What Digital Marketers Must Know About Generation Z

With Generation Z on the brink of becoming the global population’s largest segment, many are starting to shift their focus towards the potential of this generation. In 2019, Generation Z will make up 32 percent of the 7.7 billion members of the global population, to nudge slightly ahead of millennials, who will account for 31.5 percent.

The race is on to marketing to Generation Z. The oldest members of the group are right out of university or will be graduating soon, entering into the workforce and gain a notable share of consumer spending. Generation Z, by 2020, will be 40 percent of total consumers. Their purchasing power is $44 billion and then expands to $600 billion once you consider the influence they have on the spending of their parents. Marketing teams are quickly moving to capture this group’s attention before their competitors do.

Like all of the generations that have come before them, Generation Z has a unique group of behaviours and has its own unique challenges for those who are wanting to reach them. Here are the important things that you need to know about Generation Z before you start to create your strategy.

They Are The Mobile-First Generation

Generation Z members all were born after 1995, which means they are not familiar with a world that does not have cutting-edge technology. Gen Z is the first generation that has been raised in the era of the smartphones and many do not remember life before social media. Millennials were the generation of mobile pioneers, while Generation Z teens are mobile natives. Generation Z members, on average, between 13-17 years old got their first smartphone by the time they were 12 years old, compared to 20 years old for ages 25-34 and 16 years old for ages 18-24.

For Generation Z, smartphones are their most popular device; 78 percent use their smartphones on a regular basis to communicate with friends, shop online, and stream video. It is important to note this generation uses their smartphones to get almost any of their daily tasks completed. They will simultaneously talk on their phone, post photos on Instagram, as well as create and edit a document, all from their device’s user-friendly interface.

Authenticity Is Important To Them

In the marketing world, authenticity has become an important focal point but this is taken a step further by Generation Z. They have made it very clear that what they care about the most is feeling like they know the person or brand that is behind the camera. Since Generation Z has grown up with digital marketing, they are the first ones to filter anything out that appears manufactured or artificial. They don’t like feeling marketed to – they want to have genuine relationships with their favourite brands.

They Are Financially Conservative

Gen Z individuals are a lot more financially-savvy compared to their generational predecessors. The Great Recession of 2008 impacted a great deal of this generation’s formative years. They watched their parents’ financial struggles and saw the millennials entering the workforce and face wage stagnation and high unemployment while being saddled with massive student debt. But thanks to companies such as Stopgap, unemployment isn’t such a prominent issue for Gen Z. More than 60 percent of the generation have a savings account already, which is a much higher percentage than any other generation has had at that age. For Generation Z, quality and price are major considerations. They are more than likely to search for better pricing options and deals on their smartphones before they make their purchase.

They Are Notorious Multi-Taskers

This generation always has been part of the connected society, and are used to getting updates from all of their apps constantly. Most likely they spend their days switching back and forth from various social platforms, talking with their friends while listening to podcasts or music and watching television while they are working. Generation Z, in fact, has a tendency to juggle about five screens at once. Switching between various tasks while paying attention simultaneously to a broad range of stimuli comes very naturally to members of Generation Z.

However, at the same time, Generation Z members also have the shortest attention spans ever. Generation Z has an average attention span of only eight seconds, which is even shorter than what a goldfish has. This generation is a lot more responsive to emojis, GIFs, and images compared to plain text. Using visuals creatively is much more likely to get attention and leave them with a lasting impression compared to long-form content.


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