 6 out of 10 Millennials shopping on social media, there are huge opportunities for businesses who can connect with these audiences.

But, it’s not as easy as it used to be. Connecting with these audiences will require creativity, authenticity and doing something that little bit different. Forget the same stream of generic ads – 56% of Millennials globally block ads and 51% of Gen Z use ad blocking software.

These groups are tired of being bombarded with the same old marketing messages. So how can you reach them a strike gold?

Creativity is key – doing things differently

These are groups that have grown up at the forefront of the digital world. Growing up being bombarded with sales pitch after sales pitch means they’re used to tuning out the noise.

If you want to reach them you’ve got to do things differently.

This isn’t a case of being on top of digital trends, it’s about being a trendsetter. Being creative, capturing imagination and standing out from the crowd.

Considering that over half of Gen Z state that they consider themselves more creative their older generations and 56% use social apps to express themselves creatively, your marketing strategy has got to be special.

A cut and paste job won’t cut it for these guys. They want to be treated differently.

So what can you do to get creative?

  • Do more than selling, create a community: 61% of millennials want brands to create communities based on their common interests and passions. Creating a community around your niche or area is a fantastic way to get these groups to connect with your brand on a profound level. It will also transform your brand into an expert in your field, a hub or resource for your audience to turn to. That’s got to be good news.
  • Show that your business has a purpose beyond making money: 55% of Gen Z will choose brands that are eco-friendly and socially responsible over those that aren’t Gen Z and Millennials care about the world. That’s why it’s hugely important to show them that you have a purpose beyond making money. Show your worth, show you do something good, shout about what makes you different. This will help these groups connect with and admire your brand on a real level.
  • Communicate in a meaningful way: 26% of Gen Z and 22% of Millennials expect a more personalised shopping experience. These groups are tired of the same old sales tactics, they want to be communicated with in a real, meaningful way. Simple ways you can connect with your audience on a more meaningful level are to personalise your marketing, ask for their opinions, take their views and feedback on board, start real conversations with them, really engage and listen.

Being meaningful matters

Gen Z and Millennials are crying out for more authenticity.

It’s no surprise that these groups have become well attuned to blocking out marketing noise. They want more than a stream of ads.

A whopping 75% of millennials consider advertising to be too prominent, annoying and disruptive and 77% claim to tune out ads.

Marketing to these groups is all about being as authentic as possible. These are groups that care. They’re not afraid to show their feelings. They support brands that do good, are honest and open.

In fact, a recent study by Snapchat into the habits of Gen Z concluded that:

Gen Z have grown up immersed in digital-first society marked by severe shifts in economic, environmental and political circumstances. They’re the hyper-connected, highly opinionated generation, moved to activism as the internet and social media landscape has made them acutely conscious of and concerned about world events.”

So, what can you do to connect with this audience on a meaningful level?

  • Be human: speak to your audience as if they are human and speak as if your brand is too. Simple.
  • Spark conversation: start conversations with your audience. Ask them questions, ask for their opinions and viewpoints. Take their feedback on board and show them how you’re improving based upon their suggestions.
  • Be supportive: support causes close to their hearts: these groups care about supporting brands in line with their values. In fact, compared to older generations, 71% of Millennials seek products that align closely with their beliefs.
  • Share your story: studies repeatedly show that Gen Z have strong opinions and care deeply about brand stories. It’s important to be honest and open about your brand’s story, values and ethos in order to connect with these audiences. Millennials and Gen Z want to make a difference to the world. They are hyper-connected groups who are aware of what’s going on at all times. If your brand tells a story for good these groups will be far more likely to pitch up support.
  • Be transparent: Gen Z and Millennials take more than traditional purchasing factors into account such as price and convenience. They account for transparency and for how much they trust a brand when deciding whether to purchase from you. Prove that you’re trustworthy.
  • Show moral support: 59% of Gen Z and Millennials believe that brands should convey messaging of moral support, showing that they understand and support the struggles of their consumers. What’s more, 47% of Gen Z and Millennials believe that brands should ‘soften up’ as these groups find value in sharing their feelings. Be than a business robot – empathise with your audience and show the human side to your brand.

Get Social – how are these groups using social media?


The average Millennial has 9 social media accounts. In fact multi-networking is still on the rise for both Millennials and Gen Z.

These guys are no strangers to social media. They’ve grown up with it and use it daily. It’s second nature to them. So, to really connect with these audiences on social channels you’ve got to understand where they’re hanging out and what types of content they want to see.


So who is using what?

  • 89% of Gen Z and 88% of Millennials use YouTube
  • 77% of Gen Z and 83% of Millennials use Facebook
  • 74% of Gen Z and 67% of Millennials use Instagram
  • 48% of Gen Z and 49% of Millennials use Twitter

There’s also another platform you might have failed to utilise up until now: Snapchat.

When it comes to engagement, Millennials are much more likely to be engaging with Snapchat and Instagram whilst Gen Z uses Snapchat more frequently than any other generation. 71% of this group uses Snapchat on a daily basis and 51% of use it around 11 times every day.

Among all the social channels, Gen Z have rated Snapchat as their favourite channel for:

  • Creating videos and images
  • Sharing the content they have created
  • Communicating with their peers
  • Sharing moments from throughout their daily lives
  • Posting what they are doing with their day via photo, video or text

In fact, a recent study on Gen Z found that:

Gen Zers are overwhelmingly embracing new digital tools and features from platforms like Snapchat.”


This indicates how digitally intuitive these groups are, highlighting their desire for more creativity and originality on social media.


It also points at the huge popularity of visuals: from images to videos. The ability to get creative and express themselves with these mediums. It’s not surprising that 1 in 2 of all Millennials engage with video in some way every single day across the main social channels.


Video can help to communicate your brand in a fun, exciting, new way. They connect with viewers on a more profound level. What’s more, video is a less intrusive way of marketing your brand, getting your message across, building trust or using ads in the form of banners.

When you consider that the attention span of a Millennial is just 12 seconds whilst the attention span of a Gen Zer is a mere 8 seconds, small, succinct videos are the perfect way to capture attention of these hard to reach audiences.

Next Steps – ready to make an impact on these hard to reach audiences?


Gen Z and Millennials are digital natives that are tired of the same old marketing messages. They have short attention spans and a need for constant stimulation. It’s no surprise that Millennials typically jump between 3 screens at the same time whilst Gen Zers jump between a whopping 5 screens at a time. To impact these notoriously difficult to reach audiences you’ve got to step up your marketing game.

We hoped you’ve enjoyed our marketing insights and advice. For more help on creating a killer marketing strategy that will get your brand noticed and your audience listening get in touch. We think of the little details that go the extra mile.

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