- Omnichannel marketing is a key strategy to reach Generation Z with 88% of people born since 1997 saying they want brand experiences among digital and physical channels. More than half (54%) of the group said social media is the top influence channel, ahead of websites, per a study by the CMO Council and Pitney Bowes shared with Marketing Dive.
- Gen Z differs from older generations in saying that online videos are a key brand discovery platform, behind social media and websites. More than half (56%) of the group said they want video to reflect the products and services they already own or are specifically interested in, while 43% want video to be interactive.
- Gen Z shares a preference with older generations for omnichannel marketing, with 87% of Baby Boomers, 85% of millennials, 83% of Generation X and 82% of the silent generation saying they prefer a blend of digital and physical channels. Omnichannel touchpoints include email, phone, web, in-person engagements, video, social media and printed mail.
As Gen Z matures into adulthood and starts to make independent purchase decisions, the group is becoming a bigger priority for marketers. The group favors convenience among communication channels, making social media the top preference for interactions, although the CMO Council's report warns that social media isn't the only channel that Gen Z wants to use. While millennials may combine text, mobile web and mobile voice into their definition of a "telephone," Gen Z has translated the immediacy of response found with a voice-based telephone call into seeking quick service from social media, the survey found.
Gen Z is less enthusiastic about sharing personal data with companies than millennials are, with 34% of the older generation saying they don't mind data collection, while 41% want to be in control of the data. Most consumers among all generations are comfortable sharing some data with brands, especially consumers in Europe who have been well-educated about data and its uses and benefits. The European Union last year enacted stricter consumer privacy laws after several years of debating the issue of data-sharing and educating the public about its benefits and pitfalls.
Gen Z is more likely than older groups to favor interactive video, such as a build-their-own-adventure experience that they can control. Among all generations, about half of respondents (48%) said they want to engage with videos that reflected specific products and services they own or are interested in. Like Gen Z, 43% of survey respondents said they would like video to be more interactive, letting them decide what information they can view and when.
Gen Z also tends to favor brands that demonstrate their commitment to working in society's best interest, according to a separate survey by brand consultancy BBMG and strategy firm GlobeScan. Gen Z is twice as likely as any other generation to care more about issues of equality and three times more likely to say that the purpose of business is to "serve communities and society," the survey found. However, brands need to be thoughtful about attaching themselves to a cause, with research published in the Journal of Advertising Research recommending that brands avoid being overly emotional or relying on guilt in their cause-related marketing.