Market Trends

How to connect with Gen Z through digital advertising in 2020

Written by
8 Jan, 2020

The 2.4 billion members of Gen Z are beginning to redefine what digital advertising should look like. Born between the mid-1990s and early 2000s, this generation is coming of age, with its eldest members now 23 years old. Gen Z already has significant buying power, even among the younger set still living with their parents. This means that now is a great time to deepen your understanding of this generation to better speak to them. 

Gen Z 1Frequently grouped with millennials, Gen Z is in fact distinct from the generation that precedes it. These are the first real digital natives who, unlike millennials, never knew an unconnected or even a semi-connected world. Their values—and the kind of advertising that will help your brand reach them—are different than those of millennials. 

So what is it that makes them different? What defines this generation and their world view? And what do this generation’s defining qualities mean for advertisers? We dove into several recent studies to give you some key insights into reaching Gen Z in 2020. 

They’re mobile-first

Gen Z friendsThe digital natives of Gen Z were practically born with a mobile phone in one hand and a tablet in the other. They’ve always been connected, and they use their mobile devices for everything, from watching video to shopping, more than any generation before them. They’re twice as likely to shop on mobile than millennials are. 

This means that when marketing to Gen Z, your mobile presence needs to be solid. How does your website look on a smartphone? If you’re an e-commerce business, what is the shopping experience like on your mobile site? Mobile ads are also key to reaching Gen Z, so leveraging a mobile-first format like Stories can be a great option. 

They want authenticity from brands

Part of being digital natives means that Gen Z are technology-literate and aware of data privacy issues. They can also be suspicious of advertising. Because of this, brands need to be authentic in their ads and provide quality content. When it comes to Gen Z, quality doesn’t necessarily mean something highly produced and polished. Instead, focus on content that is genuine, will resonate, and that builds your brand’s story. 

Gen Z is also engaged with the world around them, and many of them champion causes for the greater good. 61% of them consider themselves global citizens, and the same percentage report that they would pay more for products that are produced in an ethical and sustainable way. Incorporating your brand’s sustainability practices, stand on major issues, etc. in your marketing can be a good way to make an impact. 

They’re curious

gen Z 5With so many choices in what to read, watch, and listen to, Gen Z is constantly exploring their interests and discovering new ideas—and they expect brands to be a part of that discovery. According to a study of Gen Z and millennials, 87% of Gen Z prefers ads that show people discussing products, compared to just 37% of millennials. This means that informative marketing content can go a long way when speaking to Gen Z. 

They value diversity

In the US, Gen Z is the most diverse in history, and according to a Facebook study, 71% of them say they would like to see more diversity in advertising. They expect their own diversity to be represented in the media—and that includes advertising. This is something essential for advertisers to take into consideration when designing your ad creatives for this younger set of consumers: who is being represented in your ads? Gen Z is paying attention to this, so your brand needs to also. 

Learn more

We wrote a whole e-book on reaching Gen Z with your digital advertising. Download our complete guide and learn:

  • MMR_LandingPage_GEN-ZWhat makes this younger generation different from the generations before them
  • What Gen Z care about more than the rest of us
  • Why authenticity, collaboration, and complex storytelling are so important in reaching Gen Z individuals
  • Why some of the myths we believe about Gen Z aren't true
  • Insights about Gen Z's media consumption and social media habits
  • Tips and best-practices to reaching Gen Z audiences with ads on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Learn more about reaching Gen Z with digital advertising Click to download your guide

About Kat Peake Kat is the Content Marketing Manager here at MakeMeReach. She keeps her finger on the pulse to bring our readers the latest news about our platform's solutions and online ad tech.

All posts by Kat Peake