Meeting Generation Z and why I'm excited they're here

Last Thursday evening the Market Research Society's Midlands group ran a free event in which presenters from One-MS and Mattesson’s shared their research and experience of marketing to Generation Z.

We, the audience, had a great evening being introduced to this group and I ended the night feeling excited about the prospect of engaging with this audience in future research projects. 

But who exactly are Generation Z? Well if you missed our session, I’m here to share some of the insight from our event, with additional nuggets I have sourced through my own research.

Who are they and what do we need to know about them?

  • Generation Z are born between the mid 1990s and early 2000s.
  • They will account for 40% of all consumers by 2020.
  • The average Gen Z has an attention span of 8 seconds. Meaning apps like Snapchat & Vine take precedence and helps to explain why ¼ of all 13-17 year olds have left Facebook this year. 
  • 70% of Generation Z watches more than two hours of YouTube content p/day.
  • As a generation they own the most popular photo ever on Instagram. Well technically it belongs to Kendall Jenner.

Kendall Jenner Most Liked Photo Instagram

Why am I glad they’re here?

They expect us to be more engaging.

Chipotle, the Mexican grill chain – created a genius video to promote the sustainable and ethical sourcing of its food, and then went one step further to engage their target Gen Z audience, by turning the advert into a downloadable game.

Video + gaming = Generation Z gold dust.


They are encouraging us to be more creative.

Take Mattessons creation of the robot F.R.H.A.N.K. – a co-creative, open source project shared by the Fridge Raiders brand with its audience, to create the ultimate snacking and gaming robot. 

The Gen Z audience targeted here had the opportunity to design one of F.R.H.A.N.K.’s arms and programme answers the robot would use in response to questions.

Mattessons engaged its Gen Z audience by working in partnership to develop the world’s first artificially intelligent robot, co-created by a social community.

Engagement through creativity + design = Generation Z genius.


They are challenging us to be more accountable.

Not only by ethically sourcing our food products, or being able to prove the sustainability of our supply chain, but by extra-ordinary, awe-inspiring acts of intolerance to injustice.

Take Malala Yousfzai’s tireless efforts as a human rights advocate for education and women. At 17 years old she is an inspirational example of Gen Z setting a standard of shared equality and promoting it through their ever social, hyper-connected lives.

Inspiration + action = Generation Z galvanised. 

They remind us to invest in ‘moments’ and ‘memories’.

Instagram, is a Generation Z favourite, working to continually develop its advertising offering for brands – by asking them to ‘capture moments not products’ in their campaigns.

Through the image sharing platform’s ability to connect users globally through hashtags and tagging, Instagram is offering brands the opportunity to create & communicate with commercial communities, not just individual customers.

Images + social sharing = Generation Z goldmine.

instagram ads new

They demand us to be a little smarter when advertising to them.

This group responds better to engaging content over advertising, often missing product placement in TV shows, Generation Z will listen to reviews from their peers over direct ad campaigns from brands.

With 86% of Gen Z using their smartphones multiple times per day, brands have a huge opportunity to boost sales. But they must be clever when doing so.

Engaging bloggers and vloggers like Zoella & Ali A has worked wonders for brands like Sainsbury’s & Mattessons through their ability to connect more directly with Gen Z through respect for their peer audience. 

Vloggers + peer reviews = Generation Z groupies.

We can’t be ‘one step ahead’ of this generation, they’re already ten steps ahead of us… We need to embrace and collaborate with them.

If we ask and listen to what they tell us, we’re set for a dynamic, innovative future with Gen Z. 

By Bridget Leonard, Marketing Executive

This entry was posted in B2C, tagged Communication, Consumer, Discount retail, Mobile friendly, Video advertising, Listening, Engagement, Advertising, Generation z and posted on July 1, 2015

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