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

3 skills you need to drive better collaboration

A study published in The Harvard Business Review found the time spent in collaborative activities at work has increased by over 50 per cent in the past two decades. Larger projects; complicated problems; tighter timeframes: These require bigger teams with specialised skillsets and diverse backgrounds, often dispersed globally.

Jen Jackson

CEO, Everyday Massive

Better the bank you know?

In 2018, only 21 per cent of customers believed that banks in general had their customers best interests at heart and behave ethically. Only 26 per cent believed that banks will keep their promises; views cemented further following the Hayne Financial Services Royal Commission.

Carolyn Pitt

Head of account management, Hulsbosch

What 15 years of emotional intelligence told us about youth media audiences

Taking people on an emotional journey through content is the most critical part of being a publisher. Which is why emotion lies at the heart of VICE Media.

Stephanie Winkler

Head of insights, VICE Asia-Pacific

I think they are overpriced. Don't you think so? I won't buy them.

Donna Green

Apple Watch arrives April 24, some models top $10K

Read more

Energy Makeovers provides services to building owners to reduce their energy consumption and emissions, including replacing halogen light...

samried

How one energy company is giving itself a social media makeover

Read more

That's an interesting use for biometrics, to actually assist in predictive analysis of campaign success.

Simon Smith

Facial recognition technology being used in a new out-of-home campaign

Read more

This journey would identify all your future life aspects!

Maryann Humphrey

Open Colleges: one-to-one journeys is the goal

Read more

It's a pretty good idea. I think this integration is useful. Don't you agree?

Misty Stoll

Officeworks hops on voice interface bandwagon with Google Assistant integration

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in