Wave 2

Watch out for Gen Z

What’s that giant wave on the horizon? It’s an influx of Gen Z!

Gen Z are people born between 1997 and 2015, and they’re ready to shred up the B2B landscape with a flood of new ideas and preferences that your brand will need to embrace.

You’ll need to adapt to a completely new type of buyer – one who is social first and wants much more than just a good product.

Gen Z hold the purse strings

Gen Z have influenced purchases in 80% of businesses

Whilst you’ve been busy getting your head around millennials, Gen Z has crept in from the sidelines and are inching ever closer to holding the B2B purse strings.

Now, Gen Z are having a large influence on big business decisions as the people putting in the hours to research vendors and shortlist brands for their seniors.

What this means for your brand

If you want to make the cut, your brand needs to get ahead of the generational shift.

You’ll need to rethink the way you engage with your existing audience and pivot if you want to tick Gen Z’s boxes too.

Chances are, you may need to explore new channels, content formats and cutting edge technologies to connect with a new age of buyer.

Who’s done it well?

By using Instagram stickers, asking micro influencers to write blogs talking about company life, and even throwing virtual reality into the mix, Salesforce are using new methods to appeal and attract the next wave of talent.

How to engage a new, younger audience

Read more

Attention spans are crumbling

Gen Z have an 8-second attention span

After years of information overload coming in from all angles, Gen Z (much like the rest of us) have become pretty good at tuning out the noise.

So good, in fact, they’ve got an attention span that’s four seconds less than millennials.

Oh, and one second less than a goldfish.

What this means for your brand

Whilst you may have less time to capture your audiences’ attention, consider it an opportunity, rather than a cause for alarm.

Get creative and think smart. How can you engage and excite your audience in a way that no-one else can? What will grip them – and fast? And how do you create content that’ll capture even the shortest attentions?

Top tip: Pay particular attention to what content you’re pumping out and where. When time is of the essence, content really is king.

Who’s done it well?

Google put pop culture front and centre to engage audiences and promote Chromebooks.

Paying homage to Game of Thrones’ the Night King, Google used a short video to show just how easy it is to knock together a Google slides document (and to collaborate and conquer Westeros).

People want closer connections

62% believe brands have the power to create communities based on common interests and passions.

Whilst Gen-Z may look like the most connected generation on paper, increased screen-time and Covid-19 tells another story: one of surprising loneliness and a search for communities, online and in person, to fill the void and gain support both in work and social settings.

What this means for your brand

By uniting your audience — be it around an aspect of your brand or a shared cause — you can help create that much sought-after sense of belonging and forge a far deeper connection.

Top tip: This isn’t an opportunity to plug your latest product or solution. That’ll only turn people off.

Instead, offer something that people genuinely want to get involved with. It could translate into greater consideration down the line if you nail it.

Who’s done it well?

Oracle Community connects platform customers, developers and partners allowing them to ask questions, solve problems and even share personal stories online.

With members all over, people can form independent groups and build their own networks and schedule meetings.

Influence really is everything

57% say influencer content is outperforming brand content.

More so than previous generations, Gen Z are ready to jump into action in response to what’s trending and what others have to say, with influencers holding all the cards.

What this means for your brand

Keep it real and reach out to specialist contributors within your field to help land a brand campaign or message.

And make the most of your own influencers – there will be some highly respected people across your businesses who can sway someones opinions.

Top tip: Think less high-profile and more community expert. Getting an influencer on board that is knowledgeable and passionate about your brand breeds authenticity, which is crucial when it comes to Gen Z. These guys aren’t easily hoodwinked.

Who’s done it well?

To help raise awareness of their storage product line Storwize, IBM built out an influencer campaign centered around the “Wize Guys”.

It brought together a group of savvy technology experts, to create a whole host of thought leadership content around data storage.

The result? Only 7.1 million impressions with a reach of 3 million, in just one month.

Shopping online isn’t the only option

Gen Z shops across all formats. They’re not thinking: “This is the one place I need to go”

Gen Z are tech savvy but that isn’t to say they buy exclusively online. Whilst they might see a product online, they might ultimately seal the deal in-store: they don’t restrict themselves to a single shopping journey.

What this means for your brand

With Gen Z embracing brick and mortar far more than millennials, your brand shouldn’t neglect the value of in-person interactions and experiences.

Whilst admittedly, face-to-face marketing experiences and meetings take a bit more planning (and come with uncertainty) these days, get it right and you can gain real memorability.

People are itching to get back to normal right now, and you can be the brand that helps them do that.

Who’s done it well?

Back in June DHL held their logistics and supply chain summit, The Era of Logistics, that brought together a mixture of webinars and in-person keynote presentations over a period of 24 hours – in three different cities.

Attracting thousands of visitors, the summit looked at industry hot topics and mega trends.