Gen Z: Identity, Influence, and How To Market Toward Them

Jul 09, 2020 | 4  min
author Kati Fredericksen
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Let’s face it: in 2020, the world revolves around Gen Z. They are the ones setting the new standards for businesses, consumers, and marketers, and because of this, it is crucial to study them and their behaviors so marketers and businesses can better understand them. Generation Z makes up 20% of the workforce, 40% of all consumers, and they are the largest, most demographically diverse, and most technologically dependent generation. 

Current Generations 

Each and every generation is defined by seminal events that occur during their lifetime. Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) experienced a post WWII world, along with the assassination of JFK. Millennials (born 1977-1995) experienced 9/11, and were the first group to grow up with digital technology. 

Gen Z (born 1996-2015) is a bit different, as they are experiencing their seminal event this very moment – COVID-19. They also experienced the launch of the iPhone in 2006, which started off their reliance on technology and all things digital. 

2020 Generation Z Report

In our latest webinar, WP Engine joined Pyxl in discussing Generation Z and how to market toward them. Since 2017, WP Engine, along with CGK (the number one generational research & consulting firm), has launched a survey every year to research different generational behaviors and tendencies. In this webinar, WP Engine revealed the results from their 2020 Gen Z Report and led a discussion on the trends that have emerged from Gen Z influences. 

Key Takeaways about Gen Z: 

1. Gen Z has blended their physical and digital worlds into one. 

With the launch of the iPhone and growing up with digital toys, no wonder this generation has grown to be so dependent on technology. Today, their worlds physical and digital worlds are tied. Meaning, they have online friends who they have never met; they have conversations with people online; they participate in social movements all through social media. Here are some interesting statistics about the blending of their two worlds. 

  • 58% of Gen Z can’t go 4 hours without internet before they feel uncomfortable 
  • 64% of Gen Z think artificial intelligence will have a positive impact on the world
  • 56% of Gen Z are friends with someone they only know online 
  • 72% of Gen Z believes they can be a part of a social movement, even if they are just participating through social media

2. Be entertaining, be authentic, be good.

Besides just this blending of worlds, Gen Z also cares about trustworthy and socially responsible companies. It’s important to note that their seminal moment, COVID-19, is only accelerating these statistics and trends. 

  • The #1 reason they use the internet is for entertainment, rather than information
  • 72% of Gen Z are more likely to buy from a company that contributes to social causes
  • 82% of Gen Z trusts a company more if actual customers are featured in their ads

3. Digital experiences are human experiences.

The bottom line is that Gen Z’s identity is inextricably linked to their dependence on technology and all things digital. Determining this identity is the first step to fully understanding this generation, but we should also explore their influence. Because they make up a staggering 40% of the economy, they are obviously a major player when it comes to consumer behavior. 

Because the physical and digital worlds are blended, many expect AI to play a bigger part in daily life and in digital interactions.

  • 70% of Gen Z believe websites will know what you are looking for before you tell it
  • 55% of Gen Z think websites will become more human in experience by exhibiting emotions when you visit and interact with their pages
  • 45% of Gen Z will leave a site if it doesn’t predict what they like, want or need

However, when it comes to what Gen Z wants from a company appears a bit complicated. Gen Z seems to want AI, predictive analytics, AND trustworthy human qualities. If a company does not meet these qualifications and standards, they can lose many of their Gen Z customers or not be able to reach them at all. 

Marketing Toward Gen Z 

Because Gen Z individuals are the ones setting the trends, marketers must align their strategies to Gen Z values. Some of the most important things to Gen Z for a company is their tech-savviness, transparency with customers, and contributing to social causes. And though it sounds complicated, companies need to find the right balance between predictive, AI, human, and trustworthy qualities. 

Watch the full Generation Z Influence webinar recording for the full report findings with explanations from WP Engine.

Are You Reaching Generation Z?

To figure out if your company is appealing to Generation Z, Pyxl is offering a complimentary GenZ Score from GenZ Designs to help you understand your company’s current ability to attract, engage and convert Gen Z Customers. 

Pyxl will work with you to identify opportunities of improvement within your website and marketing strategies to help you create loyal Gen Z customers, just like the world’s top brands. Contact us today for help restrategizing your marketing efforts.

Contact Pyxl today!

Updated: Apr 13, 2022

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