PMA Fresh Summit

PMA 2014: How marketers can connect with Gen Z

Today's 23 million American Gen Zers — those from the generation after Millennials — have $44 billion a year in spending power. However, tapping into that buying power will require new ways of marketing, according a speaker in the session “How Will Generation Z Change the Face of Demand?”

Gen Z is “born digital,” said consultant Alison Theureau. They regularly multi-task across five screens daily. A lightning fast attention span means marketers have less than 10 seconds to get their message across before Gen Z moves on.

So how can brands connect to Gen Z? Theureau said it starts with building a relationship through frequent bursts of outreach. Members of Gen Z will spend 20% of their lifetime on social media, according to a video shown during the session.

Gen Z loves Domino's order tracker.
Gen Z loves Domino's order tracker.

Brands can also tap into Gen Z's sense of global awareness, said Theureau. Gen Z is the most ethnically diverse generation yet, and they're very open to global flavors and products.

A short attention span also means Gen Z craves instant gratification. Theureau said that Gen Z loves Domino's because of the order tracker: teens can order pizza on their phones and then instantly get a reaction from Domino's of what happens next.

Finally, Gen Z are looking for brands with a message, and that message needs to be incorporated into all communications, said Theureau. The session's other speaker, Pamela Naumes, senior director of brand engagement at Bolthouse Farms, named Chipotle as a brand that has its mission rooted in everything it does, down to what's on the cups in its restaurants.

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