We previously discussed helpful Generation Z marketing tips. We pointed out how effective Out-of-Home advertising is for this demographic, even though it is often overlooked for only digital strategies. This is just one mistake marketers make when trying to appeal to this often-elusive audience. Here we’ve included some other common errors and how to avoid them.
Creating Content with Old References
Digital and social media advertisements are staples of today’s marketing landscape. Memes can be a fun way to engage with consumers and generate buzz on these platforms, but you have to be careful that you stay relevant. Memes tend to evolve quickly and abruptly. They die out fast, and once they are gone your reference, intended to make you seem cool and relatable, has done just the opposite. Used wisely, memes and cultural references evoke a sense of community and understanding between companies and their customers.
Beware, companies seem lame and disconnected from present culture if they use outdated references. For a generation that already distrusts big corporations and advertising in general, you want to ensure you don’t look as though you’re “trying too hard” because it seems inauthentic. If you do want to use memes to relate to Gen Z make sure you act fast when you see a trend that could fit with your brand. Take advantage of the opportunity quickly and be sure not to overdo it.
Underestimating Gen Z’s Need for Speed
Generation Z has an infamously short attention span. This translates to a demand for convenience. This has created space for more and more services that save time and energy for a busy demographic. Gen Z doesn’t want to go to a store to rent a movie; they want it to play instantly on their laptop. They can’t be bothered to pick-up their dinner; they’ll just order it online and have someone bring it right to their door. Generation Z does not just appreciate two-day shipping, they expect it. They are all about instant gratification, and they are willing to pay for it. Prioritize delivering quality products fast and on time. Speed and convenience are also important in ads. Be concise and as unobtrusive as possible. This allows your audience to focus on the message of the ad and not feel as annoyed when interrupted.
Misunderstanding Social Activism
Generation Z is socially conscious and wants their brands to share their values. Generation Z marketing can backfire by trying to comment on societal issues through advertisements. This demographic has a low tolerance for companies who try to exploit social injustice for profit. They recognize disingenuous efforts easily, and they are quick to criticize brands that seem insincere or trivialize important movements and issues. A great example of this is the backlash from the Pepsi protest ad in 2017. Although this was far from the end for the well-established soda company, this faux pas was costly and a very important teaching moment for marketers trying to connect with Gen Z.
One of the most important things to remember when appealing to this generation’s demand for ethical businesses is that actions speak louder than words. If you post content about the importance of being eco-friendly, but the vast majority of your materials are unsustainable, at some point consumers will notice and your sales will suffer.