By Kim Willems, Social Media Specialist

Just as many marketers are starting to feel like they have a grasp on how to communicate with Millennials, a new generation with a new way of thinking is entering the picture.

Generation Z (born in 1996 or later) is here, and while the oldest of the bunch may only be entering their twenties right now, it appears that this group is going to have plenty of spending power. Those on the younger end are already influencing their parents’ buying decisions, and by 2020, the generation as a whole is predicted to account for 40% of all consumers.

So what are some things to keep in mind when marketing to Gen Z based on the common characteristics emerging so far? We found an article from Huffington Post that takes a closer look. Here are some of the takeaways gathered from this and other research:

  • Be authentic – Gen Z will seek out brands that seem genuine and understand the causes and concerns they care about. Being relatable is key, but things that seem forced or fake are an instant turn-off.
  • Emphasize the visuals – Think about it: this generation can have a text conversation through pictures alone (Snapchat, anyone?). They love how visuals allow them to process information fast and filter out the clutter.
  • Be brief – If something doesn’t grab their attention right away, Gen Z is already on to the next message. Content must be quick and to the point or it becomes an afterthought with these multi-taskers.
  • Understand the role of influencers – Gen Z wants to know what their peers and influencers think. Put reviews and testimonials in front of them and they’ll be listening.
  • Follow the change in social habits – Think Gen Z is on the same social channels as Millennials? Not exactly. This generation spends a lot of time on social and finds validation from it, but Gen Z is exploring lesser-known channels in an attempt to safeguard privacy.
  • Realize the role of mobile – Unlike other generations before, Gen Z has been online from the get-go. Mobile is what they know and this is likely the way they’ll interact and shop well into the future.

Generation Z will soon make up a big part of the population. The majority of this group hasn’t reached adulthood yet, but even at younger ages, Gen Z is impacting the buying decisions happening at home. This generation is growing up in the digital era and marketing to them will look a lot different than marketing to Millennials, Gen Xers or Baby Boomers. Consider Gen Z as you strategize now and you’ll be ahead of the game as they transition and become your target consumers!