Move Over Generation Y, Say Hello to Generation Z

The latest age generation has been appropriately called “Generation Z,” and marketers are taking notice of how to reach them in the best way. How has marketing to the younger market changed in the past 20 years? Read on to find out. Written by Juliet Rocco

Today, I was reading an article on adweek about the newest generation. While it was a great read, it kind of left me in shock. Kids really are growing up too fast these days.

I can’t help but wonder what it would have been like to follow N*SYNC and Backstreet Boys on Twitter as a 9-year-old, while I found out all of the latest news by reading about it online first instead of waiting for the weekly issues of J-14 Magazine.

Growing up in the 90s: We visited our friends’ houses by hopping on our bikes or Razor scooters. Pokemon and Gameboys ruled the schoolyard. VHS tapes were slowly fading out, Nickelodeon was almost entirely cartoons and you probably collected Ty Beanie Babies because someone told you they would be worth a lot of money one day (still waiting for that). Oh, and no one had cell phones, unless it was a parent’s work cell.

What about technology? We could have been listening to our favorite artists on iPods instead of cassette tapes/CDs, downloading their apps for the iPad and uploading fan videos on Youtube. Somehow, we still managed to be crazed fans with posters, magazine features and stickers eating up every part of our bedroom possible.

Introducing Generation Z: With the current craze of Justin Bieber, One Direction and Disney Channel pop stars, we are faced with an entirely new breed of the tween demographic. These kids range in age from about 8 to 12 years old.

Their lives are governed by the online world and smartphones. As long as it can be found online, these kids will take full advantage of it. Another interesting fact is how fast they seem to be rushing to grow up. Sure, every kid wants to have the freedom of being an adult, but today’s kids are looking to get their opinions heard.

I was raised by Baby Boomers and they were raised with the principle of “children should be seen and not heard.” Now, obviously a lot has changed since then, but marketers are taking childrens’ opinions into account more and more. Because of the short attention spans of these little tykes, marketers are using social media to keep content fresh and consistent with their brand. This is a must!

Takeaway: In about 10 years these kids will be voting for the next president, driving hybrids, eating entirely organic and using technology for pretty much everything. You probably know toddlers who can operate an iPad better than you. This is our future, and as marketers we need to embrace it.

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