Millennial moms, with their natural digital savvy and often progressive views of family, forced a major change in marketing. But you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Generation Z is going to rock the marketing world. They didn’t just grow up with the internet, they grew up with Facebook and mobile phones. In some ways, these young adults are expected to be even more “Millennial” than Millennials.
Connecting with this group is a new challenge for brands. Advertising successfully to them will help determine how billions of dollars will be spent.
Generation Z is comprised of the 67 million people born between 1995 and 2010. They contribute $44 billion to the U.S. economy and influence $600 billion in family spending. The oldest is already 22 years old. And, by 2022, 45% of all parents will be Generation Z.
Early studies are already showing that to connect with these Gen Z moms and dads, marketers will need to push themselves.
For example, while marketers certainly embraced interactive marketing for Millennials, this new generation will require that they produce more content for more digital delivery mechanisms than ever. According to our research, older Gen Z moms discover new products on Facebook more than do the previous generations. But that’s not necessarily where they want to receive all of their communications with brands. Gen Z parents also appreciate hearing from advertisers via email and they’re comfortable with branded content.
Millennials are known to shop based on their progressive values. It’s likely Gen Z parents will take this to another level. While older Gen Z parents tend to have lower household incomes than their older counterparts, price isn’t the only factor that weighs in their purchasing decisions. To become a part of parents’ consideration set, “quality,” “safety,” “easy to use” are table stakes, and parent recommendation carries tremendous weight, according to our research.
In many ways, Gen Z is doubling down on the changes Millennials forced on the system. Young adults brought up in an environment unique to other generations can only age up to lead in their own unique way. For example, we found that Gen Z likes seeing real brands featured in their content significantly more than Millennials do—and this alone signifies a major change in spirit.
And, perhaps most surprisingly, Gen Z moms also long for connectivity in real life. That’s right—real life, person-to-person interactions. We have learned that, more than their Millennial counterparts, Gen Z moms rely on their parents and grandparents, healthcare providers, and local mothers groups as parenting resources, similar to the way their Gen X parents did. So, it seems that there is a little Gen X attitude in them, too, just to make marketing considerations even more complicated.
The first thing marketers can do to prepare for this up-and-coming shift is education. Key observations about the consumer behaviors new to this up-and-coming group of parents are how it all starts. Then these observations become translated into actions, and these actions eventually reveal solutions that work, which years later become proven best practices. But we’re only at the beginning of this chain of events. The findings presented here just scratch the surface. We need to learn more in order to better predict how Gen Z will make parenthood their own—and how marketers will best be able to reach them.