As Baby Boomers and Generation X approach retirement, Millennials and Generation Z are fast becoming the new demographic segments for businesses to court. Gen Zers, now entering teenage and young adulthood, in particular are set to dominate when it comes to purchasing power in the upcoming decades.
The new generations differ markedly in their consuming habits from their predecessors both in motivation and methods. For small businesses that want to court this new generation of clients, it is vital to plan ahead and adapt your marketing to stay relevant. As business growth specialists, Tax Agility can show you how to cater your business to the most influential generation of our time.
Marketing to the ‘Digital Native’
Born from the early 1980s and mid-1990s respectively, Millennials and Generation Z are defined by their affinity to digital technology. As pioneers and natives in an age of computers and the Internet, these are consumers who understand advertising very differently from the preceding Boomers and Gen Xers. The advancements in computing and mobile technology have only widened this divide.
Most businesses today have some kind of online presence in the form of a website or corporate accounts on social media platforms, but unless they take into consideration the Internet habits of Gen Z, they may not be getting through to the notoriously elusive demographic. This is a group that is most comfortable doing everything on their phones. However, studies also show that many of them dislike intrusive online ads.
The most successful advertising campaigns that have worked in the internet age generally share two characteristics: shareability and individual-ness. This has given rise to the social media ‘influencer’: these are thought-leaders in lifestyle, fashion and other fields who deliver personalised information about products to their followers. This is one reason that social media advertising has become so popular – hashtags allow users to find and follow trends and attributes that interest them. If you’ve heard of the term ‘viral marketing’ you’ll realise that it often describes the dissemination of hidden adverts such as this.
It’s worth looking at your small business’s current advertising strategy and evaluate whether they meet these criteria – if they don’t, you’re likely missing out on a lot of awareness and potential sales.
Keeping Up with the Digital Joneses
Many modern advertising strategies are constructed around the tried-and-tested method of pitching the product. This was the style that worked with the earlier Baby Boomer generation, and it is a strategy that is dwindling in appeal along with its intended audience. An advertising strategy that engages the new generation has to be conceived from the ground up – you cannot simply repurpose your existing ad campaign for the internet and expect it to go viral.
Consider your story and the identity of your company. You’re looking to build a personality, to tell a story about your small business, and once you’ve planned your journey, you can begin to form a marketing strategy around telling it. Remember the key factors of shareability and individual-ness, they may not be absolute rules, but you will do well to bear them in mind when advertising to your customer base. Consider whether your advert could pass as a piece of content – if it looks like an advert at the outset, then there’s a good chance for it to be blocked or skipped.
Look for professional help
While Gen Z is gearing up to be the most profitable target demographic, it’s also proving the hardest to reach. As specialist small business accountants, we at Tax Agility have plenty of experience in helping new businesses connect with Millennial and Gen Z customers, and we can help you form a plan that will future-proof your business for years to come.
To find out more, get in touch on 020 8108 0090 or fill out our Online Form.
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This post is intended to provide information of general interest about current business/ accounting issues. It should not replace professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances.