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News | How to market to Gen Z this Youth Month

How to market to Gen Z this Youth Month

June 16 2023 By FoneWorx

Gen Z - written on blocks on coloured background.

The youth has always been a force to be reckoned with: pester power among the younger kiddies is alive and well, while teens and young adults command a significant chunk of the consumer market in both spend and influence. 

Youth marketing is big business, and in a country like South Africa where nearly half of the population is younger than 24, it's ripe with potential. But how do you ensure your marketing efforts have drip and are a Big W with your audience?

First, let's clarify which markets constitute today's youth. Roughly speaking, Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996, and Gen Z between 1995 and 2012. Where Millennials are (sometimes naively) optimistic, collaborative and digital pioneers, Gen Z kids are more realistic, independent and digital natives. Millennials don't mind sharing private information, Gen Z users do and are more selective in choosing the brands with which to engage online.

It's important to first understand your specific segment of the youth market and what makes them tick before embarking on any campaign development. Vital questions to ask are what do they value, what interests them and most importantly, what motivates them?

Bill Gates' assertion that 'content is king' has never been truer than today, where youth consumers prioritise engaging content. Visually attractive, informative, attention stopping, ethically motivated, socially conscious content that is mobile friendly and shareable is an absolute must for brands wanting to meaningfully engage with the youth.

The platforms where this content is used is equally important. There are subtle differences between Millennials' social media use and that of their Gen Z counterparts. Millennials' go-to media in order of priority is Facebook, Instagram and YouTube while Gen Z primarily favours YouTube followed by Instagram and TikTok. Get your platform right, and your engagement stats will speak for themselves.

One strategy that continually demonstrates strong results among the youth is influencer marketing. You just need to look at the explosive launch of Prime Hydration in South Africa to see the immense value of partnering with social media influencers who have been greenlighted by the youth.

Three tools on our radar to stimulate brand engagement among younger consumers are:

  1. Gamification: Kids grow up with digital games, so seamlessly weaving these into customer interactions is a sure way to build brand awareness and if done right, brand loyalty. Young audiences respond on an emotional level to games, so this can be an incredibly powerful tool (without being overly complicated). FoneWorx has dozens of options suited to youth-oriented games. We can also develop an entirely new gamification platform for your brand.
  2. QR codes: Although not new, QR codes have definitely seen a resurgence in niche marketing, including efforts targeting the youth. Quick response codes provide information, well, quickly, and this combined with their mobile friendliness makes them particularly popular with young target markets. We'll show you how to use QR codes tactically to engage with users beyond just the screen in their hands, by driving them to stores or experiential offerings aligned with your brand.
  3. Microsites: Microsites are a great way to show a different side of your brand in a specific campaign or to engage with niche users within your broader consumer base. A mini, themed version of your main site, microsites are excellent at stimulating interaction, building trust and establishing relationships with new users (or cementing relations with existing fans). FoneWorx can develop a microsite to take your next youth campaign to the next level.

The old saying goes that today's youth is tomorrow's future. In marketing, that couldn't be more accurate, as these kids will make up the mass market you'll be looking to continue engaging, albeit in a different way, in 20 years' time.

To start building that relationship now, be strategic but authentic in your approach and meet the kids where they are now. It's an exciting place, and they've got a lot to teach us.


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