Once upon a time there were millennials. Now the time has come for Generation Z, still unknown to many. The consumers of tomorrow are a target to be studied for brands in every sector. But what lies behind this definition?
From a demographic point of view, the term Generation Z (also called GenZ or iGen) refers to all those born between 1996 and 2011, in the boom of the Internet. Network and connections have profoundly influenced their way of living daily life and enjoying content and products. Born and raised in an ecosystem shaped by mobile devices, the GenZ is the first mobile-first generation in history that, in symbiosis with its smartphone, relies on Google, social networks, and online communities for all daily activities. A generation that prefers to read books on tablets instead of the classic paper, which no longer watches traditional TV but uses streaming platforms to watch movies and TV series or listen to music. A generation accustomed to socializing online using everything the web makes available to them, starting with social networks.
It is estimated that Generation Z young people spend an average of at least 5 hours online, mostly on social media and applications such as WhatsApp or TikTok. Eternally connected, they prefer communication on social media, but they do not like the platforms they consider traditional as Facebook. They prefer Instagram and Snapchat, more direct, while instead of the classic emails they use WhatsApp, much faster and instantaneous.The consumption of multimedia content - audio and video - passes through streaming platforms: YouTube in the first place, but also Netflix, Spotify and others of this type.
Data from the US speaks to us of these people as loyal seekers of information, even when research is about products. In addition to research, they love to learn self-taught: 33% watch online lectures, 20% read textbooks on tablets, and 32% collaborate with their colleagues online.
An in-depth study conducted by Mckinsey outlines his interests and attitudes.
In terms of study and learning, according to the researchers, it is the first generation able to independently search and find the information they need, to take lessons online, to read and study using digital books on tablets, to collaborate with peers using the tools of the web. Unlike Millennials, Generation Z kids use 5 devices on average (computers, smartphones, iPods or music players, TVs and tablets). As evidence of a very strong link with the network, they always look for videos, campaigns, ways of communicating that strike in the shortest possible time. The reason? The first is because they have an attention span that lasts an average of 8 seconds, due to the fact that they are more used to the speed of creating videos or images. The second is that they are increasingly looking for creative content and ways of communicating. A static image does not attract them, on the contrary, it makes them perceive a boring and old content.
For this reason, the visual dimension is much more important than the textual one (preferred instead by Millennials), on which companies must therefore strive in order to work with this generation of potential consumers. Where Millennials have highlighted the importance of mobile learning, Generation Z will push organizations to further refine this approach by developing "mobile-first" training, which starts from a mobile rather than a desktop perspective. That is, a training designed natively for smartphones / tablets, accessible anywhere and anytime.
The key to connecting with GenZ is to understand their mindset, their needs and their values, recognizing the uniqueness of what they bring to your organization and team.
To involve the GenZ you may need:
1. Take advantage of different types of digital content: from video and microlearning, as long as it is short-lived and with a wow effect
2. Adopt an approach to training that favors a smartphone rather than a desktop use
3. Stimulate their interest with small, educational content similar to their social media feeds
4. Make sure your training is intuitive, easy to use and mobile (mobile learning is an essential tool)
5. communicate visually through multiple devices
6. connect them through collaborative activities and live-streaming technologies
To sum up, Generation-Z exhibits some diversity from their millennial counterparts. A pragmatic generation that assigns a different value to academic education, which has always been seen as a privileged gateway to a better profession in the workplace.