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Marketing to Gen Z vs Millennials
Should you be creating separate marketing strategies for Gen Z and millennials? Here's what the research says.
Creating marketing campaigns that appeal to your target audience takes time and research. And if your target audience includes a mix of both Gen Z and millennials, it’s tempting to create one marketing strategy and apply it to both groups. The question is, will doing this earn you results, or will it cause you to lose out on winning over either demographic?
The millennial and Gen Z generations span a huge range of ages, and while both generations grew up using the internet to some extent, their experiences with and relationship to the internet differ vastly. While they may have some things in common there are also many differences to consider when creating your marketing campaign. In this blog we compare how Gen Z and millennials engage with brands, make digital purchases and use social platforms so you can plan an effective marketing approach.
Determining Who Fits into Each Demographic
Before we dive in deep, let’s define the age range for each demographic.
- Gen Z: those born between 1997 and 2012. In 2021, this includes people who are between the ages of 9-24 years old.
- Millennials: those born between 1981-1996. In 2021, this includes anyone ranging from 25-40 years old.
How They’re Different
- Millennials check their emails more. 74.9% of millennials check their emails multiple times a day while 58% of Gen Z does so.
- They relate to advertising differently. 63% of Gen Z prefer seeing “real people” over celebrities in advertisements, while 37% of millennials prefer seeing “real people” discussing products in ad content. In contrast though, 29% of Gen Z is influenced by celebrities compared to 19% of millennials.
- Millennials are bigger Facebook fans. 84% use Facebook compared to 32% of Gen Z.
- Gen Z use TikTok more than millennials. 35% of Gen Z use TikTok regularly as opposed to the 19% of millennials who do so. When it comes to daily usage, 25% of Gen Z log onto TikTok while only 9% of millennials use TikTok on a daily basis.
- Gen Z prefers authentic content. 84% of this generation will skip video ads as quickly as possible, preferring to learn about products from influencers and social media videos, whereas millennials are more open to a variety of promotions.
- Gen Z makes more mobile purchases. Compared to millennials, Gen Z is twice as likely to purchase something on their mobile device.
Looking at these statistics, it’s clear to see that the way millennials and Gen Z respond to marketing messages, make purchases and use the internet in general differ. This means if your brand’s target audience includes both generations, it’s important to keep these differences in mind and adjust your marketing strategy in order to best appeal to each group’s preferences.
Specifically, these statistics reveal some important takeaways, one of the biggest being that when looking at advertisements, Gen Z prefers authenticity and realness when it comes to branded messages, whereas millennials are more receptive to a variety of marketing messages. This means if you’re trying to engage the Gen Z audience, an influencer marketing campaign featuring micro-influencers will be more effective than a paid advertisement or a celebrity influencer campaign. However, if millennials are your target demographic, they’ll respond to micro-influencer marketing campaigns in addition to paid brand messaging, whereas celebrity influencers would be even less effective with this generation.
The platforms you use to reach these generations matter too. If your target audience is Gen Z, it’s important your brand has a TikTok presence since Gen Z spends so much time on the platform. For millennials, a multi-channel approach is encouraged because they split up their time between multiple channels.
One thing you can do for both generations is optimize your mobile checkout experience. While Gen Z is more likely to make mobile purchases, you can encourage purchases from both groups by making your social media content and mobile website easily shoppable.
How They’re Similar
- They both prefer digital channels. When it comes to communicating with companies, 68% of respondents in both generations prefer digital channels over traditional ones.
- They have similar online shopping habits, with 45% of Gen Z spending up to 4 hours a day online shopping compared to 44% of millennials.
- Their purchase habits are heavily influenced by social media. 58% of Gen Zs have bought something after seeing it on social media, versus 55% of millenials.
- They use Instagram almost equally. Sixty-five percent of Gen Z and 67% of millennials use Instagram.
- More Millennials are willing to dig into their wallets for customer experiences. But only by a bit. 66% of millennials will pay extra for customer experience compared to the 53% of Gen Z customers.
- They view videos on YouTube regularly. 79% of Gen Z and 70% of millennials use YouTube.
- They both love video content. When it comes to online videos, millennials spend 2.4 hours per day watching them, while Gen Z average 3.4 hours.
- They both appreciate a brand loyalty program. 45% of millennials and 30% of Gen Z deem a brand as more special if they offer a loyalty program.
While millenials and Gen Z do have different habits surrounding their social media use, mobile use and preferred marketing message styles, there’s a lot they have in common as well. This, of course, is helpful if your target audience includes a mix of both generations as it means there are some similar approaches you can take when developing your marketing strategy.
Based on the statistics above, if you want your marketing campaigns to reach both demographics, you should focus your efforts on Instagram and YouTube, create video content and brand loyalty programs, and make sure to focus on running social media campaigns. Because both generations’ purchases decisions are heavily influenced by social media, it’s important to have a strong social media presence and content that appeals to both groups. And based on the content they each like to interact with, running micro-influencer marketing campaigns is a great way to engage with both audiences and influence their purchase decisions.
Want to create a micro-influencer marketing campaign that appeals to both demographics, but aren’t sure where to start? Statusphere can help. As a full-service influencer marketing company, we take ownership of the entire influencer marketing campaign process. Just tell us your goals, and we can get influencers in your niche creating valuable content about your brand. Click here to speak to one of our influencer marketing specialists.