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Connected from the cradle; the future of technology for Generation Z

Madison is 16 years old. During a typical week, she’s on her mobile for 15 hours, watches TV for 13 hours and uses her laptop for 10 hours. She is an avid Instagram and Snapchat user - utilising these social media sites much more so than her older Millennial sister. She is a multi-tasking and multi-screen individual with a short attention span.

It must be extremely simple to target her with technology, right?

Wrong.

Generation Z. Gen Z. iGen. Net Gen. Whatever you want to call the cohort born between 1996 and 2010 are now entering the workforce and they are a force to be reckoned with.

Technology is their ultimate accessory. Having been connected from the cradle, it has been a pivotal element of their upbringing.

To build the dream relationship with Generation Z, you must first understand how technology continues to influence this audience. Then you can start engrossing them in a constant, expressive dialogue to gather that all-important insight into their behaviours and desires, that will ultimately drive brand loyalty.

Lesson 1: Just because technology is new and exciting, doesn’t mean Generation Z are going to like it

Despite being the ‘always on’ generation, Gen Z’s attitude to technology is tumultuous yet pivotal. This seems counter intuitive but it speaks volumes. By listening to your customer and understanding their technology habits and how it is a pivotal part of their lives, you’ll quickly understand what they will and won’t engage with.

Look at voice activation. It’s currently taking the tech world by storm, but do Generation Z care? Not really. Instead messaging apps; Snapchat, iMessage, Skype and Facebook Messenger are the communication tools of choice.

These guys have grown up texting and embrace the immediacy and accuracy it brings. They not only use messaging to communicate with friends and family, they also use it to engage with businesses, opening up a huge opportunity for brands to build a rapport with this emerging market at minimal cost.

Travel brands in particular have a great opportunity to leverage messaging to build an ongoing relationship with Gen Z travellers. It provides value at each touch point of their travelling experience – be it dreaming, planning, booking, experiencing, or sharing – and fits perfectly into the appetite of Gen Z travellers.

Lesson 2: Technology that creates an ‘escape’ experience will generate interest and excitement

It seems that everyone is banging on about virtual and augmented reality and, as a generation, Gen Z has the highest interest levels for this sort of experience. Having the ability to virtually experience a product or service is an amazing proposition for this audience.  

As more Gen Z consumers plunge themselves into these types of experiences, their expectations of how to shop is evolving. Putting an emphasis on the customer experience – be it real or virtual - to immerse this generation in preparation for a real-life experience will attract and excite this cohort.

Lesson 3: Gen Z are the ‘nomophobia’ generation so make every mobile moment count

Nomophobia – the irrational fear of being without your mobile device. Scary huh?

Whilst multi-tasking across devices is a daily, if not hourly occurrence for Gen Z, they tend to scan digital content rather than spend valuable time absorbing it. It is vital that brands adapt their content strategy and create immersive, meaningful mobile moments that give value to the customer. Short, digestible eye-catching content will gain buy in with Gen Z.

Pushing content through smart watches is a trend to watch (pardon the pun!). Short, succinct updates that inform and educate at a glance of an albeit smaller screen will be an important source of exploration when engaging Generation Z.

It’s an exciting time for marketers to connect with Generation Z. If there is an intrinsic understanding of how customers engage with technology; an investment in multi-device mobile technology and if personalisation is at the heart of any marketing strategy, you will have the power to connect with the ‘always on’ generation. 

Sophie Beckley, Planner 

Talk to Sophie about how we can help you create an immersive connection with your customers - 01902 714 957 sophie.beckley@connect-group.com