The next wave of consumers is here, and we’re not talking about Millennials. In fact, Millennials at the very outside of the accepted birth-range, the early 1980’s, are already over 30, believe it or not.

No, the next wave of consumers is called Generation Z, and many of them are just now graduating college.

With job markets that are much better than the ones that Generation X and the Millennials faced, it stands to reason that these twentysomethings are working their way into some serious buying power.

So how do you market your product towards this group? What are the differences between the typical Millennial buyer and a Generation Z shopper? Here are some tips on marketing to this 77-million-strong demographic.

Keep it real

A marketing study conducted last year discovered that over 70 percent of Gen Zers liked their ads as “real” as possible. Celebrity spokespeople and overly polished narratives with unlikely endings raised suspicion and distrust rather than made them want to buy.

They preferred ads with real people speaking realistically, with as little artifice as possible. This was particularly true in social media advertising, where attempts by a business to seem “cool” immediately raised red flags amongst this savvy demographic.

Facebook is still king

Somehow, despite a wave of new social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, members of Gen Z still prefer Facebook as their top social media outlet. A smart marketer will take Facebook into account when creating a new campaign that’s aimed at people just now hitting their early 20s.

The continued popularity of Facebook might also serve as notice to a manufacturer with a new product: The site is constantly innovating and changing their presentation and content to better serve and anticipate the users’ needs. Take note of that when you look at your product – is it time to add something new or refine it?

An active customer base

Rather than the more, dare we say, “slacker-ish” tendencies of a group like Generation X, members of Gen Z like to be active participants with a brand they respect. In other words, if they like something, they become advocates for it.

Think about products like Vine, Snapchat, and Instagram that allowed people to post videos of themselves or manipulate pictures of themselves with new apps. This is a consumer group that likes to be part of the message rather than simply receiving it.

Time is short

In this era of split-second advances in technology and media saturation, you have less time than ever before to grab a Gen Zer’s attention.

In fact, studies show that you typically have about eight seconds to engage them. That doesn’t mean that they won’t give you their full attention for longer periods of time once you DO have their attention. After all, this is a generation that can watch hours of YouTube clips and play video games late into the night.

But it’s a good idea to front-load your best, most attention-getting marketing ideas rather than saving them for the end of your pitch. There’s simply too much other media competing for this generation’s attention.

Tech savvy

Don’t expect to do as much explaining to Gen Z about how your product works, as you might have had to do in the past. This is a demographic that’s never known a time without smartphones, tablets, or e-readers.

The basic technical knowledge of the average person in their early 20s is greater than ever before. So rather than concentrating on the high-tech aspects of your product in order to dazzle them, it might be a better idea to talk more about what it does and how it can enhance their lives, or make their days easier.

And you’d better use a real person instead of a celebrity to do it.

Remember, one of Pivot’s functions is to help you design and develop a product for the modern marketplace, which means taking Generation Z into account. To find out more about what we do, check out our Services page.