Marketing To Gen Z | Tips and Strategies to Appeal to Generation Z

Marketing To Gen Z | Tips and Strategies to Appeal to Generation Z

Marketing To Gen Z | Tips and Strategies to Appeal to Generation Z

Welcome Millennials and Gen X-ers – the generations that grew up with Disco, The Breakfast Club, and Payphones but still have no idea what ‘cheugy’ means.

This blog is for you. 

Growth and evolution go hand in hand, especially in marketing. Thus, every brand needs to understand how to appeal to perhaps the most elusive generation to date; Generation Z.

With strong opinions, a vast amount of different interests, and a deep quest for social justice, Generation Z can be a tough market. But don’t worry; in this guide, we will go over who Gen Z is and our top strategies to gain their support.

Who is Gen Z?

Gen Z is the most unprecedented generation to date. Born between 1997 and 2012, these ‘zoomers,’ as often referred to, have been raised by the internet and Disney Channel, allowing them to be independent thinkers and tech-savvy individuals. 

Despite what previous generations have to say, Gen Zers are not ‘lazy’ or ‘entitled.’ In fact, they are on track to be the most entrepreneurial and educated generation in America. Historically, they are also the most racially diverse, as only 52% are non-Hispanic white, which is significantly lower than statistics reported in 2002 (61%). 

Even though they have a lot of similarities to Millenials (people born between 1981 -1996), they stand out in many major categories. For example, Gen Z is more practical and self-focused than the idealistic, community-oriented Millennials. Additionally, Gen Z is more likely to be politically engaged than Millennials, with a greater emphasis on activism and social change (more on this later). 

These characteristics are key to understanding how to directly market to this population, which, according to research, has about $360 billion in disposable income

So, how do you appeal to Gen Z? Let’s get into it.

Tap Into Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is the newest wave of marketing that has quickly become one of the most successful. What started on Youtube with OG influencers like Jackie Aina and PewDiePie, has slid over to platforms like Instagram and TikTok. 

About 62% of Gen Z make purchases through social media. Social media purchases are so powerful that there’s even a trend on Tiktok where content creators show things “TikTok made them buy”. Gen Z is nothing if not self-aware. 

This effective mode of ethos even translates to the Tourism and Adventure Activities Industry. Forbes reported that “Millennials and Generation Z are more likely to pick a travel destination and activities based on what their peers share online over branded travel ads.” 

But how can you apply influencer marketing to your business? Glad you asked.

While macro-influencers like Emma Chamberlain and Charli D’Amelio may be a bit out of budget and, quite frankly, hard to reach, there are plenty of micro-influencers who may be easier to work with. We recommend contacting your local niche micro-influencers in your area first. But remember, just because they have a nice-sized following doesn’t mean they are the right fit for your business. Be sure to assess aspects such as their values and current audience before implementing them in your campaign.

Start Practicing Those TikTok Dances

We are kidding. Kinda. 

There’s absolutely no way around it. If you want to appeal to Gen Z, you will need to join the other 1.4 Billion users on TikTok. It is estimated that Gen Z and Millennials spend an average of 24-48 hours a month on the formally platform.  

While you don’t have to stay up to date with the latest dance trends (though it’s hard not to), video content is the best form of media to capture Gen Zers, especially short-form video content. This is because this generation wants information, and they want it fast. 
We know video content can be overwhelming to try to navigate. If you are not sure where to even begin, get in contact with us. We’d love to discuss and strategize a social media plan that will work for your organization.

To Talk The Talk, You Gotta Walk The Walk

To reach someone, you’ve got to be able to speak their language. Or at least know key phrases like “please and thank you” and “where’s the bathroom.” Nevertheless, with everything regarding Gen Z, authenticity is crucial. They can spot a fake quickly, so don’t jump the gun and start utilizing random words you don’t understand. 

We encourage you to study your audience as best you can; we guarantee you’ll catch the lingo over time. But perhaps the best way to speak Gen Z is to hire someone who’s fluent. Consider hiring a Gen Z marketer who can likely help you “big slay.”

Allyship Over Performative Activism

If you take nothing else from this post (which we sure hope isn’t the case), please listen, and listen closely. At their core, Gen Zers are “self-driver [s] who deeply care about others, strive for a diverse community, [and] are highly collaborative and social, valu[ing] flexibility, relevance, authenticity” (Standford). Meaning they value allyship over performative activism. 
This generation cares about social issues ranging from climate control to gun reform and everything in between. They want to align themselves with brands that care about the world as they do and are quick to block organizations that fail to make a stance or are tone-deaf. To avoid having to crawl out of the pits of cancel culture, make sure to always be authentic. We go a bit further into depth on this in one of our latest whitepapers, which you can download for free, so be sure to check it out.

And That’s A Wrap

Gen Z is a diverse and socially conscious generation that values authenticity, inclusivity, and individuality. So, the best way to reach them is to, overall, try to relate to them as humans. By adapting your strategies to the preferences and needs of this generation, you’ll capture their attention in no time. 
At AAMP, we are a full-service marketing agency dedicated to helping you and your business grow. We aim to boost the foot traffic to your establishment, and we have the expertise to achieve it. Our team aims to promote your brand by devising tailored marketing strategies, crafting a website that generates leads effortlessly, and providing a range of additional services. We are committed to narrating your unique story to attract potential customers. If you are ready to take your business to the next level, we’d love to chat– we’ll even send you some sweet swag for investing your time with us!

