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Five myths about marketing to GenZ debunked
20 September 2018
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AdAge has published the results of a new survey of the technology usage and buying habits of 22,723 college-age GenZ's in the USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand conducted in conjunction with Student Affinity Network UNiDAYS.

GenZs made up 27% of the population and controlled $143B in spending in the USA in 2017, so this is important!

Some commonalities the researchers found include:

  • Fort GenZs, technology is business as usual, not new and exciting as for previous generations.
  • 98% own a smartphone and 94% own a laptop computer.
  • But only 14% own a smartwatch and only 18% use fitness trackers.
  • They enjoy shopping at brick-and-mortar stores.
  • They get news from social media, but prefer print books to digital ones.

Myth #1: GenZs are digital natives so will respond better to digital than to any other kind of media.

Reality: GenZs are adept at tuning out digital noise: 74% don't watch Facebook Live shows, 64% don't listen to podcasts and 56% don't click ads on websites - but 84% look at digital out-of-home advertising in trains, malls, airports, taxis.

Recommendation: Create content tailored to GenZs and deliver it through the platforms they use.

Myth #2: GenZ won't pay for apps.

Reality: Most GenZs have disposable income. and 89% use 1 to 10 apps daily. Apps they're willing to pay for include music apps (66%), game and entertainment apps (31%), health apps (24%), utility/productivity apps (18%).

Recommendation: Offer apps that will help GenZs achieve personal goals or pursue passions.

Myth #3: GenZs are forgetting about traditional formats like TV and paperbacks.

Reality: GenZs watch the same streaming services as GenXs and Millennials do, but 48% on laptops vs. 32% on TV and 10% on mobile. 80% get most of their news from social media, 55% from apps - but 77% read print books.

Recommendation: Don't be in too big a hurry to abandon brick-and-mortar stores and print for a digital-only strategy.

Myth #4: GenZs are into sharing, don't care about data privacy.

Reality: 58% don't trust Facebook with their personal data, 78% are picky about which apps know their geolocation. They prefer Snapchat for its instantly-disappearing messages.

Recommendation: Guard their data. If they find you're selling it or sharing it with third parties, they'll stop doing business with you.

Myth #5: GenZs shop primarily via smartphone.

Reality: Although a majority use smartphones for browsing, comparing prices, finding reviews, checking availability and finding store locations, 60% prefer to use a desktop to buy online, vs. 22% who prefer to use their mobile browser. E-mail is their most preferred channel for contacting a brand. And they want your phone to be answered within 45 seconds.

Recommendation: Be easy reach by smartphone, but don't neglect desktop and phone.

The bottom line: GenZ can be reached through more channels than any preceding generation. But your messaging must incorporate what matters to GenZ.

See more here about GenZ's mobile mindset .

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