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How To Market Gen Z

You’re wasting your time and money if you’re trying to use traditional marketing techniques on Gen Z. They don’t work!

I remember standing on stage in front of several hundred Gen Zs and giving a presentation with a traditional Powerpoint running on three giant screens behind me. I wasn’t connecting. I could tell by looking in their eyes and watching their body language.
Several months later, I had another opportunity to speak in front of a large Gen Z audience. This time I used fast-paced videos with music and descriptive images from Snap, TikTok, and Instagram. My audience was engaged and told me afterward, via DMs, that they enjoyed the presentation.
I was figuring things out one presentation at a time. What I learned about marketing and branding to Gen Z is below. It’s working well for me during my virtual keynotes, presentations, and interviews, and I know these approaches will work for you too!
Why Gen Z?
Well, for starters, at ages 9-24, Gen Z makes up 20 percent of the United States population. In 2021, the annual purchasing power of Gen Z is $300B.
As this group of humans gets older, start new companies and roll over into our workforce, they’ll add even more dollars into our economy. For this reason, the next 10-20 years are going to get crazy!
According to an article titled “Stop Selling to Gen Z” in June’s Entrepreneur Magazine, Gen Z’s don’t want to be marketed to. Instead, what they’re looking for are partners and honest relationships with the brands they consume.
Unlike the rest of the world, Gen Z grew up with the Internet, smartphones, and digital. Their virtual lives are as important and fundamental to them as traditional offline relationships. They’re spending time on Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitch, and Facebook. This is where they are, and it doesn’t matter to them if you get it or not.
The wants, needs, and desires of Gen Z are different than Gen X and Gen Y. Smart business owners who realize this will be the same business owners who can tap into this growing and quickly changing Gen Z consumer market space.
In her Entrepreneur article, Liz Brody shared four ways you can connect with Gen Z when marketing, branding, and creating content online and off. I elaborate on each below:
#1: Don’t Ask Gen Z For Anything
Instead of hitting Gen Z over and over again with a call to action, offer them “partnership” opportunities. Instead of interrupting their content consumption with ads and commercials (it doesn’t work, folks), create opportunities to embrace their work, efforts, and plans. 
Use and offer your existing products and services to complement their efforts and help them obtain their goals. Use fast-paced, active visual and audio content with a carefully integrated FOMO element to help get things done.
#2: Support Their Interests
Find out what your Gen Z community wants, and then do whatever you can to help. How? By listening and asking open-ended questions. 
And when you do ask a question, pay attention. Watch what Gen Z is doing. How are they responding? What are they telling you by their actions? Is a connection being made? Remember, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw.
#3: Learn Their Language
How does Gen Z communicate on their platforms and in their communities? Instead of blog posts and emails, they’re using and speaking in the DMs on Snap, TikTok, Twitch, and Instagram. As I learned during my presentations from the stage, fast-paced content, short videos, and music will have a more significant impact than a traditional Powerpoint or detailed blog post.
User-generated content (discussed here by Tyler Anderson) is another excellent way to actively allow Gen Z to use their inspiration and creative abilities in the content creation process. They can then share what they create on their platforms using a language that resonates with their community.
#4: Meet Them Where They Are
The fact of the matter is that Gen Z isn’t coming to you. You’ve got to learn how your Gen Z community thinks and go to where they are. 
If you want to communicate, don’t count on email, snail mail, or the phone. Instead, build relationships on the platforms mentioned in this newsletter and take it to the next level via text and DMs. That’s where Gen Z is, and that’s how they want to communicate. 
Embrace this technology and be there for them. Use tags to help everyone build a real-time community. Be authentic and strategically transparent. You’ll earn their trust by doing so.
Focus on helping, building rapport, and connecting with Gen Z. Stop using CTAs and interrupting their experiences with ads and commercials.
Drive engagement and sales by listening, adding value, and helping. Respect the limited time and attention that Gen Z has (they are being bombarded by a mass amount of information and noise each day) and share what you bring to the table in a way that will help them change the world.
Along the way, enjoy the journey and make each day your masterpiece.
Mitch Jackson, Esq.
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Mitch Jackson, Esq.
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Mitch Jackson, 65 Enterprise, Third and Fourth Floors, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656