Before we begin, who exactly is Gen Z? In 2015 Forbes classified them as the generation following the Millennials. This includes people born from the mid 90’s to early 2010’s. They make up roughly 25% of the American population. These stats give them the status of being a larger group of citizens than the Baby Boomers or the Millennials born just before them.
Dubbed the new millennials, they are attempting to break away from the negative stereotypes associated with their generation. They are hyperaware of the world seeing Millennials as entitled spoiled brats. To breakaway from this, they are attempting to prove to employers that they can work hard and forge a path to success, instead of assuming that it will be handed to them on a silver plate.
An Adweek report discovered that Gen Zers are keen to invest in their skills: 33% watch online lessons; 20% read textbooks on their tablets and 32% collaborate with classmates online. They are fiercely independent. This generation is the most digitally savvy yet. Their whole life is one big digital footprint, almost every moment of their lives have been captured digitally.
A Life Submerged In a Virtual World
Some Millennials can still remember what life was like before Google and Facebook took over. But Gen Z can’t imagine the world without internet connectivity. But it seems that they have more healthy interactions with technology than some of the other generations.
MTV surveyed a group of Gen Zers and discovered that 91% of them use technology available to them to gain a better perspective on people from different cultures and socio classes. They also believe that the power of technology can be harnessed to implement big ideas to make the world a better place.
Life in the digital world comes naturally to them. Other generations are still battling to figure out how to for instance reach the millions of Snapchat users, but a Gen Z entrepreneur knows how to harness the power of the digital language.
The Gen Zers build digital careers for themselves from a young age, as can been seen on Musical.ly. It is a Chinese social network app with video creation, messaging and live broadcasting features. Launched in August 2014, it quickly became a big hit and by July 2016 they had more than 90 million registered users, with over 12 million video posts every day.
Out of Nappies into Business Suites
It seems as if an understanding of digital entrepreneurship comes naturally to Gen Zers. They effortlessly make a success on the internet. For instance, in 2016 Peter Szabo aged 18, managed a whopping $2 million+ in advertising assets on Facebook for his digital clients.
One might think that his age deterred prospective clients, but it counts in his favor when people realize that Gen Zers speak the digital language most fluently out of all the generations. If you want to keep up with digital trends and connect with modern consumers on a level they understand, it makes sense to entrust your digital marketing strategy to someone like Peter with his ear on the ground.
The Gen Zers still have a lot to learn about other things that count in the business world. And the oldest of them are not even out of college yet. But they are definitely starting with a solid foundation before entering the digital business world. With the right kind of mentoring, who knows what they will be able to achieve.
How Gen Zers Look At the World Differently
If you are considering doing business with Gen Zers or want to employ one, there’s a few things you need to know about how they view the world.
#1 They Are Glued To the Smartphone Screen Not the Television Screen
Advertising power has shifted from television to social media. The research shows that social media is quickly taking over as the main honcho in the advertising world. Defy Media conducted a study and discovered that consumers between the ages of 13 to 24 spent up to 12.1 hours a week browsing social media, YouTube and other free online resources. Another 8.8 hours per week are spent on subscription-based video services such as Netflix. In total it’s 2.5 times more time spent on other sources than watching television
This trend will most likely only increase in the future. And who better to understand the target market, than the generation that grew up glued to their smartphones. The Gen Zers have been exposed to smartphones since about the age of two, or maybe even younger. If you want to spread a message effectively, ask these digital experts how to do it.
#2 Social Media Is Not Just a Broadcasting Platform to Them – They View It as a Real Community
Older generations see social media as a means to an end, a way to broadcast a message to the masses. For instance, some think of a Facebook post as just another form of a billboard, or a pamphlet to distribute. But social media’s true power lies in its ability to connect humans.
Gen Zers grew up with social media completely entwined with their lives. They make friends on it and share their lives with a community they’ve created for themselves. When they imagine spreading a message, they don’t think about catchy slogans that will attempt to convince people to buy something. They believe that a message should contribute to the online community in a purposeful and meaningful way.
With this alternative mindset, 76% of Gen Zers believe that it’s possible to turn a hobby, or something that they are passionate about, into a proper fulltime career. Quite a few consider a social media influencer as a realistic career path, similar to going off to college or picking a big corporate company to work for.
#3 They Really Aim To Change the World And They’re Willing To Put In The Hard Work
Millennials were the generation that started insisting on working for a company in whose purpose they believed. For Gen Zers, this is very close to a nonnegotiable criteria. 60% of them want a job that will make the world a better place.
This shift in the approach to a career will soon force more companies to rethink how they approach business, especially if they want loyal young employees. They are tired of all talk and no action, these go-getters will insist to see a game plan for positive change in the world before they commit.
The companies that are smart enough to embrace this new trend, will snatch up the willing Gen Zers that are ready for action. Empty promises don’t fool them into buying things. They have a nose for sniffing out anything fake. A lot of big brands are struggling to grab the attention of young, socially-conscious potential customers.
We Manage Your Site Wants to Think like Gen Zers
We think that Gen Zers have a refreshing way of approaching the digital business world. If you really want to truly impact future generations, it makes a lot of sense to hire one of these dynamic Gen Zers to join your workforce. Or at least adopt their alternative approach to business.
At We Manage Your Site we aim to always stay up to date with trends and we’re always looking for dynamic ways to help our clients engage with their potential customers. Gen Zers fascinate us, we love their unique approach to the digital world.
If you want us to help you think like the Gen Zers as well as reach them successfully through a website that grabs their attention, contact us now!