Prologue

Several experts argue that the next generation is always smarter & probably we have enough reasons to believe that as well.

For a major part of the last decade, the marketers invested numerous time & effort to attract the most inscrutable generation that ruled at our times – the Millennials. 

 According to a report by Accenture Millennials empower the US economy, spending $600 billion annually, an amount which is projected to rise up to $1.4 trillion by the year 2020. 

Millions empowered the major economies globally & by the large have been deciding their preferences which have influenced the ways industries have been conventionally operating. 

Business Insider reported that millennials have disrupted countless industries from napkins to Applebees.

Millennials redefined the businesses & marketing technics in all spheres & were on the key focus radar of the marketers from all the sectors including the B2B industry. 

Millennials have been experimental, innovative & enigmatic and according to Jeff Fromm, the president of FutureCast and the co-author of the book “Marketing to the Millennials” have been re-defining the dynamics of family & businesses. 

Jeff Fromm wrote in Forbes: “Millennials are delaying marriage & childbirth at rates never seen before. This cultural shift will have a near-term impact on housing: millennials may not need the same space, permanence, & particularly that most Americans want out of their housing.” 

Nevertheless, after owning & dominating & some of them even playing the role of marketers in the B2B industry for over a decade, the millennials grew up. Some of the oldest millennials have now acquired the age of 37.

Escaping the limelight & focus of the marketing world, quickly grew the Gen Z – the generation born between 1996 & 2010. 

Welcome Gen Z: The Drivers of Change, the New Moons, The Restless & tech-savvy Marketing Generation: 

According to a report by the generations.com, the Gen Z population in the US is already 61 million & outnumbers the millennials by nearly 1 million.  

If we consider B2B world equivalent to the tarot realm, Gen Z may be considered to be equivalent to the “Page Cards”. Much like the page cards, the Gen Zers, though not fully mature & not yet entirely ready for buying decisions, represent the beginning of marketing renaissance. They show strong marketing intents for the marketers to bank upon & gear themselves up; just like pages in the tarot world that carry messages to the knights. While it will take some time for the page-equivalents to dethrone & replace the B2B kingdom being ruled by millennials with themselves, the time has come for the marketers to start planning according to the psychographics of Gen Z.  

According to a report by millennialmarketing.com, Gen Z will comprise 40% of all the customers in the next two years & they already influence about $166-334 billion family spending annually. 

As the spending power of Generation Z increases, businesses need to prioritize the preferences of these growing number of page-card equivalents in marketing. Also, Gen Z is different from its predecessors.

According to a report by the Contently, 60% of the Gen Z prefer a cool product over a cool experience, while the millennials prefer it the other way round. 

The following are some of the key characters of Gen Z that separate them from millennials:

  • Gen Z is the first generation that has grown up with mobiles 
  • According to apa.org Gen Z sees the technology as a norm whereas  handling too much of technology can get stressful for the millennials  
  • Gen Z loves to innovate. According to visioncritical.com, Gen Z has an attention span of 8s as compared to the 12 s attention span of the millennials, which may seem to be volatile but on the flip side also indicates quick decision-making 
  • According to ibtimes.com, Gen Z value productivity & whereas their preceding generation works on an average only on 3 screens at a time, Gen Z can work on 5 screens simultaneously 
  • Be it business or working for environment & sustainable development instead of complaining, Gen Z finds the solution for the problems. This is a major big factor that separates them from the millennials & therefore, the brands also need to be more innovative if they want to attract the Gen Z.

Be it the invention of DoNotPay App by Joshua Browder, the 21 year kid who helped drivers in the US & the UK to successfully surpass more than 450,000 citations & $13 million in fines or the fight against climate crisis initiated by Greta Thunberg, the 15 year old Swedish kid who protested in the most impactful way that she could figure-out (by boycotting the school & protesting in front of the Swedish parliament); the millennials have always been the drivers of change. 

Methods to Draw Gen Z to B2B marketing Endeavors

Gen Z is the first generation of digital communities. Having grown up with smartphones & laptops they have evolved to overlook useless noise created by marketing ads & value human experiences more.

According to a report by Commscope, Gen Z-ers spend 74% of their time, besides, school or work online. 

Gen Z, in no way, should be mistaken for being elusive. Though not all of them are empowered to buy, they majorly influence the buying decision of their parents.

Also, Gen Z is far more mature than their preceding generations. While millennials had a pretty hard time acknowledging that they have grown-up & most of them till this date get nostalgic about their childhood, Gen Zers saw the financial crunch & the inflation in the year 2008. They witnessed their parents losing their jobs & a state of anarchy imposed by the fiscal crunch. It was probably adversity that made them psychologically evolved for quicker decision-making.  

According to Alexandra Levit, workplace author Gen Z is unique from previous generations as they prioritize independence & avoid traditional practices. The following quote from her in the New York Times explains that Gen Zers know how to prioritize their choices: 

“Gen Zers are growing up in a healthier economy and appear eager to be cut loose. They don’t wait for their parents to teach them things or tell them how to make decisions.”

The B2B marketers can use the following technics to engage with Gen Z:

1. Involve Gamification for Engagement

According to Avid Abiri, VP of the portfolio sales enablement at NICE, gamification is an essential technology to drive the engagement of Gen Z. Avid defines gamification as the application of big data & video game technicalities to the workplace chores.

He quotes: “With many companies already using contests and competitions to engage their employees, gamification technology can help formalize a performance-driven culture.”

