Talking the Gen-Z talk: How to market to them
Representative pictureUnsplash/Karthik Balakrishnan
Most effective ways to market to GenZ

Talking the Gen-Z talk: How to market to them

Most effective ways to market to GenZ
  • Nana Murugesan, Managing Director of International Markets at Snap Inc decodes Gen-Z.
  • He shares what makes GenZ different than others, how to capture their attention in less than 8 seconds, which topics are they most passionate about and how to connect with them.
Walking a mile in Gen-Z shoes would show you that they view the world differently. They are a generation of innovators, unafraid to experiment and draw outside the lines. They are a socially inclusive bunch and are positively receptive to change - at most times driving it. A product of their times, this generation has stepped up to be the change-makers they believe the world needs. They harness their creativity, empathy and the internet at their command to stay connected, blurring the lines between the physical and the virtual world.

Gen Z, although more tech-savvy and more pragmatic, is also facing challenges differently. The pressure to excel, combined with the heaviness of the world during the recessions and the recent pandemic in which they have come of age, has this cohort more stressed than prior generations. They respond by seeking out moments of levity and have a strong desire to bring fun back into their everyday lives. This need for laughter and light-heartedness will continue into their future as a tool to keep them recharged and reflects in how they choose to communicate with each other. They seek expression, fun and creativity while speaking to each other online. According to the insights from the Snapchat Generation Report Gen Z wants to stay connected through photos, emoticons, video calls and memes. They also place immense value on personalization, authenticity, speed, and love the concept of personalised - avatars that represent them in the virtual world. Unlike their predecessors, Gen-Z is fluid and open to exploring, building on their authentic selves. They measure success differently and are more inclined to celebrate creativity - whether others or their own. The world of the internet resonates with them because it fuels this creativity by offering them an almost limitless creative playground, no matter how niche the interest.

The need to see the world from a different lens bringing physical spaces and digital expressions together makes them more inclined towards Augmented Reality. AR empowers people to express their authentic self, live in the moment, learn about the world and have shared experiences together. It has helped create deeply engaging and immersive experiences for the new generation to interact with the world around them as soon as they open their camera. The lens has enabled innovation bringing alive art, culture and history. For instance, The Final Christo: Original Works for The Arc de Triomphe - a recently launched global portal lens enabled Snapchatters to bring French-artist Christo and Jeanne Claude’s vision of wrapping the iconic Arc de Triomphe to life.

The shared experiences form the core of Gen Z connections are naturally inclined towards bringing in moments of fun and lightheartedness in everything they do. One of the experiences they actively seek is playing games together. It's no accident that many digital experiences are either games or platforms that began as gathering places for gamers. Gaming has crossed the broader, stepping into - culture in recent years. Today, ‘gaming’ is not just for ‘gamers’ — it represents a new paradigm for interacting online. In the span of a year, digital experiences have become a force defining not only how Gen Z audiences connect, but also how they experience and shape the culture at large. They want to use maps to communicate with their friends nearby and also leverage it to see what is happening in new places thousands of miles away and learn about and celebrate other cultures, and understand various perspectives during big events. Besides games and maps, they also enjoy the more interactive and faster experiences of sharing video and music content.

Apart from new dynamic experiences, the core values of the generation are reflected in their prioritizing social activism, willingness to address difficult issues and being more open to authentic self-expression. They place importance on supporting organizations and features whose values and attributes align with their own.

With the world as their laboratory, new generations are free to choose and seek out their own virtual communities. These communities build, engage and provide a platform for phenomenal growth. There are endless possibilities and activities that one can explore to strike a chord with Gen-Z, including connecting with culture, reimagining e-commerce and meaningfully engaging with friends and family.

To drive a connection with Gen Z it is important to be more conscious and strengthen empathy, understand their behaviours and patterns of thinking as a generation since they expect more personalization in how they want to be treated and are active seekers who are willing to create more. Growing up in a time of rapid advances and industry disruption driven by mobile technology and ubiquitous connectivity, Gen Z expects continuous innovation as the norm. This personalization and innovation can be positive forces to stay relevant across all generations and can help open pathways for traditional setups to do things differently, keeping the future in mind.