The millennial generation has been at the forefront of news, be it in regards to their home buying trends, travel preferences, or even their choice in jeans, since they came of age in the early 2000s. As the up-and-coming generation of spenders, they were the primary target for marketing strategies, campaigns, and audience research.

However, as Millennials get older, a new generation of consumers takes the spotlight. The post-Millennial generation, Gen Z, are folks born between about 1995 and 2015, and they’re on their way to becoming powerful spenders. In fact, it’s estimated they possess $143 billion in spending power.

It's estimated Gen Z possesses $143 billion in spending power






Before we dive into strategies for marketing to Gen Z, let’s take a closer look at the makeup of this generation.

Why Trend Forecasters are Looking Z-ward

Companies that are marketing savvy and capture the attention of Gen Z now will be better qualified to continue future engagement with this generation. For example, such companies will need to remain on the cutting edge of social media marketing and the newest online marketing technology by closely following Gen Z’s habits as soon as possible.

Some quick facts about Gen Z:

  • They are the most ethnically diverse generation in US history.
  • 25% identify as LGBTIQA+, the highest rate compared to other generations.
  • This is the first generation raised in the era of smartphones.
  • They are not aware of a time that did not include social media.
    • 64% use Instagram daily.*
    • 57% use Snapchat daily.*
    • 55% use TikTok daily.*

Percentage of Gen Z on Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok





How do these facts affect businesses and their marketers? Simply put, reaching a younger audience means changing your marketing approach and messaging drastically—and the sooner the better.

How to Utilize the Best Messaging & Marketing Techniques for Gen Z

Millennials have often been labeled as self-absorbed and entitled. Gen Z is shaping up to think more like their grandparents (or even great-grandparents) than their generational predecessors.

They are aware of their own brand. They know how to “market” themselves through social media platforms. They’ve grown up in an environment of ever-evolving technology and aren’t afraid to exploe new options that come along. And brand loyalty? Sure, they have it, but they will go where their needs are met and their values are shared.

A business has a mission, vision, values, and overall messaging they use to reach a target audience. The key to tapping into Gen Z is turning that message on its head to fit into all the new (and constantly changing) mediums they use.

Tips for Marketing to  Gen Z

  • Be real. Gen Z consumers want to know what a business values. If they share those values, you’re in.
  • Inclusive messaging resonates. Gen Z has been dubbed as a generation of social justice warriors.
  • Brevity is the soul of sales. Forget everything you learned about marketing to millennials. Gen Z has an even shorter attention span.
  • Be aware. Respond to their evolving needs.
  • Show them respect and loyalty. Don’t ask them for it.
  • Choose bold, funny, and authentic messaging. This is most likely to hook this generation of digital natives.
  • Show value. Why should they want to spend the cash on your product or service?
  • Make products available online. Your brick and mortar store? Not their first stop to make a purchase, but they like that you have one.

Connecting with Gen Z

Gen Z has been referred to as “mobile mavericks.’ Smartphones, tablets, and constant WiFi connectivity means that your message needs to be tailored to various platforms and your products and services need to be easily accessed.

Keep this in mind: the platforms you want to utilize for marketing efforts may not result directly in sales. This is difficult for many business owners to wrap their heads around. Why spend time, effort, and money on such platforms?

Consider a coupon you can cut out from a paper versus a six-second video on TikTok. You can track who brings in a coupon, right? So, how do you track ROI from a six-second video? Google Analytics can offer insight into referral traffic and conversions, but there’s more to it.

Reach and Engagement

Did you impact people with your message, meaning was your audience reached? Did people engage or interact?

Checking for additional followers, likes, views, website visitors, and more can help you determine the success or failure of your campaigns. Most platforms offer insight to these metrics. 

Let’s take a look at some platforms and strategies companies should embrace:

  • Connect across multiple social media platforms, including YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat. With Gen Z, social media marketing is key. Do your research to understand your audience and KPIs to determine what success looks like on the platforms you choose. 
  • Not seeing the results you want on your chosen social platforms? Learn to pivot. Either revise your messaging or move on to a different platform that may resonate better with your Gen Z audience.
  • What’s TikTok? It’s simply one of the primary ways Gen Z communicates. There are more than 1 billion users and the app has been downloaded more than 200 million times in the US alone..
  • Lean in to video. Across generations, video content is more important than ever, but it’s especially big with Gen Z. This is clear from their preference for video-based social media platforms, like TikTok and Snapchat. Don’t be afraid to produce video content—just make sure it’s authentic and relatable. Gen Z is not interested in overt sales messaging. 

Two people scrolling on TikTok







As we continue to learn about Gen Z, the biggest takeaway for a company’s marketing team, and the company itself, is to be flexible. New and diverse marketing and communication platforms pop up every day. Keeping abreast of these resources can only help you engage this latest generation.

Remember to keep it real and Z future will be bright.

Your Gen Z Marketing Agency

Need help understanding how to market to Gen Z? We offer in-depth audience research and integrated digital marketing strategies to help you relate to and resonate with your target markets. Reach out to learn more.

*According to data collected from Global Web Index.