The Millenials might be the market that much of the tech industry is targeting heavily right now, but most long-term strategists have one eye firmly on Generation Z. It is this up and coming demographic – now teens or tweens – who will start to drive the mobile media economy over the next twenty years. Their influence is already being felt, albeit via their parents credit cards.
According to the Pew Research Center, 78% of teens have a cellphone, half of which are smartphones. Nearly 25% have a tablet, and you’d be hard pushed to find a Gen Z-er who doesn’t use the internet regularly (Pew says 95%, but even this sounds conservative). In a very real sense, teens are predictors of the future of mobile media, and technology more generally, which is why getting a handle on how to conduct a Gen Z marketing campaign is so important.
Of course, it’s no surprise that Gen Z are so tech savvy. If we take 1996 as the earliest birthdate of the demographic, that means they were already born into a world in which most adults had cellphones. By the time they started forming memories, Google was a verb. Before they reached double figures, the developed world was becoming interconnected via social media. Even those oldest members of Gen Z had yet to reach high school by the time smartphones began to change everything.
This generation expects everything to be instantly available in the palm of their hand through a mobile media device. The challenges this presents to mobile marketing strategists are significant. Gen Z demands a greater reward for engaging with your brand then even the Millenials do. The days of the marketing monologue are gone, as young consumers have grown up with the notion of a two-way dialogue.
To Gen Z, the mobile device is an extension of themselves, a virtual extra limb that allows them instant access to the world. They are easily distracted. Mobile marketing strategies have to factor this short attention span and make sure they’re offering something valuable and unique.
The upshot is this: around 22% of Gen Z consumers say they trust posts from brands on social networking sites. That’s nearly 50% more trust than previous generations. Teens are also more likely to share positive experience through word of mouth – word of mouth facilitated by sharing on social media, which means an easily trackable chain of brand loyalty.
Growing up in an age of breathtaking smart phone growth means Gen Z are hip to the nuances of mobile marketing. Ignore this fact and you will miss out. Embrace it and you will have a fresh, loyal consumer audience for the next twenty years.