Does your Messaging Change for Each Generation to Ensure Engagement?

As generations shift, it is essential that retail and restaurant marketers stay up on the latest trends to understand what each generation demands. While tailoring messages to each generation can be a challenge, it also can be highly rewarding in terms of profitability and marketing ROI. After all, the Gen Y and Gen Z populations value premium experiences and are usually willing to pay more for convenience, quality, and craftsmanship.

Why All the Fuss about These Generations?
Gen Y, also known as Millennials, (generally born between 1980 and 1995) are the largest population in the United States with 75.4 million consumers and growing. This generation spends a whopping $200 billion annually and is expected to spend $10 trillion in their lifetimes.

Gen Z (generally born between 1996 and 2010) is the population still coming of age yet their annual spending power is valued at $44 billion. By 2020 this generation will account for 40% of all consumers in the U.S.

The Experience Economy
In this new economy, it’s all about unique experiences, specialty products, and new technologies that can be deemed share-worthy. Both Gen Y and Gen Z audiences are looking for the next one-of-a-kind whatever.

Younger consumers like behind-the-scenes events, hands-on demonstrations, one-of-a-kind atmospheres, hints of nostalgia, and local ties. (For more on emerging retail and restaurant trends that build customer loyalty, visit our blog post here.)

“As Millennials and Gen Z gain more market share, their opinions will grow louder. Adapting strategies both online and off in response to evolving demands can help to carry concepts through sluggish seasons,” BDO says in its Q1 Restaurant Industry Scorecard.

What’s Different about Gen Z than Gen Y?
According to George Beall, Gen Z consultant and founder of Beall Consulting Group, there are 8 key differences between Gen Z and Gen Y.In general, Gen Zers are:

  1. Less focused as this generation lives in a world of continuous updates
  2. Better multi-taskers and better with distractions
  3. Not as price-conscious as their Millennial parents (Gen Y grew up during the recession)
  4. Early starters – Many employers predict that more teens will opt out of traditional higher education due to rising student debt and instead, finish school online
  5. Entrepreneurial – 72% of teens say they want to start a business someday
  6. Have higher expectations, born into a world overrun with technology
  7. Big on individuality – 92% of Gen Z has a digital footprint and as a result of the celebrities and media they follow, Gen Z seeks uniqueness in all walks of life
  8. More global – as more of the world comes online, Generation Z will become more global in their thinking and interactions

“These folks are not just Millennial 2.0. Gen Z customers have values that are very different from Millennials. They spend a lot of time online and tend to have shorter attention spans. And because they consume a lot of information, they tend to make decisions quickly. Early research on Gen Z consumers indicates that they want good value and quality. They also want inviting service and a welcoming ambiance that makes them feel valued”, states Abhijeet Jadhav, Senior Manager of Marketing Strategy for Georgia-Pacific Professional.

How Do You Utilize the Latest Data-Driven Marketing Strategies with These Audiences?
The average Gen Y and Gen Z consumer spend more than three hours per day in mobile apps alone, creating ample opportunity for marketers to gather and leverage data from various channels to target them better. The problem, however, is that restaurants and retailers struggle with organizing and leveraging that data in a meaningful way.

Marketers don’t need BIG Data. They need smart data that gives them the insight to delight customers and prospects. Smart data provides marketers a unified customer view that connects their social media activities, online ordering histories (from your brand as well as other brands), app downloads, email click-through activity, monthly subscriptions, and lifestyles.

Effective database marketing enables marketers to connect the dots between first-party transactional data to third-party data, conduct sophisticated analytics and predictive modeling, and develop and implement full-scale omnichannel campaigns.

For our full Go-To Guide to Engaging Millennial & Gen Z Audiences, download our white paper here.

To learn how AccuData can help you reach the coveted Gen Y and Gen Z crowds, contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a data expert.

Written by Gabrielle Perham, MBA