Like it or not, Gen Z is setting trends for the way marketing, advertising, and technology are delivered to the consumer public, according to research from Marketing Insider, who also affirms this trend isn’t going away any time soon.
Savvy advertisers are looking to data to define who Gen Z is and what motivates their decision-making. The one conclusion everyone agrees upon is Gen Z defies definition – they’re a diverse generation representing a wide and varied set of values, beliefs, and motivations.
The other characteristic everyone agrees on is this group is a visual generation. Growing up with cell phones and electronic devices at their disposal as long as they can remember, Gen Z is all about video. In a 2020 study, more than half (52%) of Gen Z’ers said their increased viewing time is here to stay. Millennials were also on target with Gen Z for increased amount of time spent on video.
The key, according to the study, is emotional engagement in video content. Advertisers must align their message with the audience’s emotion in order to capture and hold viewers’ attention. Which is especially important in the ever increasing sea of visuals competing for Gen Z’s viewing time.
But it’s not just emotion. Studies indicate Gen Z values authenticity as well. They want to base their purchasing decisions on a brand’s level of social awareness or contributions to social causes. “About 75% of Gen Z say they would be more loyal to brands that speak to ‘social issues, post information, or have advertisements about social change,’” according to the report’s findings.
It’s not enough in today’s environs to produce an entertaining video. Gen Z wants to see what companies stand for. And don’t try to lie to them, these same studies warn, as they’ll find out and post the discrepancy far and wide across social media.
Some say Gen Z is driving this philosophy across other demographic groups as well. A study by Stakla found that “nearly 90% of respondents aged 18-55 say authenticity is important when deciding which brands to support.”
For their short time on the scene, Gen Z is in many ways leading the way in determining how companies do business and how consumers shop. “We’re seeing widespread shifts in the way people consume media, process information, leverage technology, shop – and even in the expectations they have from the brands with which they do business,” says Marketing Insider. “We predict their influence will extend to future generations who will follow these evolutionary consumption patterns.”
Dubbed “the generation with digital in their DNA,” just how far will Gen Z’s influence shape consumer life in the years ahead? Read more here.