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How do we deal with Generation Z?

‘Generation Z’ is the label given to people currently aged about 10 to 25 – the first generation not to have known a world without the internet, and who have always had access to it on the move. They are just beginning to become part of the customer universe in B2B sectors, and are worth understanding, especially if we’re creating content which may have a lifespan longer than next week.

If you’re part of ‘Gen Z’, or if (at the other extreme) you have a child who is, then you’ll recognise the identified characteristics of this generation. Many people in-between may not be as aware.

Unsurprisingly, Gen Z people are comfortable with a much wider range of media than older generations. Sadly, this doesn’t mean that the best way to get through to them is as simple as just making a video. It takes a lot more than that to impress them; they’ve seen it all before. If video is a good option to have available for them (and it usually is), then it’s got to be punchy as well as professional.

What about social media? Gen Z are all over that, right? Well, yes …but not on the first incarnation such as Facebook and Twitter. They’ve moved on to the more visual formats of Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok. So unless we’re prepared to embrace those, social media may have limited potential.

Most of all though, Gen Z people want to interact. They may be reluctant to pick up the phone, but they will expect to be able to send messages and get an instant reply. It’s not that they’re impatient, but that they see slow response as a warning sign of someone they won’t want to deal with.

None of us are going to be revising our marketing overnight for the youngest part of our customer base. The last time I saw a survey in the engineering and scientific sectors, for most companies, buyers ranged from 20 to 70 and peaked in the early 40s. But our customers are always changing, and we need to be aware of what that means.