In terms of generations, many people tend to just lump anyone under the age of 35 into the same category of being a millennial. However, we are now looking at two distinct generations who are the younger groups in the workforce. Millennials are around 25-40 years old now and Generation Z is 25 an under.
There are a lot of similarities between these two generations, especially considering their affinity towards technology. However, this is also where they differ – Gen Z grew up and is growing up with smartphones being normal and social media being expected. Millennials went through fax machines, portable CD players and dial up internet connections before getting to where we are now.
There are also some major differences when it comes to marketing to these groups. They approach advertising, making purchases and their relationships to brands very differently. For example:
1. Online Browsing Habits
While both generations are very comfortable with social media and learning new platforms as they crop up, there are some distinct differences that impact how you should market to them. Millennials are far more likely to be spending their time on websites like Medium, while Gen Z is more drawn to the likes of YouTube. This shows that they consume information differently – the written word versus video content.
2. Response To Paid Adverts Online
Gen Z is not a fan of paid adverts, especially not ones that interrupt their browsing time on social media. In fact, the stats show that Gen Zers are more likely to have adblocking software on their computers and mobile devices. On the other hand, Millennials are not too concerned about paid promotions and are happy to have Google, Facebook and others learn their shopping habits in order to get more tailored adverts.
The right way to reach Gen Z, and to some degree Millennials, is through influencer marketing and less traditional advertising methods. Gen Zers tend to want a real voice talking to them and an authentic review or referral before they spend money on something.
3. Competing For Attention Span
Both Millennials and Gen Zers have an impressively short attention span when it comes to online content. Millennials are on average around 12 seconds and Gen Zers are around 8 seconds. On top of that, Gen Zers are used to multi-tasking while online. They regularly will have multiple windows open and will be looking at more than one screen at a time. However, even with all of these different opportunities to reach them, you only have a few seconds to grab their attention before they scroll past you and onto the next piece of content.
4. Different Attitudes Towards Money
A big separating point between the two generations is how they feel about money and how willing they are to part with it when they visit site. Millennials, especially in the US, got a raw deal when it came to the economy crashing and the banking crisis. They are not so focused on savings and more interested in spending money on things that will give them a positive life experience. Gen Z is a bit more responsible about saving for the future and buying practical items.