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August 20, 2014

The Unique Habits of Generation Z

Get to know the new generation on the block: Gen Z

Now that marketers are well-versed on the key target of Millennials, it’s time to take a look ahead at the next up-and-coming target generation: Gen Z. Born in 1995 or later, this demographic comprises 25.9% of the United States’ population and contributes $44 billion to the American economy, according to Mashable. These teens and pre-teens grew up with social media and use it in their own ways.

As the average Facebook user gets older, more than 25% of 13- to 17-year-olds left Facebook in 2013. Instead, Gen Z favors SnapchatWhisper and Secret — ephemeral and visually engaging platforms that cater to the youngsters’ eight-second attention span.

New data from Marketo reviews the consumption patterns and habits of this next generation of buyers. Their study found that Generation Z is adept at researching and self-educating online. 33% of this demographic watch lessons online and over 50% use YouTube or social media for research assignments. They also have more unique ambitions than Millennials, with 76% wanting to turn their hobbies into full-time jobs and 72% of high school students wanting to start their own businesses someday.

Similar to Millennials, Generation Z is full of do-gooders, and may therefore also be receptive to cause marketing in the future. This similarity aside, Generation Z and Millennials are very different in their behaviors overall. While Millennials are focused on the present, focused on texting, and often multi-task with two screens, the teens in Generation Z are forward-thinking, communicating via images, and multi-task with up to five screens.

It’s never too soon to begin to understand this demographic which will become a key marketing target in the coming years. Marketo advises 7 strategies for marketing to this important segment. Advertisers should be sure to incorporate the latest technologies and devices, as this audience tends to be early adapters of digital trends. Ensure marketing materials use short pieces of content (think: social media posts) and tap into Generation Z passions of curiosity and social causes. And, most importantly, don’t overlook this up-and-coming group!