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HomeMarketingWhy Entrepreneurs Must Know the Distinction (New Knowledge)

Why Entrepreneurs Must Know the Distinction (New Knowledge)


In recent times, there’s been a typical false impression that Gen Z and millennials are primarily the identical.

millennials vs gen z looking at marketing content according to each generations behaviors

When corporations talk about reaching youthful audiences, many usually lump Gen Z and millennials into the identical group and create one marketing campaign technique that they imagine suits each teams.

Positive, many millennials and Gen Zers are thought of “younger adults.” Each generations are extremely related to know-how and the web. It might sound efficient to run one marketing campaign aimed toward each generations, however is that this actually the best transfer?

To research, I made a decision to begin by letting customers weigh in on whether or not or not the identical advertising and marketing methods will have interaction each age teams.

Download Now: The State of U.S. Consumer Trends (Free Report)

In a Lucid ballot, I requested 350 folks to inform me if, “The identical advertising and marketing ways that persuade millennials additionally work on Gen Z,” was a real or false assertion. And when you suppose customers — the people who find themselves being marketed to by manufacturers — would sway a method or one other, you will be barely stunned by the outcomes beneath:

Lucid poll data for True or False - The same marketing tactics that worked on millennials will work on Gen Z

Knowledge Supply: Lucid Software

Though 56% of these polled thought the 2 generations could possibly be marketed to the identical approach, almost half disagreed.

As a marketer specializing in viewers progress, I sway with the 44% of people that suppose the identical ways will not work on each teams — a minimum of not without end.

However is both group of customers proper about their perceptions? On this weblog put up, I will share the chilly, arduous details researchers have found about generational similarities and variations between millennials and Gen Zers, whereas sometimes weighing the uncooked information in opposition to the best way on a regular basis customers understand the 2 generations. And when you’re in a pinch, bounce straight to the data you want:

Millennials vs. Gen Z

In keeping with Pew Analysis Heart, these within the Millennial technology had been born between 1981 and 1996, whereas these in Gen Z had been born between 1997 and 2012. In 2023, millennials are between 27 and 42 years outdated, and Gen-Zers are between 11 and 26.

When you consider the generational variations on the most important doable scale, the oldest millennials are of their early 40s, is likely to be settled down, and could possibly be making bigger purchases like vehicles or properties. The youngest members of Gen Z are 11 years outdated, may love kids’s reveals, and will not be instantly making buying selections any time quickly.

Except for the plain age variations above, listed below are six extra components that make these two generations essentially totally different.

Components That Differentiate Millennials and Gen Z

1. They’ve totally different attitudes about know-how and cash.

Understanding the period an age group grows up in will help you establish generational commonalities like motivations, spending or saving habits, or ache factors that all of them share.

Two issues that differentiated every technology’s childhood period included know-how and the economic system:


The obvious distinction between the eras every technology was raised in is the presence of know-how. Millennials grew up utilizing DVD gamers, large private computer systems, cell telephones with tiny screens, and dial-up web. At the moment, we thought these applied sciences had been groundbreaking.

Now, most kids and teenagers inside Gen Z have entry to iPads, smartphones, infinite Wi-Fi, or streaming providers that put our prized DVD gamers to disgrace. Many members of this technology may need additionally grown up in households with early smart home technology.

While millennials watched innovation begin, Gen Z was immersed in it from day one.

But although Gen Z never had to know a time where they didn’t have a cool gadget to solve basic problems, the impact of technology, the internet, and social media has still taken a toll on the group.

Research reveals that Gen Z — which has been known as the “socially-conscious generation — offers with much more physique picture, psychological well being, and cyberbullying points than some other age group has previously. Consultants have additionally known as Gen Z the loneliest generation regardless of all of their digital connectivity choices.

Financial system

Millennials and Gen Z even have totally different attitudes round cash. Whereas they each care about their funds and put money into issues that may enhance their careers — like larger training.

Each generations are recognized for bettering on monetary habits of previous generations, nevertheless, millennials put their cash into shopping for extra services or products that can give them a optimistic expertise, whereas Gen Z is extra targeted on financial savings and sensible merchandise.

