In all forms of marketing communications, “Millennials” is a buzz word. Millennials, born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 27 to 42), are collaborative, optimistic and college-educated. But, marketers have a new audience to talk to. Generation Z. This generation, born at the earliest in 1997, is completely different from Millennials. Communicating with Generation Z requires one to think of new, creative ways to reach this audience. Let’s explore what makes the two groups so different, and what that means for communications.

American business magazine Inc. published an article, “Generation Z Versus Millennials: The 8 Differences You Need to Know” on some of the key differences between Millennials and Gen Z-ers. Here are three:

  • Generation Z is more realistic than optimistic Millennials. Seventy-seven percent of Generation Z expect to work harder than previous generations, as they watched their parents suffer through the Great Recession. Their pragmatism requires authentic communication to build trust and loyalty.
  • Gen Z grew up in the iPhone era, meaning they are increasingly connected and media savvy. For communicators, content needs to be moldable to the tons of channels, mediums and devices where their audience lives.
  • Millennials are global spectators, “because they shared similar characteristics and values across borders and they were able to view significant global events in real time.” Gen Z-ers are instead global citizens. The age group have more in common with their global peers as they are increasingly connected. Communicating can become both easier and harder when it comes to global citizenship. On one side, messages can become more coherent across geographies due to idea sharing and idea blending. On the other side, Generation Z expects messaging that caters to all types of cultural, racial and ethnic groups.

As a member of Generation Z, I can reiterate the need for open, authentic communication. We’ve been captive audiences most of our lives and now, we can see right through inauthenticity. One of the greatest opportunities of working with a public relations team is the capability to build trust and loyalty with your stakeholder groups, like Generation Z-ers, which is key to healthy marketing communications.

We hope these tips help you in communicating with Generation Z. If you are in need of a strategic marketing plan, contact us at K2 today. We’re in the business of finding creative solutions to your needs.

-Kristen Sheehan