How To Connect To Gen Z

Marketing Beat asked me to comment on how to connect with Gen Z as Marketers.

I thought I would share and turn these into a detailed blog post.

This is a must read if you are in Marketing, Growth or Product and understand how closely the three have to be aligned to succeed with the most tech and privacy savvy generation yet.

Here are my tips to connect with Gen Z:

Be Creative

Almost all apps are based on being creative, whether that’s creating on your own (single player) and applying AR filters to alter or enhance images or videos, or what is happening more commonly is enhancing multiplayer features, where you create something with friends and share online. 

Gen z are truly mobile-first and have experienced everything on their mobile, leverage ‘the anytime anywhere generation’ and offer solutions that leverages their creativity.

Help gen z to be creators, not act like influencers, this way they can co-promote your product in their natural environments and actively want to be rewarded by friends engaging with them. 

Consider Ephemeral First

Something that is different from previous generations, gen z understand tech, how the social media algorithms work and understand how to craft a public view and a friends view (friendsta). 

Consider how you can leverage disappearing content and not just in the stories (feeds) and help them to co-create content with you, not for you.  

Be Authentic

Something that has stood out in recent times is brands trying to apply themselves to every calendar event and sell at any given moment. 

Whether that’s pushing ads, pushing more influencer activity or paying for celebrities to promote their product. Very rarely do these influencers or celebrities use the product and is not an endorsement. Help gen z understand their problem your product is answering and how it is relevant to them. 

Some brands will struggle to be applicable here.

The best ads now, don’t feel like ads unlike times gone by. 

Consider how you could apply the E I E framework; create content and ads that fall into Education, Inspiration or Entertainment. 

Reward With Dopamine

Reward usage and engagement with a dopamine kick. Almost all apps and notifications are driven to provide the customer variable rewards, gen z has been engineered for pleasure and reward from using an app, apply this in your Marketing and Advertising campaigns by pushing variable rewards and encouraging engagement around notifications.  

Look At Gaming & On Platform Chats

Look at connecting and rewarding across different platforms. Yes, there are more platforms than ever before, however, there are areas like gaming and e-gaming where numerous hours are spent watching and playing games by gen z.

There is a huge variety of streaming, including streams of board games, streams of chess, alongside e-gaming and e-sports competition and incredible numbers of chats across Discord servers and directly on Twitch. 

Connect and reward the natural behaviours or enable your customers to gift the streamers and reward friends with subscriptions. 

You have to learn the platform and the rewarded behaviours, nevertheless, with so many brands doing well in these arena’s there is a huge opportunity to look at rewarding and gifting on these platforms.

Reward With Oxytocin

Product and experience discovery is served far quicker than ever before and hype cycles do not last as long as they used to. 

Trending items and products spread quickly and go out of vogue just as quickly. Consider how you create events that increase touch and connection, leverage the bodies craving for oxytocin. Like most, gen z also crave connection and in-person connections.

Push into experiences that are short-lived, are limited edition, that is creative and embrace shareable moments on social networks (TikTok, Instagram Reels, Snapchat) or are shared on chat apps Discord, iMessage, WhatsApp and Telegram. Remember Instagram and Snap are often used for more chat than traditional exchanging numbers.

Consider how Product drops could be part of your Marketing plan.

Read the write-up and other comments from the CMO at eBay and Bulbshare founder on Marketing Beat.

Do You Or Your Business Need Marketing Coaching?

Marketing Coach

CMO Coach

Marketing VP Coach

Or are you a CEO or founder needing marketing coaching?

Leave a Reply