Millennials within the U.S. constructed up their very own funds shortly after the Recession, which resulted in 2009. For a few years up till 2019, regardless of monetary woes brought on by the poor economic system, rising house prices, and excessive unemployment ranges, millennials remained optimistic about their future and finances. Nonetheless, some research state that millennials’ financial optimism is dwindling due to post-pandemic inflation, recession, and market slump prevalent in 2023.

Gen Z was born at the beginning of the economic downturn. Because the oldest members of Gen Z have entered maturity, analysis reveals that their previous expertise of residing within the Recession are main them to make extra practical spending decisions.

For those who’re advertising and marketing to those generations, you will need to bear in mind these attitudes about cash.

For instance, if you would like millennials to purchase your product, you will need to concentrate on constructing a model that gives a pleasing or entertaining buyer expertise, in addition to advertising and marketing services or products that give on the spot gratification. For those who’re advertising and marketing to Gen Z, you will need your campaigns to obviously show how or why your product will probably be helpful or sensible to them of their each day lives.

2. Gen Z is extra prone to make cell purchases.

By now, you may know that each of those generations are closely related to the web and social media, Whereas millennials watched the web develop, Gen Z has used it since a really younger age.

Every day, millennials spend round 7.5 hours on-line whereas Gen Z surfs for nearly 10 hours.

Each millennials and Gen Z additionally go browsing primarily with cell gadgets, however a giant distinction between these generations is that Gen Z was virtually raised with smartphones. In keeping with YPULSE, 12 is the common age Gen-Z acquired their first smartphone, 5 years youthful (on common) than millennials.

Gen-z was introduced to smartphones at 12 years old, five years younger than Millennials on average

Supply: YPULSE

Gen Z’s mobile-first mindset additionally impacts how they store. Members of the technology are twice as likely to make a mobile online purchase than millennials. Nonetheless, millennials nonetheless do store loads on cell gadgets. In truth, 71% say they do most of their online shopping with a mobile device.

Concerning on-line content material consumption, millennials and Gen Z spend most of their time watching movies and visiting social media websites.

In keeping with a recent study, millennials watch on-line movies for 1.5 hours per day whereas Gen Z averages over three hours. In the meantime, each generations are thought to spend hours each day on social media.

Whilst you may need already recognized that cell optimization and video advertising and marketing are a key digital methods, these stats show that it could possibly aid you zone in on younger grownup generations. For those who actually need to appeal to consideration from each Gen Z or millennials, you will need to create cell movies, cell ecommerce websites, or different phone-based experiences that cater to them. You must also you’ll want to market your self on platforms that’re already cell, corresponding to main social media apps.

3. Each spend a whole lot of time on social media, however the platforms they use are fairly totally different.

To grasp how folks perceived every technology’s social media utilization, I requested the identical group of 350 folks famous within the Lucid ballot above to weigh in on which group they thought spent extra time on social media. Here is what they stated:

Consumer Opinion Poll Which generation logs on to social media the most using Lucid data

Knowledge Supply: Lucid Software

The ballot outcomes above had been pretty break up between millennials and Gen Z. Nonetheless, 27% of individuals say each generations are “at all times logged on.”

So, who’s really essentially the most tuned in to social media? Let’s examine what research on these teams reveal.

The World Financial Discussion board stories that millennials are logged on to social media for a median of two hours and 38 minutes each day whereas Gen Z logs on for more than four hours each day.

Except for the time spent on social media per day, the platforms every technology makes use of are additionally barely totally different.

Whereas my technology thrived on MySpace and Tumblr and now enjoys platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, Gen Z has zoned in on video-based platforms like Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and — extra just lately — TikTok.

A latest Enterprise Insider survey that polled the oldest half of Gen Z discovered that individuals used Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat most frequently.

Though TikTok appeared much less well-liked within the Enterprise Insider survey, this one-year-old platform is likely one of the fastest-growing social media apps attributable to booming world Gen Z customers.

Gen Z and millennials do have a couple of social platform preferences in widespread. One, for instance, is Instagram. Whereas Instagram is older and extra established than apps like TikTok or Snapchat, it is also pulled in millennials and video-loving Gen Z members.

YouTube can also be a social community that each generations are prominently utilizing. Whereas YouTube was launched when most millennials had been kids, 96% of Gen Z users have accounts on the video-sharing platform. The video platform can also be the second-most used search engine and a platform the place many in Gen Z and millennial generations go for product research, as 57% of YouTube’s viewers consists solely of the 2 generations.

