Commentary

Addressing Generation Z

According to a recent article  by Joline McGoldrick, Director of Research, Millward Brown Digital, published by AdAge, “Gen Z, born between 1997 and 2011, is now coming of age in large numbers, and marketers can't afford to take as long to come to grips with Gen Z as they did with millennials.”

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The McGoldrick article continues, noting that “…the first cohorts of this new generation are 16 to 19 years old… and around 2 billion of the world's citizens,  approximately 27% of the global population… Gen Z… are industrious and collaborative… impatient of brands that don't offer them connected experiences, they expect visual and technical excellence and transparency at their fingertips…

… while millennials coveted personalization in their media and advertising experiences, attempts at hyper-personalization often come off to Gen Z as intrusive.”

Appealing to Gen Z's unique sense of self and the world around them will require brands to embrace three key paradigm shifts in 2017, says the report:

  • “First, brands need to invest media dollars and focus activity in digital platforms that allow consumers to co-create a shared brand experience. Unlike the personalization coveted by millennials, Gen Z will be hands on… they want to try it, take it apart and recreate it
  • Second, brands need to give their target consumers a deeper look inside the brand via owned media. Beyond simply offering products and services, brands need to share their story, their purpose and details about their production processes
  • Finally, brands need to switch their creative and media focus. The internet is built on left brain, linear thinking and is factually based. Gen Z seeks a digital experience that is more right brain, with a focus on imagination…”

McGoldrick concludes the report noting that “Winning over Gen Z will not be easy, but it will make brands and their advertising better and more adaptive in the process.”

The published article may be found here for additional information.

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