What was that statistic that floated around the interwebs last year about our beloved Gen Zers? Ah, I remember. Fast Company reported that Generation Z, the gleeful bunch born between 1995 and 2004, will account for 40% of all consumers by 2020. It’s every marketer’s special bit of luck: just when you had your millennial strategy figured out, here comes a group of savvy, hard-to-impress digital natives ready to scroll right past your next million dollar campaign.

And your gut isn’t wrong—all the targeting in the world won’t guarantee a conversion from our youngest consumers. So, that begs the question: what’s a hopeful marketer to do to join the it-crowd of brands that successfully wooing the market’s next big goldmine? We have a few answers for you. The first: A little personalization goes a long way. According to Salesforce, 67% percent of Gen Z consumers expect offers from brands to always be personalized, this type of highly sophisticated messaging is becoming less of an option, and more of a necessity for mobile-first brands.

And this goes without saying, but there’s a lot to be earned from investing in your Gen Z efforts now. Not only do they engage with apps 30% percent more than their older counterparts, but they also use their devices to carry out tasks across all aspects of life: work, leisure, shopping, banking, travel; the list goes on. So a great focus on mobile is a logical next step, but it’s also important to send your messaging to the right place, at the right time. The good folks at Forbes report that Gen Z uses an average of 5 devices (smartphone, TV, laptop, desktop, and tablet) to explore and consume their favorite content. But you knew that, right?

So, without further ado, we’ve outlined seven ways in which you can fine tune your marketing messages to get ahead of this curve and reach this generation, engage them, and convert them into paying users and lifelong subscribers.

Be Social

For Gen Z, every experience on mobile is only a breath away from becoming part of the social, sharing lifestyle. And your mobile marketing messages are no exceptions to that rule. To stand out from the crowd, create content that is highly shareable, highly personalized, and above all, highly relevant to their individual experience. Top marks to those brands who integrate their own mission statement and brand message into their customer facing material.

Be Chatty

The ‘search, discover, buy’ routine has well and truly fallen flat in the mobile marketing age, and batch-and-blast marketing is no longer cutting it for brands. A survey by KPMG found that businesses personalizing online user journeys are seeing sales increase by a whopping 19 percent. And nothing gives a more personal touch than entering into a conversation with customers about their desires and needs. The ability to generate discussion and converse with customers is fast becoming a powerful way to strengthen the relationship between the brand and the consumer.

Be First

The mobile era has brought with it numerous advantages to both customers and brands alike, not least of which is immediacy. The problem is that when things are immediately available, your customers won’t want to wait too long to avail of your app’s product or service. And since Generation Z have a lot less brand affinity than their predecessors, they can and very easily will substitute products for a better alternative. This means it’s imperative for brands to be immediately responsive, and first to the punch when reaching out to Generation Z.  

Be Subtle

Targeting and triggering have changed the way marketers reach out to digital customers, and in turn, changed the way consumers interact with products and brands. While it gives a more personal, relevant experience—which 67 percent of Gen Zers expect from their apps—most people don’t like to feel targeted, so it’s important to have some nuances that veil your highly targeted messages to be more inviting and enticing to customers. Again, we’re not breaking the status quo here.

Use personalization techniques to reel your customers in, and features like geo-fences, and behavioral triggering to reach them when it matters most. But don’t be creepy, be useful. Don’t send invasive, irrelevant sales messages that follow your customers around. Do send messages that will add value to your customer’s experience with your brand and be helpful in the moments that matter.

Be Authentic

Campaigns with true value and honest intentions will always have a place in successful marketing annals. In fact, it is now becoming such a part of public consciousness, that if your marketing is not authentic and true to your company’s mission, then you will be subject to a very public failure (Fyre Festival, anyone?). But keeping true to your brand’s service or product doesn’t mean you can’t be creative with your content. Consumers want integrity from the brands they buy from, yes, but they also want quality experiences that will translate well into their everyday life. Doesn’t hurt if that content is highly shareable too.

Be Individual

Standing out from the noise is becoming more and more imperative for brands across industries. Telling a compelling story other than the next ‘hot new deal’ into your customer’s inbox is a necessity, and having creative, relevant content to go with it non-negotiable. But standing out can be as simple as being more useful to your customer’s than your competitors. For instance, offering a service at the right time, in the right place, and on the right channel can make the difference between lifelong loyalty and propensity to churn.  

Be A Storyteller

We live in an age of information. New ideas, stories, and products are available at the click of a button, and sometimes we don’t even need the button. Generation Z are no stranger to this fact, except that, perhaps, they are more in tune with what’s going on in their world, what’s going wrong, and how it affects them personally.

This extreme level of ‘plugging in’ means it’s important brands tell a story that’s cohesive with their brand’s vision, and shows growth, change and adaptation, while remaining contextual and with one proverbial foot in the real world. Referencing real-world movements, real-world problems and aligning your brand with them (or even just having an opinion) will enable you to reach, and be heard by Gen Zers. A perfect example of this is the recent Gillette ad – that stipulated that ‘the best a man can get’ is still to come.

Learn more about building your audience segments and reaching out to your users by talking to one of our experts.