After years spent hidden in the shadows of Millennials, Generation Z is taking over the spotlight and making some serious waves in the process, says Monotype in an analysis of GenZ experience. GenZs are the first true digital natives, born between the late 1990’s to the mid 2000’s, and only know a world with Internet access, social media and smartphones.
This “YouTube generation” is tech-savvy and pragmatic, drives innovation and the way we consume media, and they’re pushing brands and marketers to catch up in the process.
In an era of massive information (and advertising) overload, the brand-consumer relationship is a delicate dance. Thanks to a mobile- first, visually rich, social and digital world, people expect flexibility, authenticity and consistency in every single interaction with a brand, says the Monotype report.
In order to keep your customers engaged and happy, look to the emerging behaviors and preferences of Generation Z as a beacon for what’s to come, says the report.
The customer experience is a complex web of platforms, apps and social media, and in an increasingly visual world, people gravitate towards brands that stand out. Gen Z is no exception when it comes to aesthetics, as their digital native status affords them higher expectations than other generations, which carry over to brand consistency and seamlessness.
Aesthetic consistency is not just a matter of preference, says the report, as nearly a quarter of Gen Zs say the top reason for disowning a brand or product is poorly designed experience. Create a uniform, recognizable experience across all touchpoints, starting with your brand’s type, the language in which every message appears.
Your best customers are your brand advocates and in influencers. Treat them as your most expert consultants and content creators. Having grown up in an era of Snapchat, Instagram, and constant connectivity, Gen Zs are creating branded content and writing genuine reviews.
While traditional ad campaigns are not disappearing anytime soon, a more freeform, collaborative approach to marketing featuring user-generated content (UGC) is on the rise. Today’s consumers want to see real people and read genuine reviews before they’re ready to commit. 53% of consumers say they are more likely to buy a product after seeing it featured in an image provided by a real customer.
Though visuals clearly play a huge role, people still look to written reviews when making purchase decisions. They’re the second most trusted source after recommendations from family or friends. Incorporating UGC into your marketing strategy can be more cost- effective than producing traditional media and will help build up your brand advocates.
An estimated 1 million teens are leaving Facebook each year, says the report. Meanwhile, messaging apps have been the fastest growing online space over the past five years, surpassing social media networks in size and monthly active users.
Establishing a presence in messaging apps allows you to reach your customers in an increasingly personalized, contextual manner and become a part of the conversations they’re already having. Create shareable branded content and leverage chatbots. The mobile messaging space is perfectly suited for the hyper-personal, relevant outreach that people expect. Globally, 90% of consumers want to use messaging to communicate with brands.
Increased access to consumer data has created opportunities for marketers to personalize every outreach. While hyper-specific retargeting ads may have mixed reviews, GenZs demand personalized contact from brands, with 77% stating it is important for brands to reach out with relevant offers, promotions and messaging.
This also means brands have to continually measure and readjust, because consumer behavior moves faster than patterns can be established. Accept that what people want today might not be the case tomorrow.
If Millennials inspired personalization in marketing, Gen Z’s legacy will be pushing brands to be more authentic and go a step further to contextualize all content. Let your customers shape your brand, embrace UGC, and empower them to continue creating it.
Consumer attitudes towards data security have shifted, and people welcome closer relationships with brands so long as it results in a personalized experience.
Most importantly, acknowledge that consumer preferences and behaviors change at a rapid pace, and the best brands are those who can retain authenticity while staying relevant, concludes the study.
For additional information from Monotype, please visit here.