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Steve Isenberg

What Marketers Need to Know About Generation Z

Posted on: June 30, 2016

By: Steve Isenberg

By now marketers have dissected to death the finer points of reaching Millennials with their nontraditional approaches to life stages and their unique self-perspective. Well, it’s time to create room on the “how-to marketing shelf” for a new set of marketing criteria that belongs to the next generation of consumers: Generation Z.



Already Gen Z makes up 25% of the population, and by 2020 will account for 40% of all consumers in the United States. Because the generational study is arguably more art than science, there’s considerable discrepancy among demographers as to when this generation began. But according to the way marketers and trend forecasters slice generations, this group is comprised roughly of a 15-year bloc starting around 1996, making them 5 to 20 years old in 2016.
So, who are they?

Millennial expert Ryan Jenkins sums them up like this:

“Generation Z is the first truly global generation with limitless interests and avenues for learning. They have been raised in a high-tech, hyper-connected, on-demand, and impatient culture. Some experts expect Generation Z’s mantra to be “good things come to those who act.” This self-directed, entrepreneurial-minded, highly educated, and uber resourceful generation will stop at nothing to make their mark in the world.”

Gen Z rules as the most diverse and multicultural generation with the following stats in the U.S.: 55% are Caucasian, 24% are Hispanic, 14% are African-American, and 4% are Asian.

Could be they’ll reign as the most nicknamed generation as well with a growing list of “known bys” including Post-Millennials, Centennials, Plurals, iGen, and Digital Natives.

So, how are they different?

If you consider only the digital and technological influences with which each generation – the Yers and the Zers – grew up, it would be reasonable to assume that Gen Z is simply a magnify version of Gen X. But that assumption forgets how vastly the economic conditions differed during these two age groups’ formative years. While the on-demand, entitled millennials grew up in times of plenty that fed their dreams of fame and fortune, the financial uncertainty experienced by Gen Z’s families is resulting in more practical adults who are more cautious with their money.

According to Jamie Gutfreund, CMO of the digital agency Deep Focus:

“We’ve found 7- to-17-year-olds take a much more pragmatic approach to life. Astoundingly, 71% expect to experience significant failure before achieving success, and nearly 40% say they see failure as an opportunity to try again. Gen Ys, thanks to their Boomer parents, would never have considered failure an option.”

How much does all of this matter?

If you think the majority of Generation Z

is still too young to make a splash with their buying power, think again. The 2015 Cassandra Report: Gen Z discovered that teens and tweens possess significant influence over household purchases, to the tune of 93 percent of Gen Z parents surveyed reporting their children impact family spending.

Stats like that prove marketers have only about ten minutes to get up-to-speed on the ins-and-outs of this new wave of consumers.

Put the expertise of ASJ Partners to work for you. We are the experts at keeping your brand “top of mind” across all demographics, across all advertising avenues with our targeted marketing services for staffing agencies. Contact us today.

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