Gen Z is rapidly becoming the most-studied generation, outpacing their millennial seniors. And some things we’re learning about them are surprising, judging by Marketing To Gen Z, a study by CM Group, parent company of several email marketing providers.
For instance, Gen Z is less worried about personal privacy than older generations — 50% feel they have control of their data. They are more likely to download apps they see advertised.
Yet 47% prefer to shop in-store than online, in line with other generations. And 55% prefer to wait to see if new technologies prove out, versus 47% of millennials.
They tend to avoid ads, but they’re more prone than other groups to buy based on an ad. They react better to native ads, and they don’t mind ads showing up on devices in their homes.
Moreover, 55% think the ads are the best part of the Super Bowl. In addition, they are less likely than other groups to mind being retargeted based on searches or purchases.
Of those polled, 75% use their smartphones to buy things, compared to 69% of millennials. And they are more likely to seek the recommendations of online influencers.
But their preferences differ by gender. Males outpace females in making frequent purchases based on ads — 43% to 27%.
Also, 38% of Gen Z females prefer to engage with companies by email, compared to 26% of males. But females are more likely to call by phone when there’s a problem.
Males and females alike love YouTube. Indeed, 49% of Gen Z gets their news and information from YouTube, compared to 37% of millennials. But females go more for TikTok, Snapchat and Pinterest, while males prefer Twitter and Instagram.
Gen Zers also show a certain practical bent. Thirty-two percent see high-paying jobs as a sign of success — 10% more than any other cohort — and 18% want to be highly educated.
That doesn’t mean they lack the values often associated with younger people. They get excited about brands that use ethically sourced materials. And they are turned off by a lack of transparency, while 23% ranks authenticity as important. What’s more, 38% will rent or shop for second-hand items, as will 27% of millennials.
Gen Z males are more altruistic — at 24% vs. 10% for females.
What does all this mean for brands?
“Gen Z presents a unique challenge and opportunity for marketers as they emerge from two years of hyper-focus on supply-chain and pandemic-related issues,” says Wendy Werve, CMO of CM Group.“Contrary to popular opinion, this generation is not solely focused on technology-first experiences, instead preferring to balance both to suit their needs.”