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There’s been quite the buzz surrounding Gen Z and their influence over marketing, which is no surprise. We touched on this briefly in a recent social media post – take a look here – but we were keen to share a more in-depth view on the shifting status of marketing thanks to Generation Zoomer! 

We’ve witnessed firsthand how fast marketing can change throughout history, even more so in recent years with the explosion of digital marketing. The current changes we’re seeing are leading us towards possibly our favourite, ethical marketing. Businesses are starting to take notice of their impact on their communities and the world as a whole and we think that’s brilliant.

This isn’t a new marketing concept. It’s been building for a while, but Gen Z is revolutionising it both in their marketing and with their buying power. It’s no longer solely about the product or service but about brand ethos, values and the difference you’re making to a much larger picture. Think inclusive, purpose-driven and sustainable. 

Raised alongside the technology we have today, a strong sense of social justice and zero fear of saying no and calling big business (and small) out, they are the driving force behind this shift.

Why does any of this matter?

Gen Z has a growing influence on the market, and their purchasing power is growing fast. The BBC recently found that “Gen Z represent an estimated $450bn (£353bn)  in spending power across the world – with $360bn (282bn) in the US alone” – those numbers are staggering. These numbers aren’t the only discovery. Forbes Magazine recently shared an article that stated the average trust rating for 15 major institutions in the USA fell from 56% to 46%. This decline, although found amongst the larger institutions such as governments and big corporations, isn’t limited to that entirely. We’re seeing Gen Z stand up to big and small businesses and how their decisions to buy from a company align with their values and beliefs. 

With this, it’s more crucial than ever for businesses to truly listen to their customers and align their business with the current (ever-changing) worldview, prioritising ethical practices, sustainability and genuine engagement with their community (Gen Z can smell the ingenuity from a mile – don’t say we didn’t warn you).

What are Gen Z looking for? What have we noticed so far?

Authenticity and Transparency

Authenticity and transparency are a priority. Gone are the days of advertising gimmicks and performative support for serious issues. They crave genuine interactions and support for causes they care about and open and honest selling. They don’t want to feel manipulated into buying a service or a product. They want businesses to close the gap, not widen it.

→ What can you do? 

Be genuine in your brand messaging and stand on your values. Be transparent every step of the way. Prioritising honesty throughout your brand builds trust and loyalty from your products to your engagement and content to your social media presence. EVERYTHING! 

Social Justice, Sustainability and Environmental Impact

Gen Z is on an admirable mission to make a difference in the world, and they expect the same from the businesses they support. They’re looking for companies that align with social causes they care about and environmental sustainability. They no longer want neutrality and passive support. They want businesses that are loud and stand on their purpose and impact on the environment, especially if they’re product-based. 

→ What can you do? 

Show your commitment to causes that matter to you and Gen Z. Steer clear of performative activism and focus on genuine support. Make sure you are honest about the environmental impact of your business, whether it’s product-based or not, positive or negative. 

Meaningful, Genuine Connections and Community 

They want to go beyond transactional relationships. They want meaningful connections with businesses they can engage with. They want to feel seen, heard and understood by businesses, products and services offered to them. Businesses that tap into empathy to sell and use it for good instead of manipulation and scare tactics. 

→ What can you do? 

Be genuine in your community building and steer clear of manipulative sales tactics, for example, too much focus on their pain points,  false urgency and unnecessary pressure to purchase. Be upfront about your business journey and allow them into your world beyond financial gain. 

Inclusion, Diversity and Equity

This generation values representation and fairness more than we’ve ever seen before and the impact of their buying decisions. They want diverse, inclusive, safe spaces where everyone is welcome and appreciated as consumers and within the business. Something necessary not just for marketing but overall for a better, fairer world.

→ What can you do? 

Incorporate From social media campaigns to products to DEI behind the scenes and mean it. Don’t use IDE (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity) as a tactic and implement it as a non-negotiable.

Let’s not forget they’re the first generation born into Modern Technology

Gen Z was born just as the internet boomed. They grew up with it alongside social media from a young age, something we haven’t seen in generations before. It is a primary source of information, learning and purchasing decisions. They’re spending significant amounts of time online, specifically on social media. They also have access to businesses like never before, meaning it’s more important than ever to get on social media and create digital content that engages your audience and showcases what and who your brand is. If you would like support with your social media marketing and management, feel free to get in touch by booking a free consultation

Gen Z truly is a power we can’t ignore. They are bringing the necessary change to marketing that we desperately need. By listening to their needs and meeting them where they are, you are future-proofing your business while making a difference in a much larger picture – what are your thoughts on this? We’d love to hear them.