In the last five years, digital media buyers and brand marketers have been hyper-focused on finding and targeting millennials, forgetting about an extremely influential and profitable demographic, Generation Z. Generation Z defines the group of people born between 1996 and the mid 2000s. They have different purchasing habits and need to be targeted differently than millennials. Most importantly, their influence on the market is tremendous and if brands don’t adapt to fit their needs, they have a great possibility of getting left behind.
Instagram Stories blow past Snapchat with 200 million daily active users as Generation Z becomes more valuable to most organizations than millennials -Statista
Generation Z has very clear and unique preferences that advertisers need to understand. Influencer marketing is very successful with Gen Z. Rather than looking at informational sites, they are likely to head to YouTube and watch a trusted influencer’s video for their information. Although many of them grew up with technology in their hand, this isn’t where they do their shopping. Millennials are much more likely to shop online than Generation Z who prefer shopping in person. Although millennials and Gen Z share short attention spans and the ability to toggle between multiple pages, Gen Z takes this to an extreme level. People in Gen Z have an average attention span of 8 seconds and usually switch between at at least 5 different screens. Advertisers had already seen a decline in television advertising success but now with an even shorter attention span, Generation Z is not the audience to target with TV spots. Gen Z wants real content that makes them feel like they know the brand and the person behind the content. Most importantly, this age demographic wants their independence. They are not interested in loyalty programs but rather want to interact with the advertiser on their terms. Brands that understand the unique preferences of this age demographic and can build media plans, creative and overall programmatic marketing campaigns that have better results.
Snapchat vs. Instagram
Brands that are looking to buy programmatic media that targets a younger demographic need to stay up to date with Gen Z likes and dislikes. Especially when it comes to social media advertising. Snapchat, one of the biggest social media platforms with 150 million daily users is starting to fall behind in market share as they realize their competitors are resonating with Gen Z more effectively. Although Facebook, who also owns Instagram, added the “stories” feature and have been accused of copying Snapchat, they already have more active daily users than Snapchat. Instagram started with a larger install base, at over 800 million active users, and have been able to successfully copy what Gen Z users love about Snapchat and adapt it in their own app. This leaves Snapchat to figure out how best to target Gen Z so the users come back to their app and don’t leave them behind in the likes of Facebook and Twitter.
What do we need to know about Generation Z?
- Trust influencers over direct brand advertising and would prefer to see a YouTube video from someone they follow vs. a TV spot from a brand they might like.
- Prefer to do their shopping at a brick and mortar store rather than online.
- Have a super short attention span, and are often toggling between 5 screens.
- Are super independent and don’t want to be defined by a brand, so advertisers that want to succeed with them need to celebrate the individual rather than trying to group them into categories or audiences.
Read about the other nine trends that we are predicting will be the key to success for programmatic buying teams in 2018 here.
If you haven’t already, there is no time like 2018 to get on the programmatic bandwagon. If you need to get started Digilant University has all the information you need to get up to speed on native advertising and more than 30 other topics. Need more information, you can also reach out to us here.