How Generation Z is Shaping the Future for Digital

Source: University of Texas, Austin

The Generation Z (Gen Z) portion of our population, those who were born between 1996 and 2010, has grown up in an era with technology and innovation at the forefront. They continue to take hold of the newest platforms and are beginning to shape the way our digital world will look in the future. Understanding this youthful generation is key to amplifying your digital presence online. 

Constant Learning & Evolution

According to a global poll done by Facebook IQ, 79% of Gen Zers believe that the development of new skills is important throughout life. They are living in an era of change and have made it a priority to learn and adapt to put those skills into practice. 

Acknowledging that they have a world of information at their fingertips has enabled Gen Z to focus on overcoming challenges that other generations may have never been able to take on. 

Activism is in their Nature 

Whether it be taking on issues of social justice or spear-heading ventures of sustainability, Gen Z has been on the frontlines of change since they can remember. On a global scale, 71% say that they would like to see more diversity in advertisements and 79% say the pandemic has made it even more important for companies to behave sustainably, according to Facebook’s poll. 

This generation wants change and they have made big steps to make their voices heard. TikTok has become a prime example of an interface that fuels the motivation behind many of Gen Z’s movements towards a more socially-conscious world. This generation has taken full advantage of the virality on social platforms, like TikTok and Instagram, to change the perspective of not only brands but also much of the general public.

They Have Restructured the Commerce Landscape

As targeting becomes more and more detailed with digital advertising, Gen Zers expect brands and products to find them. Therefore, understanding what they want most is important to consider when creating a product to last for years to come. 67% of this demographic noted that there are too many options, and too much choice online. They anticipate direct targeting to tell them what they want most, based on their interests (Facebook IQ). 

According to the same poll mentioned above, in the UK and U.S., Gen Z shoppers are 1.4 times more likely than other generations to pay a premium for an eco-friendly product. Sustainability and environmentally conscious brands are more appealing to these young consumers. Brands must keep this perspective in mind when evolving to fit the new commerce landscape. 

Community is Key

Connection and authenticity are becoming increasingly important. Brands are required, now more than ever, to foster meaningful relationships with their customers and create authentic content. The hard-sell technique is quickly becoming a thing of the past as Gen Z looks to find brands that want to genuinely relate to the consumer they are selling to. 

This deep desire for Gen Z consumers to connect is what has made influencer marketing a wave of the future. Enabling consumers to interact with a brand through an influencer they trust makes them more likely to purchase the product. According to Mobile Marketer, 44% of Gen Z has purchased a product after seeing it promoted by their favorite social media celebrities. 

What Does That Mean For Marketers? 

Ultimately, marketers have to be aware and create content that connects. For Gen Z, the purchase decision comes down to more than just price and convenience. Targeting this demographic requires brands to convey a message that they are authentic and that they care about current social issues. 

Marketing has become storytelling and must evolve to best capture the audiences of the future.

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