New Research Reveals Top Strategies for Marketers Looking to
Connect with Gen Z Consumers

STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–lt;a href=”” target=”_blank”gt;#GartnerMKTGlt;/agt;–Generation Z (Gen Z) consumers are 1.5 times more likely to follow a
brand that provides content that boosts their own image, according to
Gartner, Inc. Where previous generations were concerned with fitting in,
Gartner research — which was presented at Gartner
Marketing Symposium/Xpo
in San Diego, April 29-May 1 — shows that Gen
Z consumers
are breaking that mold by creating and enjoying greater
freedom to test and shape an identity that stands out.

“Gen Z consumers are the most diverse generation ever and the most
digitally savvy,” said Jack
, senior principal analyst at Gartner. “As digital natives,
Gen Z is highly critical of the benefits and ROI of too much internet
and social media use. Because of this, and the fact that two-thirds of
marketing budgets are invested in digital channels to target this
audience, CMOs must be evermore mindful of how they are engaging Gen Z.”

In fact, Gartner research reveals that 81% of Gen Z consumers report
they follow friends online, but only about 30% are following brands.
However, Gen Z consumers also report that they do look to brands for
social content that is informative and inspirational.

Brands looking to truly connect with this generation need to perfect two
aspects of their digital campaigns — an effective strategy and resonant
content that piques Gen
Z interest

Strategy: Boost Their Brand

Gen Z consumers take communicating on social media seriously, as they
view it as a way to build their own personal brand. Forty-six percent of
Gen Z consumers agree with the statement, “the more ‘likes’ I receive on
social media, the better I feel” — all with the intent of adding value
to their followers’ online experience. When looking for informative and
inspirational content to share, they want it to meet one of three
requirements: 1) it interests/excites me; 2) it will make my friends
laugh; and 3) it expresses how I’m feeling.

“If you want Gen Z as loyal customers, you have to let them do the
driving,” said Mr. Mackinnon. “Effective marketers need to embrace the
sidecar role with enthusiasm and position their brand strategy around
boosting Gen Z’s own personal brand. It’s not about you, it’s about

Another essential part of reaching Gen Z is knowing where to reach them.
Given the generation’s affinity for routinely changing social media
apps, marketers must ensure their strategy has balance across social
media platforms — Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and YouTube
must all have a unique and relevant engagement strategy.

Content: Leverage Their Values

Every effective digital strategy needs relevant and compelling content,
and the content that is most relevant for Gen Z is rooted in their
personal values. Identity, creativity and passion are still in the top
20 values for Gen Z, but new priority values that have emerged for this
generation include tenacity and expertise, according to Gartner
research. Gen Z consumers are the first to report that “fun” is now less
important than it once was for previous generations.

“This is indicative of a much more serious generation than what we’ve
seen in the past,” added Mr. Mackinnon. “Gen Z values the concept of not
quitting until they’ve achieved their goal. They put the adult in young

While they don’t expect brands to save the world, Gen Z does expect
brands to engage with social and political issues, according to Gartner
research. Being able to take a stance on an important and relevant
social issue that is appropriate for the brand, is key to capturing the
attention, loyalty and wallet share of Gen Z.

“Brands will need to demonstrate Gen-Z-level seamless movement across
digital and in real life, hone thoughtful and personal messaging, and be
willing to speak out on relevant social issues. Failing at any of these
points means falling out of step with these important tastemakers,”
added Mr. Mackinnon. “Individuality, discernment and openness will
continue to be the name of the game for this large, diverse and
adaptable generation.”

Gartner for Marketers clients can access relevant research and insights
in the report “Best
Digital Marketing Practices for Gen Z.”

About the Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo

Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo provides marketing leaders actionable
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for Marketers
analysts address the biggest opportunities, challenges
and priorities marketers face today, including data and analytics,
customer experience, content marketing, customer insight, marketing
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Kelly Blum
[email protected]