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From a Student’s Mind: Marketing to Gen Z? Ask a Gen Z

August 18, 2021

By Geoffrey Magrill
Student Intern to the Richmond Chamber of Commerce, Grade 12 Student at McMath Secondary School

Gen Z are taking over the market. By the end of 2020 according to Campaign Monitor (a global online marketing platform), Gen Z is supposed to account for 40% of all customers. Gen Z’ers are changing the way companies need to market. Born between the years of 1996 and 2010, this generation is tech savvy and constantly use social media such a Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube. This means businesses are going to have to change their marketing strategies if they want to pique the interest of this young generation.

Instagram ads are a good way to grab the attention of Gen Z, because this generation is constantly on social media. A sponsored ad on Instagram pops up every three organic posts a user sees.  With the use of pictures and or videos businesses can attract the easily distracted Gen Z’ers. A couple of businesses that have been successful in this new platform of marketing are Sabra and Zaful. Sabra is a well-known food brand that sells dips. They market on many platforms, but their Instagram ads have been successful at grabbing attention of teens. Their ads show a newly opened dip surrounded by chips. Since they are also advertising that they are partnering with the Superbowl, they have a TV re  mote as well. Their caption for their ad is “Dip of Champions” which is Sabra telling their consumers that their dip is the best that money can buy.

Alternatively, Zaful’s ads show multiple articles of clothing that they offer on their site. Their ads’ captions are about the products displayed and their sales. They always have sales and their products are affordable yet stylish, which intrigues Gen Z’ers because price is as key a consideration as keeping up with trends. Once on their website, consumers are offered 15% off your purchase if subscribed to their newsletter.

Marketers targeting Gen Z need to avoid forced slang. When businesses are trying to ingratiate themselves to the younger generations, they might try to use slang like “on fleek” or “lit” to try and get into the wallets of teens. When businesses on Instagram make ads with a lot of emojis to try and get the attention of Gen Z’ers, this simply doesn’t work. Savvy Gen Z’ers feel like the business is trying too hard to appeal to them.  It reads as grasping.

As a member of Gen Z, I am on social media regularly and I encounter ads all the time. The ads that stick out the most to me and have grabbed my attention are the ones that show multiple different products that they sell and the ones promoting a sale. Shocking my older Chamber colleagues, I haven’t gone into a brick and mortar store to buy shoes or clothes in three years. I Like the easy access to price comparisons and sales that I can find online. If I don’t find something, I like I didn’t waste my time and energy going to a store to return empty handed My peers seem to feel the same way.

Remember when aiming your marketing efforts at Gen Z:

  • Use a lot of pictures and videos to grab attention quickly;
  • Meet your market on the platforms they use already (like Instagram); and,
  • Use sales and promotions to hook the cost-conscious young consumers.

These marketing strategies can help your business attract the attention of the growing Gen Z market.


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