Marketing Generation Z

Updated November 6, 2018
Step aside Millennials, Generation Z is the focus. Gen Z is the most diverse generation yet; they are expected to comprise 32 percent of the global population in 2019, outnumbering millennials, who will account for 31.5 percent.

Who Is Generation Z?

Generation Z is everyone born between 1996 and 2010. The eldest are barely into their twenties, so they’re still figuring out how they fit into the hectic US marketplace. What we know about Gen Z is that they harbor many internally based motivations. They are often self-aware, self-reliant, innovative, and goal oriented.
On the other hand, they are an extremely cautious group of people. They are generally pragmatic, practical, and risk-averse. Overall, Generation Z is made up of young people who want to make a difference in the world.



The Generation Z Debate

There is still debate over the Generation Z psychographics. They are so young that researchers haven’t had the time to solidify the generation’s standing in the world. Some analysts believe that the generation represents negative personality traits. They believe the generation is unfocused, has short attention spans, is addicted to social media; The list goes on and on. Others believe that they are good multi-taskers, early starters, and entrepreneurial.
Altitude’s Jeremy Finch has an interesting take on Generation Z. In his Co.Exist article, Finch discusses how Generation Z gets a bad rap.
Generation Z uses what Finch calls an “eight-second filter.” Instead of the misconception that people in this group have short attention spans, he proposes that they spend eight seconds evaluating whether or not the information is important. Generation Z does this to preserve what valuable time they have. They strive to be as productive as possible and this filter helps them do so.
Finch goes on to describe Generation Z’s online and social media usage as a means of “brand management.” This group is using social media to create the image of themselves they want to reflect to the world. His last point paints Generation Z as “practical pragmatists,” people who plan ahead and work independently.

Reaching Generation Z Through Social Media

The difficult thing about Generation Z is that they are incredibly difficult to market to. They have a deep mistrust of advertising and a snap decision of interest, which generally leads them to skip ads as soon as they can.
But, Generation Z is constantly plugged in. They are an internet, mobile, social media based group. Most of them hardly remember life before technology at all. As George Beall puts it, “Gen Z’ers were born social.” They are globally connected through the internet, which makes the internet the best place to reach them.
Generation Z sees most advertisements on their mobile devices. This presents a great opportunity for you to use social media and online apps to distribute your content. Generation Z doesn’t use Facebook as much as Millennials and Generation X does. They’re more present on Instagram, Snapchat, and various messaging apps. Take this into consideration when choosing a social network to advertise on.


Yes, they do skip ads, which means you have to create an ad that will hold their attention. Generation Z’ers are more likely to watch shorter videos — between 10 and 30 seconds. The closer to 10 seconds, the better. Shorter ads work well for this group because it makes it harder for them to skip the ad immediately.

An ad like this may appeal to Generation Z. It’s short and gets to the point. The belated reveal toward the end gives this ad a comedic aspect as well. There are other aspects you can add to your video to make it appeal even more to Generation Z.
Generation Z is especially susceptible to humorous content. They are three times more likely to enjoy a funny ad than a serious one. They are also more receptive to ads that feature music and a good story. So, in creating your video ad — if you’re targeting Generation Z — consider using humorous story aspects with attention-grabbing sounds and visuals.


Generation Z is quickly moving up in the market. They are more and more important to target with each passing day. Keep the above tips in mind when you decide to start marketing to them.

katie murray marketing and video production internKatie Murray is a Marketing Intern for Green Buzz Agency. She reports on the latest trends in Video Production and Video Marketing. She doesn’t understand why Generation Z hates Facebook.

Lucy Wolfe contributed to this post.

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