Alyna Malyniak
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Another Adelaidean chasing her dreams in big-city Melbourne.
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Is Your Business Ready for the Rise of Gen Z?

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For the longest time it has felt as though media scrutiny and business practices were focused solely around Millennials, what their needs were and the best way to market to them. But, Millennials had to grow up sometime.

Now it’s Generation Z’s turn. Yes, Gen Z; the smartphone natives that experienced their formative years while social media was first seen as the future of marketing. Currently, those in the generation Z demographic are typically 16 – 18 years of age, meaning that they’ll soon be consumers to be reckoned with.

So, as we move into the next decade it’s important to ask yourself: is your business ready for the rise of this technologically adept wave of consumers?

What makes this generation so different to its predecessors?

This group were the first age group to truly grow up in an entirely post-digital era, so the way they approach social media, businesses and the world, is entirely different to the generations that have preceded them. The world has always been at their fingertips, growing up with the phrase ‘Google it’ as part of their daily vocabulary from an early age, and playing their entire lives out on the internet before they were legally allowed to drive. The way they connect with the world around them has never been seen before.

The necessity for two-way communication has been born, meaning that your business must be capable, and willing, to offer almost transparent communication in order to be successful. This was something that wasn’t the norm during the Baby Boomer, or for the most part of the Millennial years.

If your business or brand has a strong online presence, you might already be aware that Gen Z uses social media in a unique way. Different aspects of their life are shared on different platforms – nothing is streamlined and businesses should take note.

Essentially, this has evolved to enable them to filter out the fluff from products from the information they deem important at an impressive speed. The way this generation engages with brands and businesses, and whether that engagement results in a purchase, is dependent on how your brand engages back.

Connecting with the consumers of the future

So, how can a business keep up with the way that Gen Z consumes information? In the coming years, it has been said that if businesses don’t keep up with how this generation consumes, then they’re sure to fall behind.

In the current and future consumer climate, businesses must be ready for transparency and willing to give back to society. As an incredibly socially aware and active generation, this age group is acutely conscious of where their money goes if they invest in your product. Remember, they’ve been navigating the online climate for years. The need for clear and concise communication is of the utmost importance – marketing that fails to tell a quick story with relevant information might be ignored. Similarly, companies’ marketing messages and strategies, including CSR policies, must also offer transparency. If a company’s values or attributes don’t align with the Gen Z customer, they’ll be less likely to engage and consume.

And that’s just the beginning!

Moving Forward

Engaging and connecting with this next wave of consumers proves to be an exciting time, giving marketing managers, social strategists and brands an opportunity to lower their filter, roll up their sleeves and get creative. Essentially, Gen Z is looking for something real and tangible in a digital world – for a real connection with brands that they can find instantly at the swipe of a finger. Use a unique voice, don’t try too hard to be trendy, and most importantly be authentic.

If your business isn’t ready and willing to ride the wave of this upcoming generation, then its sure to be left behind. Tread carefully.

 

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By Alyna Malyniak


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