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7 Essential Strategies for Marketing to Gen Z


Joanna Dodd Massey Ph.D., MBA


Business and Finance

With over 25 years of experience in the media industry at companies, such as Conde Nast, Lionsgate, CBS, Viacom, Discovery and Hasbro, Joanna Dodd Massey, Ph.D., MBA is a C-level communications executive and Board Director. She has managed brand reputation, corporate turnaround, crisis communications and culture transformation. Currently, Dr. Massey is a communications consultant, as well as Founder & CEO of The Marketing Communications Think Tank. She is a corporate speaker and trainer, as well as author of the books, "Communicating During a Crisis," and "Culture Shock: Surviving Five Generations in One Workplace" (TVG Publishing, 2020).

They may be young, but Gen Z now accounts for 40% of consumers and already influences between $29 billion and $143 billion in direct spending. Since the youngest of them are only nine years old in 2019, their buying power will continue to grow. That means their importance simply cannot be overstated. Despite having similar psychographics to younger Millennials, Gen Z is distinct in a variety of significant ways that smart marketers are paying attention to. These seven strategies are key to mounting successful Gen Z marketing campaigns.


1. Employ omnichannel marketing, whether it is mobile, social or in-store—and yes, brick-and-mortar still matters.


2. Get to the point, because the average attention span of Gen Z is 8 seconds—a goldfish’s attention span is 9 seconds.


3. Be authentic, because a 2019 study by the Center of Generational Kinetics found that 79% of Gen Zers trust a company more if it uses marketing imagery that has not been Photoshopped, and 84% will trust a brand more if it uses actual customers in its ads.


4. Embrace influencers, because Gen Z is even more likely than Millennials to trust endorsements from social media influencers over those from celebrities.


5. Pivot your messaging, because Gen Z has different values—for instance, Gen Z usually prefers a cool product over a cool experience—so your Gen Z marketing should reflect those values.


6. Engage with Your Audience—76% of Gen Zers views a brand's responsiveness to engagement as a metric of its authenticity.


7. Email Is Not Dead Yet—32% of Gen Z says they want to hear their favorite brands by email a couple of times a week, while 28% say they want to hear from them daily! 


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