By now, you’ve probably heard about the post-Millennial generation—Generation Z. But have you started thinking about how they could impact your B2B marketing strategies?
With the oldest members of Gen Z just starting to enter the workforce, they may not be making B2B and other high-consideration purchase decisions right now—but they will before you know it. And the thing is, Gen Z is already being dubbed one of the most disruptive generations yet.
Here are the things you need to know to prepare, so Gen Z consumer behaviors don’t sneak up on the B2B community like Millennials’ did.
Getting to know Gen Z
Gen Z will be one of the most diverse generations we’ve ever seen. They are anticipated to be one of the most well-educated. And they are made up of true digital natives, who don’t know what life was like before smartphones. Like Millennials, they have strong point of views and aren’t afraid to voice their opinions. Where these two generations differ for marketers though, is their demand (not want) for authenticity, transparency and meaning.
In fact, Gen Z consumers are already seeking more from brands than ever before. Luckily for you, we have some ideas on how B2B and other high-consideration-purchase marketers can start to shift their marketing strategies to better target and connect with Gen Z consumers.
Evaluating and rethinking marketing strategies
Have a purpose
Gen Z consumers know the power of brand. After all, they’ve grown up with startups disrupting industries, brands building lifestyles and tech companies changing our way of life. While your business may not be one of those, you should still have a greater purpose for why you do what you do—and be able to communicate it.
We’ve especially seen an increase in this need for brand purpose during the COVID-19 pandemic. With so much uncertainty and instability, consumers of every age are looking for brands to do and be more. Our latest ebook on B2B marketing in turbulent times provides 5 steps on how brands can manage and move forward with purpose
Fill a need
When creating or evaluating your content, think about how it helps your audience—and not just your bottom line. The goal should be to fill a need or provide value through resources, blogs, high value content, infographics, tools and so on. Not only can this give readers a better sense of who you are and what you provide, but it can also help increase your online search visibility. After all, we know that Gen Z is big on researching brands, products and anything online, so increasing your rankings and having content that helps them can be a big win.
Create a community
As digital natives, Gen Z consumers look at community a little differently than previous generations. Facebook groups, forums, Instagram, pop-up events, apps and virtual games are all ways they can connect with people who appreciate and enjoy similar things as them. If you want to be able to connect with these consumers, create a community where they feel welcomed and engaged.
Personalize the experience
Gen Z consumers don’t want to be sold to but do want control over their buyer journey. For most B2B and other high-consideration-purchase marketers, this will require rethinking marketing strategies when and where possible. From optimizing user experiences to implementing new onboarding or sales tactics, personalization can go a long way in helping your consumers feel valued and appreciated—which can lead to repeat purchases, longer-term relationships or positive word of mouth.
While this should apply for any consumer, it’s especially important when trying to connect with Gen Z consumers. No one wants to feel like they’re talking to a robot. Your brand—and your content—should have its own voice and personality. Be relatable, share with your audience and show them who you are. This can go a long way in helping your brand stand out from the crowd and be worthy of being in their inner circle.
Leverage video and social
Most marketers know that video and social are powerful marketing tools. But for Gen Z consumers, they are essential to your marketing strategy. From Instagram stories to TikTok to YouTube to user generated content, these digital natives crave bite-sized content that educates, engages, entertains or does all of the above. While some researchers attribute this to their short attention spans, we like to think of it more as selective viewing. If you create content that resonates, they’ll stop and give you the time—it just has to be worth it.
Whether you’re just starting to or have already been targeting Gen Z consumers, think about how content can play a bigger role in how you connect with rising generation. From tapping into their expanding buying power to recruiting them to your company, Gen Z can provide new opportunities and growth potential for B2B and other high-consideration-purchases.