Generation Z, the current 13-17-year-olds, have been mobile since middle school.
Compared to millennials, who were mobile pioneers, Gen Z teens are mobile natives, according to Think with Google. This group is one of the only groups affected by advertising on the basis of whether the product is “cool” or not.
Getting their first phone is a major milestone for Gen Z-ers, and video rules their viewing habits – with a total of more than three hours a day spent watching online videos. They are mobile shoppers, and it is very important for them to stay connected via texting and messaging apps.
So what does this mean for marketers preparing for growth? Well, a lot of it is obvious, but getting there is the tough part.
Gen Z marketing: A few statistics according to Think with Google
- Gen Z represents more than a quarter of the U.S. population (26 percent) with an annual purchasing power of $44 billion.
- Getting a phone is no. 3 in importance for teens, behind graduating school and getting a license, and teens say they connect with people more via text than face-to-face interaction.
- 38 percent preferred to interact via text versus just 15 percent in person.
- Teens even text those they are in the same room as – three in 10 teens say they text people they are spending time with in person.
- More than 50 percent of teens said their social media followers are important to them, giving them social currency. This is important to note for advertising to teens. Their peers influence gen Z-ers – if their friends are talking about a product, they endorse it more than others.
- Teens are on screens a majority of the time, which isn’t surprising since most teens had a smartphone by age 12. Compare that to current 18 to 24-year-olds, who had their first smartphone at age 16, and 25 to 34-year-olds at the age of 20.
How Gen Z spends its time
As for apps and platforms, Gen Z uses Snapchat and Instagram the most. Facebook is still consumed daily, but that’s what it is used for – consuming, not sharing. Snapchat is seen as a fun way to interact with friends and peers without their thoughts being shared or permanent.
Connecting offline, teens find sports teams as the best way to connect in the real world, or IRL (in real life). Game consoles and television also play a big role in a teen’s day-to-day life.
Gen Z teens are switching from texting to mobile messaging apps and spend most of their time using those messaging apps, watching videos online and social networking.
Advertising to Generation Z
Sixty-eight percent of teens make purchases online. They also react more positively to ads aimed at them, with teens their age doing things they do. Gen Z doesn’t go to a store unless they know the brick and mortar store has what they want. For most teens, the top three aspects that make something cool are: