In the second of our two articles looking at the next generation – termed ‘Gen Z’ – we’ve picked five themes that we think marketers and communicators alike should consider when looking to capture the attention of this smartphone generation.
- Hypercompetitive – with 20% of the workforce due to be Gen Z by 2020 – as employers we are going to feel the effect of a baby boom. While this may mean more choice and certainly more CVs in your inbox it should mean we see a highly motivated and hungry talent bank. Jobs don’t yet exist for this cohort who will shape the future of digital communication in ways we can only imagine.
- Hyperconnected – our 24/7 world is not going anywhere. Forget alcohol, partying and homework – Gen Z’s obsession is the phone permanently lodged in their palms. With estimations of daily screen time anywhere from two to six hours a day – how you relate to your audience through a smartphone is going to be more important than ever in years to come. Agility, flexibility and, above all, a highly tuned sense of how to speak to this audience is going to be vital to future marketing.
- Hyperdiverse – with 25% of this emerging generation not classing themselves as white together with the impact on young women (and hopefully men) of the ‘me too’ campaign – this generation looks incredibly different and diverse. Bear this in mind in your communications – you must be culturally and socially aware as businesses – most in our opinion still have a long way to go. Diversity is not a trend – it’s an imperative that you must commit to. Being active not passive is critical.
- Hyperparanoid – new data and privacy laws in the shape of GDPR, the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook expose; an increased awareness of mental health and wellbeing and the anxiety that our younger generation faces in managing their online image should not be underestimated. Consumer behaviour is changing and you need to be mindful as brands to these influences.
- Hyperaware – one highly positive outcome, in our view, of the digital world, is transparency. The integrity and honesty of brands and business is quite rightly under the spotlight. The value of corporate reputation should never be underestimated – it can take years to earn brand favour – and seconds to lose it – just ask Volkswagon, American Airlines, Facebook, and Harvey Weinstein. Reputation is linked directly to profitability – fail to protect it proactively and you’re playing Russian roulette everyday. Effective, honest and transparent PR practices are imperative.