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Gen Z: catch’em if you can

Move over Millennials. Gen Z is ready for marketing prime time. Digital marketers are aiming for these young but influential consumers not the least because they are so elusive. The generation born after 1996, Gen Zs are the first truly digital natives. Growing up in an online environment flooded with marketing messages, Gen Z has learned to be discerning and dismissive when the message is not relevant to them. To resonate, Nielsen advises marketers to “effectively reach Gen Z in their environment and provide compelling addressable content.”

It may be hard to get their attention at first, but Gen Z tend to stay loyal to brands and products that meet their high standards for appealing, personalized online shopping experiences. What’s more, they are willing to share their personal data and understand how brands use it to achieve the level of personalization, speed and convenience they demand.

Gen Zs are also, not surprisingly, the most digitally immersed consumers out there. In study after study, they show the highest rates of usage for Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube than everybody else, and avoid Facebook, unlike everybody else. There are some nuances between genders and socio-economic groups, with girls more likely than boys to use Snapchat (42% vs. 29%), boys more likely than girls to prefer YouTube (39% vs. 25%), and lower-income teens more likely to be on Facebook than those from higher income households (22% vs. 4%). Indisputably, YouTube has become part of every teen’s life: 80% of them say YouTube has helped them become more knowledgeable about something, and 68% say YouTube has helped them improve or gain skills that will help them prepare for the future.