When it comes to younger audiences, those in the millennial generation have long been the most numerous, which has some pretty significant impact on how marketers choose to do their targeting. According to the latest Nielsen reports, however, that has officially changed. Gen-Z, which is made up of those born between 1997 and 2015, now makes up 26% of the population. This puts them above Millennials (22%) and the baby boomers (24%).
While it is true that many of the generation z members are still too young to do much buying directly, they can still have quite an impact on what is being purchased. As they get older, this influence will only continue to grow.
While at first glance, generation Z and millennials seem to have a lot in common, there are some important differences that set them apart. As generation z continues to come into their own, this will only become more pronounced.
Generation Z, for example, grew up with a smartphone in their hand (sometimes in their crib!). While they watch a lot of video, relatively little of it is on a television, or even through a DVR. Instead, they stream to mobile devices using services like Netflix or Hulu. They are also quite comfortable making purchases either in a store, through a website, or using an app. Calling on the phone to make a purchase, however, is something they would rather avoid if possible.
Interestingly, generation Z members actually prefer to shop in a store more than millennials, though you can bet that while shopping they will be have their phones in hand doing some online research on the products they are buying.
Over the next several years, this generation will become an essential target for most marketers. Getting to know them, and their habits, now is extremely important.