Besides, Gen Zers also prefer real-time feedback. 

2. Focus on Augmented Reality Marketing:

AR marketing is an alternative for improved personalization. As Gen Z has a shorter attention span, its intent-based targeting is a must-have for any marketing strategy to appeal to them.

Besides creating & delivering intent-based pieces of content through omnichannel, the marketers can also focus on creating augmented reality inventory experience (as was done by Zara), on Virtual tools (as the virtual make-up tool by L’Oreal Paris) and can also provide web-based AR platforms to the customers (as was done by CoverGirl). 

3. Focus on Social Media Marketing Strategies:

According to Criteo, the most popular social media channels for Gen Zers are YouTube, Snaphat & Instagram. 

Clearly, the B2B marketers need to split-test & optimize their social media marketing strategies to resonate with the interests of Gen Z. Marketers need to focus on & optimize their multi-channel attribution strategies.

4. Employ Chatbots:

According to a report by GeoMarketing from Yext, Gen Zers are more accustomed to chatbot interactions. Furthermore, a recent study from Inc found that they prefer texting over calling. This means that to attract Gen Z, the marketers need to have chatbots in place for customers’ assistance & answering their queries.  

5. Have a physical Inventory:

A report from Accenture implies that 60% of the Gen Z shoppers prefer purchasing from physical stores. 

The digital footprints through a still are used for intent-targeting as Gen Zers perform the majority of their research online. Even if the Gen Zers buy products online, they prefer buying from companies they know, like & trust so that it adds to their outreached virtual identity. 

6. Create Podcasts & Premium Pieces of Content

According to a report by Business Insider, Gen Zers don’t prefer free content being broadcasted; instead value premium content, podcasts, on-demand videos, paid content & subscription.

This can be a big hint for the B2B marketers using affiliate marketing & other omnichannel strategies based on the intent signaling of the prospects. 

7. Focus on creating shorter more Impactful Ads:

According to Mediapost, six-second, interactive advertisements perform better for Gen Zers, as they have an ephemeral attention-span, as compared to the 30-second ads.

While long-form, high-quality pieces of content may still be required for scoring better on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs), the advertising content needs to shorter, yet engaging so that the Gen Zers don’t lose their interest. 

Wrapping It UP

The energies of Gen Zers in the B2B landscape is equivalent to the “Page Cards” in the tarot readings. Being page card-equivalents, Gen Zers are immature & nascent, yet prominent drivers of change in the realm of B2B marketing. For them, physical & digital aren’t separate and the marketers need to bridge the gap between physical & digital worlds by establishing synchronicity to deliver phenomenal experiences to their Gen Z shoppers. 

Providing truly remarkable experiences & relevance of context in advertising can help in attracting & converting a large number of Gen Z shoppers.

Also, preparing for marketing strategies matching the interests of Gen Z is an absolute essentiality for marketers as they influence the purchase decisions of their preceding generations.

As Deep Focus CMO Jamie Gutfreund quoted, “If, as a brand, you aren’t putting energy into understanding Gen Z, you are losing an opportunity to anticipate the future of consumer behavior.”

The companies also need to develop new mobile apps and keep abreast with the latest marketing technologies to convert Gen Z shoppers. As Pushpa Godwa, the Global Technology Engagement Director for Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated or JLL, quoted: “Companies need to embrace new technologies, whether that’s augmented technology that allows employers to join meetings via holograms or telepresence instead of Skype as well as video walls that allow for data visualization…”

Gen Z prefers visual experiences over text-based and also prefer to indulge with insightful charts & graphs conveying data-driven stories in an impactful manner. 

Valsys Media is sponsoring the CMO & Future of Marketing Summit, 2019 (to be held at Grosvenor House, Dubai between 23/9/2019 to 25/9/2019), where an Interactive Group Discussion (IGC) on the day one of the conference, will cover the topic: “GAMIFICATION, AUGMENTED REALITY AND

ATTRACTING THE GEN Z”.

Also, there will be a panel discussion on day two of the summit on the topic: “Stories, Live, TV, Quizzes, Augmented Reality and what not? How has social media evolved and what does it mean for your content?”

 Thus, the CMO & Future of marketing Summit 2019, is an excellent opportunity for the marketers to get acquainted with the research behaviors & other psychographic intricacies of their Gen Z shoppers. 

The event aims to target experts from a wide array of industries including E-commerce, Retail, Corporations, Travel, Leisure & Hospitality, Governments, Energy & Utilities, and Software companies, Distribution Companies, Professional Services, Telecommunications, Banking, Finance & Insurance Companies & the Healthcare Industry. 

Various stalwarts from diverse areas of expertise will share their insights into a wide array of topics of relevance to the modern age marketers. Omnichannel marketing, marketing Automation & Cloud, Account-based marketing & Agile Marketing will be some of the prime topics to be discussed by the marketers. 

The marketers can refer to the link below to register their presence at the event:

https://www.iqpc.com/events-futureofmarketing

They can also call on +971 4 360 2800 or an email at partnership@iqpc.ae for help with any queries. 

We at Valasys Media, help our B2B clients with hyper-targeted campaigns & host of other services such as lead generation, account-based marketing, lead nurturing, event promotion services, list building services & content syndication services to name a few.

All our services have been engineered to help our clients achieve their core bottom-line objectives such as optimized sales revenue, improved users’ experiences & better returns on their marketing investments (ROMI).

For help with any B2B services and the furtherance of perennially healthy sales pipelines, get in touch with our team of experts.

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