Marketing to Generation Z

It’s important to segment your audience not just by demographics, but also interests and personalities so that you can develop a brand personality that resonates with your target customer. Segmenting just by demographics was the old way of marketing, but the vast amount of consumer data available today has allowed marketers to layer attitude and behavior insights on top of just demographics. Today, we’d like to focus on marketing to young people. After all, Generation Z has surpassed Millenials and accounts for 32% of the global population.


Generation Z timeline



This demographic will inevitably one day be many businesses’ customers. The caveat here is that Generation Z is too wide of an audience segment. While there are undoubtedly some similarities between each generation, there is as much diversity within generations as there is between them. For example, Barack Obama and Donald Trump are both Baby Boomers. While the digital age has created virtual connectivity, it has also divided the population up into tribes, so to speak, uniting people by shared interests and mindsets rather than age or location. The more you break down your segments, the more you will be able to create personalized ad experiences. Netflix, for example, does a great job of breaking their millions of subscribers down into a smaller subset of taste categories based on viewing behavior.



Each generation has some similarities shaped by events and experiences in their lifetime. Growing up with the internet is just one of those factors that have shaped Generation Z’s characteristics. Births started in 1995, so they are today’s teenagers and those in their early 20s—some of which are just graduating college. This is key for businesses because this means they are starting to enter the workforce and gain buying power.Here are some general strategies that can help you market to Generation Z, regardless of your niche:


  • Have a Purpose – Generation Z is aware of the environmental, political, and socio-economic problems that societies face today. According to the World Economic Forum Global Shapers Survey, young people think climate change and the destruction of nature is the most critical issue today.
  • Sell Experiences – Generation Z grew up with the internet and are immune to obvious marketing campaigns that involve hard selling. They want to know how your company will benefit them and what experience your product will bring to them.
  • Advocate Entrepreneurial Values – According to the same survey, they regard a “start-up ecosystem and entrepreneurship” as the most important factor contributing to youth empowerment in a country. 72 percent of teens in the United States say they want to start their own business one day.
  • Video is Key –  A Google Survey revealed that YouTube is the No. 1 platform they turn to when they want to relax or cheer up. With 85% of teenagers actively using the platform, 80% do so to expand their knowledge, and 68% to improve or gain new skills.




Long-term strategic planning is important for every business to stay successful. The fact that Generation Z is a huge portion of the population and is gaining buying power is exciting and it presents a lot of new opportunities for businesses. To reiterate, your business must learn to find their niche audiences within this large segment of Generation Z. Unless you have a massive budget to mass market, you’re best off finding or creating “tribes” to market to. As they say, if you try to please all, you please none. You likely already have an idea of the demographics of your target audience, now try to break it down further into personalities you are targeting with your ad creative and messaging. You can learn more about your audience by casting your net wide and seeing what bites, then adjusting your strategies from there. Need a hand? Reach out to us here and let us help you build a strong marketing strategy.