My ten-year-old son thinks “Ok, Boomer” is a hilarious retort to things that seem old to him. At which point I remind him that I’m not a boomer but Gen X, but as far as he is concerned, anyone born before 1997 is old – like ancient. That’s because he is the newest generation – Generation Z (born ’97 – ’15) and to Gen Z, everyone is dated, and our tactics for marketing are dated too.
Gen Z is more aware than any previous generation, and they are on track to be the most well-educated generation yet. Everything they want to know is right at their fingertips and always has been. They don’t argue over small facts because they can answer in a heartbeat – “Hey Alexa/Google/Siri.” A world of information is available with just a quick tap on their phone.
Gen Z is more racially and ethnically diverse than any other generation. The globalization of the world has resulted in a diverse population that cares about racial and social issues.
Gen Z doesn’t have any recollection of life before the web. They are digital natives raised on the internet and social media. Gen Z chooses gaming as one of the top three activities they do in their spare time.
Gen Z isn’t interested in TV and Facebook ads. Their idea of social media interaction takes place within the games they play online. When I was a teen, I would sit on the telephone for hours gossiping with my girlfriends. Now I gossip with those same girls on Facebook Chat or via email. Que my ten-year-old, “Ok, Boomer.”
However, my Gen Z teenager communicates with his friends inside Fortnite or other games that he plays. Even my eight-year-old daughter prefers to play Minecraft with a video chat open with her cousins while they game.
Gen Z communities, groups and social circles are part of the games they play. Companies and brands to truly communicate with Gen Z need to gamify the marketing experience and be part of those online gaming communities.
Gen Z wants fun, entertaining and rewarding ways to game. They want a simple way to earn cash, in-game coins and gaming equipment by completing social and game-related challenges. Games of chance don’t interest them in the same way a battle royale or gaming competition would. They want challenges to be within their social circles and within the games, they play together. Gen Z values rewards and entertainment over brand loyalty.
At Award Pool, we believe that marketing to Gen Z begins with a Gamification of Marketing and the rewards and awards that go with it. As we build out our Challenges and Award System areas of the company, we are inspired by Gen Z and their intuitive way of communicating within gaming. Perhaps wrapping my head around marketing to Gen Z will help me learn more about how to relate to my kids with fewer “Ok Boomer” moments.