Gen Z: the next big consumer group that finds your marketing irrelevant
Have you ever sat down to create some form of marketing content, only to be struck with the crippling fear of irrelevance? Sure, you’ve done your homework. You’ve seen what your competitors are doing well, and you’re avoiding the pitfalls outlined this week’s consumer insights blogs. You know your subject is relevant based on the memes and hashtags that are trending across the popular social platforms, and you’ve definitely figured out the difference between a Gen X, Y, and whatever else is out there. Still, how can a brand construct an authentic message that they know will ring true with their audiences?
Here’s a little trick that will help you engage with your desired demographic:
Stop trying to tell consumers what they want.
Today’s marketing world is about having conversations, not about driving home a point. Customer feedback isn’t a multiple choice test, it’s a short answer response. What we as marketers are failing to realize is that keywords aren’t novel anymore once they’ve been dubbed “keywords;” A Boolean search is actually a tool for identifying well-established ideas, not discovering new ones; and marketers will never have anything relevant to say if we don’t first learn to listen.
One young professional is taking the marketing world by the scruff and sticking our nose in the mess we’ve made: Connor Blakley, an 18-year-old expert on Generation Z. How did he become such an expert? He’s one of them, that’s how. Imagine that! A Gen Z professional who finds success through speaking about what he knows. Blakley has worked with big names across multiple markets, and they all say he’s the best thing to happen to Gen Z marketing efforts.
The biggest takeaway from Blakley’s story is not just that young pros are awesome (though, they absolutely are), but that we should always begin by listening to the source. Consider who wrote those blogs that you study with such fervor, and make sure you understand just who you’re marketing to, whether that be Gen X, Y, Z, or boomers. Above all, don’t assume you understand the desires of any demographic based on keywords and buzzwords. If you’re basing your marketing on a hip and happening buzzword, you’re probably well behind the pack as it is. To your consumer, it’s just not relevant.