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

Cannes Part 2: How Adidas is maximising digital while articulating culture

“Retail is not dead”. This was the bold statement made by, Michael Treff, president of Adidas’ digital creative agency, Code and Theory, at this year’s Cannes Lion festival of creativity.

Nickie Scriven

CEO, Zenith

Cannes Part 1: Why brands must put human interactions at the heart of their business

As a Media Juror at this year’s Cannes Lions, I was fortunate enough to attend the world’s most influential festival of creativity and listen to thought-leading marketers from around the globe.

Nickie Scriven

CEO, Zenith

4 creative skills that will be useful forever

In recent times, the clarion call from futurists, economists, marketers, educators and leaders the world over is one of slight panic, “The world is changing and you’re not ready for it!” And of course, they make a very good point.

Kieran Flanagan and Dan Gregory

Speakers, trainers, co-authors

Being an investor who has an understanding of the finance industry, I would question the validity of this article, judging by the impairm...

Rowan

How a customer-led digital transformation has helped this CMO generate $6m in incremental business

Read more

An interesting update considering that today is the easiest way it has ever been to measure contribution to the business as well as the h...

Frederic

State of the CMO 2019: Tenure shortens, pressure is on as marketers strive to demonstrate impact

Read more

I thought this was what Salesforce Audience Studio (formerly Salesforce DMP) was supposed to do. How are a CDP and a DMP different? I'm c...

Tony Ahn

Salesforce announces customer data platform

Read more

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

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in