Report: Digital-only marketing won’t work for Gen Z

Omnichannel is the way to reach this new purchasing powerhouse

While Generation Z are often seen as the ‘digital babies’, having grown up with the internet, marketers employing a digital-only approach to reach them won’t find much joy, according to a report.

The report, Gen Z: Decoding the Digital Generation, undertaken by AdAge with UNiDAYS, has found that while nearly all (98%) of the more than 20,000 people surveyed in Australia, New Zealand, the US and the UK, have a smart phone, only 22 per cent use it to make purchases.

Therefore, marketing only undertaken on digital channels will fall short for a generation who likes to shop in traditional retail bricks and mortar stores and have more face-to-face experiences.

Generation Z (born after 1997) make up 26 per cent of the US population and control up to US$143 billion in spending power, the report says. They don’t see digital as a novelty, having grown up with it, so they ignore digital noise. Sixty-four per cent don’t listen to podcasts, 56 per cent don’t click on website ads, 74 per cent don’t watch video streaming shows, however 84 per cent pay attention to OOH advertising.

They prefer reading print books, and shopping in bricks and mortar stores, and 64 per cent use their mobile device for browsing only, 59 per cent use it to do price comparisons, and 58 per cent look up product reviews prior to purchasing.

"The most important takeaway for marketers is that while Gen Z appears to be digital-first, they still have more than a few analogue habits," said Alex Gallagher, CMO of UNiDAYS.

"For example, while Gen Z loves browsing online, they still enjoy shopping at brick-and-mortar stores. It's critical for brands to develop a cohesive strategy, across both online and offline, that caters to their unique preferences.”

Key findings include:

  • They read hard-copy books. The assumption that Gen Z is mobile-only, digital-only, virtual reality-only, is only partially valid. A full 77 per cent of respondents prefer reading printed books.
  • They plug in and don't live stream. While 61 per cent of respondents have fully switched to streaming services, 28 per cent still subscribe to cable, and 32 per cent watch streaming services on an old-fashioned TV.
  • They use laptops. A full 93 per cent of respondents own a laptop, and only 44 per cent own a tablet. In the U.S., 41 per cent of students prefer to watch streaming services on a laptop, and 60 per cent prefer using a desktop when making purchases online. And if they have a question? 40 per cent preferred to reach out to brands on email.
  • They don't overshare. While conventional wisdom assumes this generation chronicles every detail of their lives on Snapchat and Instagram, that's not entirely true. A majority (59 per cent) don't trust Facebook with their personal data, and 78 per cent let some apps, but not all, know their geo-location.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu

 

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Why defining brand strategy is vital to capitalising on quick wins

Big brands were once protected from small brands by high barriers to entry. Big brands had the resources to employ big agencies, to crack big ideas and to invest in big campaigns. They had the luxury of time to debate strategies and work on long-term innovation pipelines. Retailers used to partner with big brands.

Troy McKinnna

Co-founder, Agents of Spring, Calm & Stormy

3 ways to leverage the talents of your team to avoid disruption

​According to the World Economic Forum in its most recent The Future of Jobs report, the most important skills for the future are not technical, task-oriented skills, but higher-order skills such as creativity, social influence, active learning, and analytical thinking.

Gihan Perera

Futurist, leadership consultant

CMOs, it’s time to stop squandering customer attention

Businesses continue to highly value the attention they buy through paid media, yet at the same time, many continue to disregard and under-value opportunities to connect with customers using their owned media.

Well written Vanessa!! Agreed with your view that human experience is marketing's next frontier. Those businesses who are focused on the ...

Clyde Griffith

Forget customer experience, human experience is marketing's next frontier

Read more

Great tips for tops skills need to develop and stay competitive

Nick

The top skills needed to stay competitive in a rapidly changing workforce

Read more

The popularity of loyalty programs is diminishing, though I'd say it is because customers are savvy enough to recognise when a loyalty pr...

Heather

It’s time for marketers to rethink their approach to ‘loyalty’

Read more

Thanks Nadia for sharing this blog. It has really useful and amazing information about Salesforce Commerce Cloud and digital engagement w...

Holly Smith

Adidas taps data and technology smarts to build personalised digital engagement with consumers

Read more

clearly someone who's jealous and only comments from the safety of being behind their keyboard

Peter Sibson

The purpose of purpose - Brand science - CMO Australia

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in