Tuesday, May 19, 2015

More on Generation Z - Some Advertiser Insights

Every Generation in the groups we covered below has different challenges and characteristics that are keys to reaching them.  For the Boomers quite a bit of their culture and influence revolved around the explosion of music and protests in the late 60s and early 70s.  Generation X was consumed by the recession and boom cycles of  80s and also the fact that they lived in the shadow of the bigger Boomer generation.  The 90s defined the Millennial generation with the huge growth of Tech, but also an era when many struggled to find jobs after college and stayed at home.

Now we have Generation Z who were born around the turn of the century and while they continue to ride the growth of technology they also grew up in a very widespread and deep recession. They are also the first generation since the Boomers to grow up with a drawn out war.  No doubt it has influenced their thinking and culture and to reach them every brand will need to understand these cultural keys.

While Gen Z may still be in High School they will make up a large market and we can already see a lot of products and brands looking to establish themselves with this up and coming group.

 The smart marketers ARE looking ahead and they know that today's 16 year old will soon be out of college and in 5 years they will be the cresting wave that they have to ride.  They also know you can't wait to start figuring this out.  If you wait till the wave is on you and try to mount the surf board - the wave will pass you buy.

Here's more on what key marketers are looking at with Generation Z from Ad Age

This is also a group that will challenge radio programmers.  For the most part we lost out on a lot of  potential with Millennial's.  In the 90s, when they were all growing up and could have become fans of radio, we were completely consumed with building 25-54 audience.  For much of the 90s the peak of the 25-54s were baby boomers in their 40s.  Radio was for Mom and Dad and Millennial's had all the toys to find music and entertainment all over the place, and make it customized to their liking.  Yes, from many angles it looks like we sat on our surf boards in the 90s and let the Millennial wave pass us buy.

We can all see the potential here to re-tool our 'radio brand'  and build new brands with personalities music blends, social media integration and imaging to target this audience.  But will we have the opportunity to try?  It will take some bold ideas, new thinking, experiments that may fail, and it will also take investment.  We already ignored one generation - we really can't afford to ignore another.  Taco Bell isn't--and soon a long list of  marketing campaigns will be focusing on Generation Z.  Perhaps we can take just 1 signal of the 5 in the cluster and consider the potential?   Or we can sit our our surf board and watch the wave crest in front of us again.