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Over the past few years, marketers across all industries and categories have become obsessed with Millennials and figuring out how to market to them. Despite this ongoing challenge, there’s a whole new game in town with the rise of today’s youngest consumers, Generation Z. Born in 1995 or later, this multicultural demographic currently comprises 25.9% of the U.S. population and contributes $44 billion to America’s economy[1]. Accounting for one-third of the U.S. population by 2020 they are certainly worth paying attention to.

In January 2017, IBM and the National Retail Foundation released a report called Uniquely Generation Z: What Brands Should Know About Today’s Youngest Consumers. This report surveyed over 15,000 Gen Zers between the ages of 13 and 21 and also conducted interviews with 20 Senior Marketing Executives to determine how these consumers engage with brands.

How they interact surely has a major impact on your future communications so here are some of the key findings as well as implications for your marketing communications:

  1. Mobile-centric: Gen Zers are digital natives and actively use multiple screens for entertainment, learning, and communicating. When asked about the devices they used most frequently, 75% of Gen Zers cited a mobile phone/smartphone while 45% reported using laptop computers. 25% of these consumers say that they spend more than 5 hours a day on their mobile phones.

    What’s your role in this mobile world? Have you invested in mobile application development services? Do you have an engaging print strategy that combines print with the online world? Did you know Tukaiz provides services to help you integrate print with mobile technology to make print more effective with Gen Zers? Ask us how.

  2. Short attention span: Generation Zers parse information incredibly quickly, taking approximately eight seconds to determine whether something is worth their attention.

    With short attention spans, messages on direct mail, signage, bills and statements need to be quickly comprehended by the Gen Z recipient. This means full color, special effects, unique inks and substrates, and easily interpreted content.

  3. Interest in new platforms, visual, and an appetite for video: The average age of a typical Facebook user is increasing, and over 25% of 13- to 17-year-olds have already started leaving that social network in favor of platforms that better cater to their eight-second attention span (e.g., YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram). Generation Z consumers also have a strong appetite for video. Further, Generation Z consumers prefer images over text. Having grown up with digital, many Gen Zers have replaced words with emojis, pictures, videos, and GIFs to make their communications fast and visual. As noted earlier, this generation of consumers has a very short attention span, so they prefer “snackable” content that is short and to the point.

    Are you delivering video and “snackable” content today? At Tukiaz we’ve invested in video production capabilities so you can partner with us to offer standalone videos or videos that are integrated with your print and email campaigns.

  4. Seeking an engaging experience: Despite their digital roots, 98% of Generation Z consumers still make purchases in brick & mortar stores. At the same time, however, 56% of the individuals that responded to the IBM/National Retail Foundation survey reported that they are seeking a fun retail experience. In line with their short attention spans, today’s young consumers need stimulation so they won’t get bored when shopping at retail. This has major implications for retail marketers and others that can benefit from capturing the offline attention of this generation that links to their online preferences. Consider last year’s Pokémon GO phenomenon, retailers could link to this popular game, driving traffic into their stores and connecting with the Gen Zer. Additionally, today’s Generation Z consumers will expect a seamless and strong overarching brand experience across all platforms, including the physical retail store as well as digital, print, and mobile communications.

    Does your cross- channel campaign include large format? Integrating large format signage in-store with smartphone technology is clearly a driver for this group. Learn more about Tukaiz’s large format print capabilities.

  5. Value-conscious: Generation Z consumers still remember the Great Recession during the late 2000s, so they tend to seek quality and value for their money. This correlates to a desire for the discounts and other perks that come with loyalty programs.

    Do you have a loyalty program today? Loyalty programs don’t have to be complex. e A typical activation point for getting consumers to join loyalty programs is some form of print (direct mail or signage) followed by a good email campaign and discount program.

It’s never too soon to develop a better understanding of Generation Z consumers—they will become a key marketing target in the coming years. If you hope to deliver the communication strategies that will reach and engage this up-and-coming group, as marketers, you must start preparing now!

[1] Source: Mashable