February '19

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Page 17 of 71

14 THE SHOP FEBRUARY 2019 B usinesses try every trick in the book (and some that aren't in the book) to convince millennials to buy stuff. They're a logical prospect because… well, just because. After all, they're in the prime of debt (we mean life), are working (have money), and have a big mortgage and a student loan cloud over them. Of course, they also work diligently trying to put money away for the kids' education and stash what's left for their retirement. The downside is that, every day, 10,000 of them slide "over the line" and become boomers (old). We're not saying to ignore them, but in your search for new customers, perhaps it's time to place more emphasis and focus on teens, since they'll be earning and spending money longer than their folks. OK, you can cast your marketing net to draw in customers from both generations. But it requires different messages and dif- ferent marketing channels. TECHIE TEENS Often referred to as Generation Z, these folks were born between 1998-2010 and they've known nothing but unparalleled access to technology. Many have had smartphones since ele- mentary school; or, if parents forced them to wait, at least middle school. They can't envision a world without high-speed internet, laptops, touchscreens, Wi-Fi everywhere, social media and instant access to the latest unfiltered news. This is probably why publications like BuzzFeed are so successful. They deliver news and reviews in an engaging manner with lots of pictures, short sentences and short news capsules. Once they get the gist of the story, Gen Zers move on to something new. Thanks in large part to being constantly connected to our technology and the vol- umes of information our brains receive, we are constantly working to filter, capture, digest, etc. Nearly everyone has a difficult time shut- ting down and walking away from their devices, whether in meetings, in class or on the beach. Research by GfK found that over a third of internet users around the globe have a hard time disconnecting from technology. Gen Z users find it most difficult. They check their device (usually smart- phone) when they rise and throughout the day—just in case they might miss something. While older people find it a little easier to give up their technology, especially those worried about privacy, that's less of a con- cern with teens. GfK found only 15 percent of 18- to 14 THE SHOP FEBRUARY 2019 Teens Rising Marketing to Gen Z requires an ultra-personal approach. By Andy Marken In our mobile-first, visually rich social and digital world, Gen Zers expect flexibility, authenticity and consistency in every brand interaction.

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