Generation Z — Understand And Engage The Mobile-First Customers

We have barely started to understand millennial customers, and it is already time to move on. Say hi to the Generation Z, the first ‘truly mobile-first’ generation of customers, set to disrupt (again) the way you plan and execute your business.

Till now, the GenZ has been overlooked in marketing research, because younger customers did not have the same purchasing power of the previous generations. The spotlight was on Millennials, but things are swiftly changing.

Just so we are clear:

  • The Generation Y, what we call Millennials, includes those born between the early 1980s to the mid 1990s.
  • The Generation Z, also know as Post-Millennials or iGeneration, includes those born between the mid 1990s to the early 2000s.

Millennials have captivated marketers and researchers for the past five years or so because they have represented the final transition from an analog to a digital world. They were — and still are — the first digital customers, with a very peculiar mindset and unprecedented needs and desires.

The digital customer is, still today, the primary focus of business planning, but there are new kids in town, and you should not ignore them. We are talking about almost 60 million teens in the US alone, that translates into more than a quarter of the entire US population.

While the two generations have some traits in common, in fact, they also show different behaviors and approaches when it comes to technology. The GenZ grew up submerged in a digital world, shaped by mobile devices. They do not know other world but this.

Millennial customers were mobile pioneers, but today’s teens are mobile natives. A huge difference. They live in symbiosis with their smartphone; they rely on Google, social networks, and communities for all daily activities.

They are not shy about buying online from their mobile devices and, even when they go to the retail store, they walk in expecting something fresh, innovative, engaging. A powerful customer experience, in a few words.

This generation of customers brings to completion the evolutionary trajectory started with the Millennials. They had phones when they were in elementary or middle school, and that shift is already shaping customer journeys that you need to study and understand.

Your business will be affected by their behaviors sooner or later. They are young but, even today, they spend something like 44 billion dollars annually (in the US alone). This figure is set to grow exponentially in the near future.

The first step to understanding the post-millennial customers is to compare them with the previous generation. Last year, in an article published on The Huffington Post, George Beall tried to identify how the GenZ differs from the GenY. What came out is something that you should bear in mind when you plan your next marketing moves.

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