An increased use of internet and smartphones has created a cultural shift, causing a large set of differences between generations. This prompts businesses around the world to continuously try to understand the new generations and how to effectively market to each of them. Focus has largely been on Millennials in recent years, but a younger population has emerged and it’s time to pay attention to the Millennials’ future co-workers. Generation Z, or those born 1995 and later, are just starting to enter the workforce. Today they represent the largest generation in the US and will account for a third of the population by 2020. Having grown up in a truly connected world with internet and smartphones at their disposal since childhood, Gen Z arguably has different habits and expectations than Millennials and prior generations. Here are 3 things businesses should know about them:
An Eager Workforce of Self-Starters
The entrepreneurial spirit is high among Gen Z, with 72% of high school students saying they want to start their own business someday. Many also look to join the workforce earlier while finishing school online. Accomplishing several things at once comes naturally as they have always lived in a world with constant updates from other people and dozens of apps. Millennials have a reputation of being easily distracted flipping through texts and emails, but Gen Z has only perfected this practice. They are excellent multitaskers and most can figure out how to manage almost any technology. Businesses should take advantage of these unique skills and be aware that these self-starters plan to start working early on.
Motivated by Marketing and Loyalty
Brands and marketing in general have taken an entirely new look and feel with the coming of social media. Younger populations expect businesses to be loyal to them, rather than the other way around. Word-of-mouth also spreads rapidly on social media, so making a good impression with every customer is more important than ever. One way to show commitment to Gen Z is by having valuable offers available. Using an intelligent offer engine, incentives can be delivered directly on their smart phone through text, social or other platforms. Even better is when the offers are intelligent enough to adapt to individual preferences of each patron.
Driven by The Digital Experience
Gen Z grew up with a multitude of information in the palm of their hands, making them accustomed to using their phone for just about any daily task. Having digital tools available to interact with your business can attract the younger crowd. Many will opt to book a table at the restaurant with online reservation and a text when the table is ready, rather than a restaurant that requires them to call for a reservation. Gen Z prefers the digital experience over personal interaction, and businesses should consider how they plan to fulfill these new service level expectations.