Powerful Black Leaders in Marketing & The Lessons We Can Learn From Them

Powerful Black Leaders in Marketing & The Lessons We Can Learn From Them

For centuries, Black Americans have shaped and influenced our culture. They’ve graciously walked into hostile rooms and, if they weren’t granted entry, created their own. No matter where you look, the extensive contributions that Black men and women have made can be seen all around us. Despite the fact that the marketing industry is 66% White and only 5% Black, this industry is no different. Here is a look at a few of the most influential leaders in marketing and the lessons we can learn from them.

Madam CJ Walker

Exclusion Punishes Everyone

There is not a Black woman on this planet that isn’t eternally grateful for Madam CJ Walker. In the height of the Jim Crow, the post-civil war era in which a series of heavily racially discriminatory laws aimed to dehumanize and disenfranchise newly ‘freed’ African Americans, Walker persisted and proved herself to be not only an influential entrepreneur but a master marketer. 

What started as a remedy to cure her own hair loss turned into a million-dollar corporation and ignited a movement. From containing the map to freedom to serving as a medium of self-expression, Black hair is and will always be important to Black culture. And back then, Madam CJ Walker deeply understood this.

Determined to market a product that aimed to accentuate Black beauty, not erase it, Walker sold her homemade hair care directly to the excluded community of Black women, using a personal approach that won her loyal consumers. This strategy, which was ahead of its time, teaches us today that appealing to communities with authenticity always pays off in the long run.

John H. Johnson

Tell Your Story

As marketers, we all understand the power of storytelling. But perhaps, no one understood that more than John H. Johnson. Johnson’s use of providing a space where marginalized communities can find refuge made him the most influential African American publisher in American history. 

During the 1950s oppressive reign of white supremacy, valuable Black representation was extremely scarce. As a result, Johnson set out to create Ebony and Jet, the United States’ first monthly and weekly magazines geared towards the Black community. Both publications feature content such as celebrity news, fashion, politics, and other aspects important to Black culture.

While Ebony and Jet, for the most part, maintain a positive tone today, back then, Johnson made it a point to respond to critical social issues. In fact, his most notable issue of Jet was in 1955  when he published a picture of young Emmett Till’s body after it had arrived in Chicago from Mississippi. The brave decision of Till’s mother to have an open casket allowed media outlets like Johnson to produce “probably one of the greatest media products in the last 40 or 50 years,” as said by former Congressman Charles Diggs. 

The brutal photo of Till’s body after his unjust murder was a punch in the gut for the entire nation, one that Johnson didn’t flinch from. His commitment to giving a voice to the Black community without holding back from social issues is something we all can learn from today.

Robin Beaman

Shoot For The Stars, Then Conquer The Galaxy

If you look up the definition of the word boss, right next to the picture of Beyoncé, you’ll find a photo of Robin Beaman. With an array of accolades from now to the next millennia, surprisingly, that is not the most impressive thing about Beaman. Her willingness to aim high without fear and achieve the goals she set out to proves that with tenacity and determination, you can do anything. 

After becoming the director of public relations at The Capital Children’s Museum in Washington, D.C., Beaman accepted a role with a then-start-up Black Entertainment Television (BET). With her hard work and keen expertise in communicating directly to audiences lacking authentic representation in film and television, she was able to help transform BET into the incredible powerhouse that it is today. And as if that wasn’t enough, Beaman then set her sights on working with the incomparable Oprah Winfrey. Which she did for many years as their manager for national and international publicity and organizer of community engagement and special events for “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” 

Now, still fueled by a ferocious ambition, Beaman is the CEO and Founder of her own strategic communications firm, Beaman Inc., which is home to big-name clients like Revlon, HBO, United Airlines, and The White House. To this day, Robin Beaman inspires us never to stop aiming high.

Bozoma Saint John

Think Often, and Think Boldly

We cannot talk about leaders in marketing without mentioning the remarkable Bozoma Saint John. With over 20 years of experience across multiple industries, including fashion, sports, and entertainment, Bozoma has proven herself to be one of the most effective marketers of any generation. 

As a champion of innovation and creativity, Bozoma has had huge success with major brands such as Netflix, Pepsi, Apple, and Uber. Before her time at Netflix, she served as the Chief Brand Officer at Uber and at Apple; as the Head of Global Consumer Marketing, she built and launched Apple Music, as well as spearheaded campaigns geared toward growing consumer brand recognition, loyalty, and equity across the globe. 

Today, she has rightfully earned her place as a member of the Billboard Hall of Fame, the American Advertising Federation Hall of Achievement, and the American Marketing Association Hall of Fame. Bozoma Saint John is a testimony that sings the positive effects unlimited creativity brings.

Kim L. Hunter

If There Are No Seats At The Table, Build Your Own Table

Owner of the multimillion-dollar marketing communications agency, Lagrant Communications, Kim L. Hunter, is a true legend in the marketing industry. With over 30 years of experience with companies such as American Airlines, Walmart, Starbucks, and plenty more, Hunter has shown that hard work pays off. But perhaps his most honorable attribute is his commitment to others. 

When Hunter noticed a lack of diversity in his industry, as there is in most, he forged a campaign to solve this issue. As a result, he founded his own marketing communications agency that prides itself on belong inclusive and specializes in the Hispanic, African American, and LGBTQIA+ consumer markets. 

The CEO takes his commitment to others outside of his firm. Hunter frequently speaks to the youth and the next generation of marketers, challenging them to create their own lane if there is no space for them in the current one.

Progress Is a Continual Effort

In 2023, we’d like to think that we are well on our way to social progress – and in some ways, we are. However, there is still much that needs to be done in our march toward equality in all fields. And it all begins with accepting our history, no matter how difficult or uncomfortable, and being willing to make room for different voices. At AAMP Agency, we value inclusiveness and look to the pioneers, both past and present, who have altered the marketing, advertising, and media industries with fearlessness and courage.