Zoning In On Generation Z

Recent surveys show that young people, between 8 and 19 years old, are not only engaged heavily with modern technologies, they are already using them to learn about and plan their financial habits and futures. This demographic group, often referred to as “Generation Z”, has grown up with the Internet as part of their lives, with smart phones in their hands and tablet computers in their classrooms. Every day the general population of the Internet moves farther away from those who adopted it at some point in their life, to those who never knew a life without it. Are you ready to give this rising generation what they want? Are you planning to capture their interest, hold their loyalty, and succeed together?

Purchasing Power

Many within this demographic already have their own money and are making their own purchasing decisions.

Estimates show that about 82% of teens aged 13-16 already have their own online bank account. The number rises to 88% when including all teens. 54% of those aged 17 to 19 say they use a banking app at least once a week.

In the 13 to 16 age group, 38% say they have used their own debit card to make an online purchase. This rises to 55% when including all teens.

48% of teens in the 15 to 19 age range report earning their own income through part-time or full-time jobs.

The days of teenage kids sitting home after school and collecting an allowance from their parents for spending money are long gone. Today’s teenagers are getting into the workforce earlier, earning their own money, and most importantly, making their own purchasing decisions with that money.

The Importance Of Social Media

Research shows overwhelmingly that social media has a tremendous pull with younger generations. They’ve grown up connected to sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and will use them to find almost everything they are looking for. 47% of teens age 13-16 report checking in on Facebook more than once per day. This statistic jumps to 63% when the age group is moved up to 17 to 19 years old.

Close to half of all teenagers say they have looked through the Facebook page for a brand or product that interested them. 32% say they have clicked through ads they found interesting on the social media site.

Pictures Speak Louder Than Words

One of the most interesting changes that has come about through social media is the shift in the way younger generations communicate with each other. Increasingly, teenagers and young adults communicate more through streams of pictures and videos than with actual words. As you browse through your own social media feeds you are sure to see this. Hand written status updates, and even many replies to them, have been replaced by emojis, e-cards, memes and other graphical mediums.

All of this changes the way brands will need to communicate with these people as consumers. For example, research results suggest that the younger generation is far more likely to use Twitter to retweet someone else’s idea, rather than author their own. You’ll see this happening often on Facebook as well, as a popular quote embedded in an image is passed along from one person to another, yet nobody is adding their own thoughts.

Showing the highest popularity among this demographic group are video sharing sites. Over 70% of teens state that they subscribe to at least one YouTube channel. Many report looking to video sites for everything from news to personal reviews of products, music and more.

Are You In The Zone?

Plain and simple, if you haven’t begun to tailor your marketing techniques to appeal to Generation Z, you will find yourself being left behind. Things are not changing, they have already changed. This new generation grew up online and they have their own way of doing things. They are not going to adapt to us, quite the opposite, we will need to adapt to them if we want to succeed together. Are you zoning in on this next wave of Internet consumers?

Tabitha Jean Naylor, Clearwater FL

Tabitha Jean Naylor, Clearwater FL is the Founder of Successful Startup 101, a digital magazine that provides answers to today's most pertinent questions facing startup founders, and the Owner of TabithaNaylor.com, a marketing firm that delivers 'big agency' quality at rates that are affordable for startups and small businesses.

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