As B2B marketers, is it time we start paying attention to Gen Z? Well, with nearly 42% of Gen Zers now involved in B2B purchasing decisions, it would be crazy not to!
Gen Z is quickly becoming the most influential demographic for B2B marketers to target. Often referred to as “digital natives,” they have grown up in a world filled with technology and social media. Unlike any generation before them, they have access to endless amounts of information, and they’re not afraid to use it. Understanding the unique characteristics of Gen Z is essential for businesses to develop effective marketing strategies.
Getting Gen Z’s Attention in the B2B Space
With all the brands, influencers and TikTok trends, getting Gen Z’s attention is like trying to land a plane on a tightrope! But don’t stress too much, there are some ways to be seen and heard.
Before we dive too deep, let’s talk about their preferences.
1.) Gen Z values authenticity, transparency and trust. They prefer content that’s real and genuine from trustworthy companies. It’s also important to keep in mind how discerning Gen-Z is. They possess exceptional resourcefulness in seeking out and verifying information. This has significant implications for companies in regard to their stance on social justice issues and their overall brand purpose.
2.) Social media is a huge part of a Gen Zers daily life – no surprise there! They’re the most active generation on social media and prefer communicating privately in groups and direct conversations.
3.) Gen Z wants personalized and interactive experiences. They’re not into cookie-cutter tactics, and companies need to adjust their strategies accordingly. The days of relying on TV ads, billboards and social media carousels are dwindling. Brands that don’t want to be left behind must find ways to personalize their marketing experiences.
4.) Diversity and inclusion are essential to Gen Z, as they’re the most diverse generation. Additionally, Gen-Z wants the brands they back to speak up about social justice issues. Nowadays, customers expect brands to take a stand on some cultural or societal topics.
Best Practices to Market to Gen Z
With the marketing landscape effectively transformed by Gen Z, marketing with them in mind is a must. To do so, here are some top tips to help get you started.
1.) The Value in Values
Gen Z doesn’t just care about what you’re selling, they care about your company too. So, don’t only sell, take a second to share your brand’s story in a relatable and humanizing way. Brands seeking the trust of Gen Zers must communicate their features, benefits and offerings with absolute clarity and authenticity, avoiding any false or misleading information or empty promises.
In addition, brands must be informative about their policies, licensing and other relevant information to ensure their customers have a complete understanding of their brand. Being honest and transparent not only attracts Gen Zers but also cultivates a lasting relationship with them.
Ultimately, staying true to your brand values is paramount. This demonstrates that your business is trustworthy and dependable. Create brand ambassadors among your customers who will share your values with others.
2.) Walk the Walk and Talk the Talk
Knowing your Gen Z customers is key. Speaking their language, using their acronyms, and sharing their sense of humor shows that you value and accept them. But, it’s tough to get it right. Research and effort are required to avoid coming across as forced and cringy. An easy solution is to hire Gen Zers to help market to other Gen Zers. After all, they know each other best.
3.) Wear your Heart on Your Social Sleeve
Don’t forget those values we talked about earlier! Research indicates that Gen Z consumers have high expectations for brands to take stances on social issues, especially among Gen Z consumers, who are three times more likely than other generations to view a brand’s purpose as serving communities and society.
From promoting diversity to raising awareness of social issues, brands are increasingly showcasing their beliefs and values on their social media platforms. But brands must always be mindful of how they present their stances on social issues and ensure that they do so appropriately.
Jumping on a cause just to follow a trend and not genuinely caring about it could backfire on you. Even if you had good intentions Gen Z is quick to spot fake diversity, like changing your logo colors for representation or making false claims about your product.
4.) Influence Their Decision
Influencers are the new celebrities – didn’t you know? No, you don’t have to go out and sign Michael B. Jordan to promote your products (although, that would be cool), but research shows that B2B buyers these days spend a lot of time on social media, checking out companies and products and listening to recommendations from their peers, including influencers.
Influencers have become a trusted source of information for many Gen Z consumers who feel a sense of connection with them due to their relatable nature. With their unbiased opinions and relatability, influencers have earned the trust of Gen Zers more than ever before. By using social media platforms to engage with their followers, influencers have developed a loyal following. This interactive quality has resonated with Gen Zers and has resulted in them valuing the recommendations of content creators. In fact, 44% of Gen Z has made a purchase decision based on a recommendation from a social influencer. The bond between influencers and Gen Zers can be attributed to the latter’s appreciation for self-expression, relatability, and authenticity. Working with well-respected and well-followed influencers is a smart move to market to Gen Z.
5.) Are You Not Entertained!?
Whatever you do…Don’t. Be. Boring.
Video and stylized visual content should be a top priority for catching the eyes of Gen Z. With so many new apps, social features and creative filters, anything that’s considered static or boring won’t stand a chance with this generation. So, whether you incorporate engaging images, videos, GIFs, animations or memes into your marketing plan, it’s clear that they want to follow influencers and brands who have an engaging online personality and sense of humor. Don’t be scared to incorporate this tactic into your B2B strategy. Gen Z has a sharp, smart, and often dark sense of humor. Showing that you can take and give a joke means a lot to this generation.
6.) I’m Not Addicted to Reels or TikTok!
When you think about Gen Z marketing, you probably think about Instagram, TikTok and other short-form videos – and you would be right! It has become increasingly important for brands to be present on the same platforms as Gen Zers, so their message can be heard.
Obviously, short-form video is all the rage right now, and it’s causing a lot of businesses a great deal of stress when it comes to the overall success of their channels. Generally, short-form videos promote higher engagement and information retention because the shorter the video, the easier the content is to consume and remember. Use short-form video to:
- Showcase product use cases
- Share testimonials and success stories
- Build brand awareness
- Create educational content
- Offer behind-the-scenes looks
- Tease special events and new products
- Spotlight experts and team members
- Leverage Trends
Gen Z is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to marketing. They are tech-savvy, socially conscious, and value authenticity above all else. To effectively reach this audience, B2B marketers must consider their strategies and leverage the latest technologies and platforms. By prioritizing transparency, personalization, and social responsibility, brands can build lasting relationships with Gen Z consumers and stay ahead of the curve in an ever-evolving digital landscape.
If you need help reaching Gen Z, reach out to DeanHouston+!