It starts with the challenge of getting Gen Zs to read anything in hard copy at all, despite all efforts to glorify the age-old pleasure derived from reading books. Sure, they read books, but only when it suits them and, more importantly, when they can take time from the arduous daily routine of updating everyone in their various networks about their day's activity. At dinner time, you have to give 30 minutes notice of your intention to serve, just so they can formally sign out from the couple of dozen Facebook and other conversations orchestrated on their laptop or iTouch.
In this context, trying to grab even a nanosecond's attention from this target group is going to turn marketing into an extreme sport.
From my personal experience, there are a few things I have learned about Gen Z:
- They think everyone can be famous. This means if your brand is not on TV and/or appearing in internet banners, it can't be important. My daughter asks: "If your company is good, why don't we see it on television?" TV in itself is not important to them, or even particularly credible, but it does signal fame - an important ingredient in the communications mix for Gen Z.
- The primary media distribution channel is social media. Every network, virtual or otherwise, has its gatekeepers and influencers. If you're not on their radar, you're not going to penetrate their networks. So much for paying for access to content! Think again, Rupert. You might have to start paying micro networkers for adding messages and tiny URLs linked to your website.
- Instant gratification is key. So devise ways for me to interact with you online or, better still, via my favourite mobile device. If I have to download and form and provide a signature, forget it. I'll find someone who can do the job online. My wish is your command!
- I'll never read a product disclosure statement, so don't bother sending one. If I need information, I'll ask for it. If you lose my money or send me a dodgy product, I'll make sure the world knows about it. Let me spell it out for you: "Just deliver or I'll trash your brand."