Move over millennials and boomers. Generation Z has rolled into a cyber town. It’s time to shift your marketing gears to reach and woo this new segment of progressive and forward thinkers. But how?
Meet Generation Z
Born into today’s innovative and dynamic technology, generation Z are roughly those who arrived in this world after 1995. The rapid technological, economical and social change seen in their brief lifetime has shaped who this group is. They are exploding with knowledge as they have – literally – grown up with information at their fingertips. They are communication sharers and use social media as a common form of expression. Fired with ambition, they are self-directed and many aim to be entrepreneurs.
Here are a few things that will help you define this audience a little better.
- It’s a generation that has no idea what life before Google or a smartphone was like.
- They wear watches that’s primary function is not to tell the time.
- They think in 4D.
- They have probably never held a paper map in their life!
- They’re a part of a unique do-it-yourself (DIY) culture – self-taught on YouTube or Google.
- They lack patience (autocorrect anyone?).
- They are very visual in communication – emoji is a real language to them.
All these traits have gone into shaping Gen Z-ers, their characters, and behaviours that can help hoteliers market to them.
Social media matters, but they are not like millennials
Social channels are a great way to reach Gen Zers. But, how they consume social media is different to millennials – and that will affect how you market to them here. While millennials use social as a place to chat, the generation coming in after them sees social media as entertainment and filling time.
Facebook gets a huge eye roll from this generation. Their preference for visuals and videos means they lean towards Instagram, YouTube, SnapChat and Whisper – loving also the anonymity that the latter two provide.
They expect a personal experience
Having grown up in a connected world that’s driven by data, they expect the experience – starting from online – to be very personal. They expect platforms such as a website or social media to understand and anticipate their needs.
They want it all NOW
Patience isn’t a virtue with this lot. They want instantaneous results. Everything they want or want to know about should be one click away. This should reflect in a seamless booking experience at your end.
Get familiar with FOMO
This generation hates being left out – FEAR OF MISSING OUT (FOMO). Seeing friends, family, or social influencers on social media enjoying fun vacations motivates this generation to do the same. Use lots of user-generated content to appease this characteristic of Gen Z.
They are socially conscious and care about the environment
Gen Z-ers are more willing to take environmentalism to a new level. Terms such as ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘voluntourism’ are not used lightly by this lot. It drives their decision making.
Close to parents
Many of your Gen Z-er are not even eligible to book online. So, why bother you ask? Because they are ‘influencers’ in family decision making. With their better-than-anyone-else style technology grasp, they become a lead source in helping with the planning and booking of a family holiday. Also, this generation is close to their parents, who have an influence on Gen Z-er’s globe-trotting ways – when they are ready for it.
They lack brand loyalty
According to a SKIFT survey, 25-35 years old travelers were three times more likely to associate loyalty with at least one travel brand, compared to those aged 18-24. Being voracious online surfers, they expect nothing less than truthfulness from a brand and will quickly leave if they are disappointed with the service or experience. Being authentic is extremely important to invoke any loyalty.
Be clear in your communications
Long-winded blogs are a no-go for this generation. They prefer bite-sized content, smart use of filters on Snapchat and authentic storytelling. Make them into content producers instead of shoving your brand content down their throat. Remember, they have no patience. Tell them clearly on a webpage or platform what you want them to do.
To wrap it all up…
Now that you understand Gen Z a little better, what next? Before you go into overdrive to find the right ways and places to touch this generation, review your experiences and services. Are they ready to meet the changed needs of this new generation?
Tell us how you’re preparing to attract Gen Z on firstname.lastname@example.org.