Ali Bañuelos


How to Speak Gen Z’s Language

Generation Z  (Gen Z for short) is the group of tech-savvy digital natives born after millennials—in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Also known as the “iGeneration,” this crowd is known for unbeatable multi-tasking skills, high expectations, and motivation toward individuality and worldliness that far exceeds previous generations.

So how do these differences change the way they consume media? It goes without saying that Gen Z is highly technology oriented. This means they are well versed in all things screen-based. Gen Z prefers convenient: the newest, edgiest and most user-friendly products. Here are five key aspects of Gen Z’s media consumption that will change the landscape of marketing and challenge brands to innovate:

Keep it Short and Edgy

Gen Z has an average attention span of 8 seconds; they respond to marketing tactics that catch attention fast and easily. They want to be interested in the entire campaign, not just the product or service being marketed. Quick, engaging video advertisements are often a great medium to appeal to this audience.

Influencers are the New Celebrities

In a world of Instagram celebrities and lifelike digital editing, Gen Z craves authenticity. This means influencer marketing is a key element Gen Z’s consumer habits. The feel of influencer marketing, if done correctly, creates a personable and honest impression that air-brushed celebrity sponsors can’t quite pin down. 

Acknowledge the Ad Aversion

This generation shows no interest in sitting through commercial breaks. Studies found Gen Z is the most likely out of any other generation to install ad-blockers onto their website browser, and consume the least amount of cable TV compared to Generation X and Y. This resistance to traditional advertising tactics challenges brands to get creative and take to platforms like social media to get their message across.

Mobile Marketing is a Necessity

70% of Gen Z spends 2+ hours a day on YouTube, and average around 15 hours a week on their smart phone. This generation wants accessibility to the online world as frequently and easily as possible; they are spending more time on mobile forms of connection rather than on desktops and TVs. This makes mobile marketing an essential for any brand looking to connect with them.

Global Impact is a Priority

This generation highly values originality and they reject conforming to tradition. This desire for individuality attracts them to consume media that features strong storytelling, visual appeal and progressive attitudes. They love promoting a positive message—60% of Gen Z said they want to change the world, compared to the 39% of millennials. They want the brands they support to share the same values, and it’s important to walk the walk if you talk the talk of philanthropy and social impact.

Although still young and emerging in the world of consumers, Gen Z is an influential group gradually making their way to the largest audience for marketers and product developers—with over 80 million people. Their tech-savvy habits, short attention span and shunning of tradition make them a special public that will challenge marketers to create approaches centered around individuality, authenticity and progressiveness.

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