4. Millennials take note of adverts for an extended period of time.

Every technology’s habits align effectively with its common consideration span relating to content material consumption.

Whereas millennials will take note of content material for 12 seconds, Gen Z will solely concentrate on it for eight seconds. Moreover, Gen Z enjoys fast or short-form video content material, like that of Snapchat or Instagram Stories, whereas millennials worth long-form content material, corresponding to detailed movies or podcasts.

Which means these promoting or advertising and marketing to millennials can get away with barely longer or extra in-depth content material whereas these advertising and marketing to Gen Z will need to get their worth proposition out as rapidly and seamlessly as doable of their campaigns.

As I’ve talked about above, most of immediately’s social and on-line platforms have gotten extra video-driven. This mirrors the truth that video utilization is rising rapidly amongst each generations.

Whether or not you are creating long-form content material for millennials or short-form clips for Gen Z, you will need to embrace mobile-optimized video when selling your model to both viewers.

Branded Content material

In relation to studying about manufacturers or merchandise on social media, every technology additionally has its personal distinctive preferences. For instance, Gen Z prefers to study merchandise by social media-based videos and influencer advertising and marketing, whereas millennials will reply to a wide range of promotional methods together with extra traditional online ads, social media marketing, and branded podcasts.

Moreover, a recent survey reveals that 87% of Gen Z prefers adverts or advertising and marketing content material that reveals precise folks discussing merchandise. In relation to millennials, solely 37% choose to see folks discussing merchandise in adverts or advertising and marketing content material.

Except for embracing video and cell optimization, when you’re advertising and marketing to Gen Z, you will additionally need to concentrate on content material that feels extra informative and fewer like an advert. This technology has actively rejected conventional promoting ways. For instance, 84% of Gen Z will skip video ads as rapidly as doable, whereas 65% have downloaded some type of ad-blocker on their cell gadgets or computer systems.

5. Each generations buy lower than previous generations.

A standard fantasy about millennials and Gen Z is that each generations are financially illiterate. As a result of this appears to be a sizzling subject on-line and all through popular culture, I performed yet one more Lucid ballot, asking the identical group famous above to decide on which technology they thought spent extra money on merchandise.

The Lucid ballot beneath demonstrates this fantasy and notion as many individuals stated that they believed each technology spend some huge cash:

Consumers way on perceived millennial and gen z purchasing habits with Lucid software poll

Knowledge Supply: Lucid Software

Moreover, 36% of survey respondents stated millennials spent essentially the most on merchandise, whereas the identical share stated each generations spend some huge cash. Nonetheless, lower than 20% pointed to Gen Z.

In keeping with varied research, each generations really spend lower than previous generations whereas the oldest Gen Z members are focused on responsible spending.

Most of Gen Z does not even have a lot shopping for energy but. However analysis from a number of sources, together with Vice, Insider, and Adobe say that Gen Z goals to spend money pragmatically as in comparison with different generations. Some analysts suggest that Gen Z’s saving strategy is routed in budgeting classes that the technology discovered from the U.S. Recession.

In relation to the Gen Z members who’re sufficiently old to make purchases, analysis reveals that they do much less on-line purchasing than millennials. A latest research from Ernst & Younger famous that 74% of millennials and solely 49% of Gen Z purchase merchandise on-line greater than as soon as a month.

However, whereas Gen Z buys much less on-line, they count on extra added service from a model after they make purchases. The identical E&Y research discovered that 80% of Gen Z valued free delivery. The research additionally discovered that 74% of Gen Z values manufacturers that give out reductions or coupons over different companies.

Whereas millennials are barely much less frugal than Gen Z, the concept the older technology is extra frivolous can also be an enormous false impression. Whereas many millennials purchase their fair proportion of merchandise, in addition they earn more annually than most older generations, are the most educated age group, and are notably optimistic about their futures.

6. They’ve totally different profession motivations.

Each generations have in widespread that they’ve positioned significance on investing at school or expertise coaching.

Whereas older generations might afford each homes and education, millennials discover housing out of financial reach and have primarily targeted on paying excessive prices of tuition.

Regardless of rising academic prices, the pattern of investing in training is not anticipated to vary for both technology. Whereas 10% of Gen Z teens are saving for college, millennial mother and father are putting more into their children’s college funds than previous generations.

Taking a look at every technology’s work habits may give you a sneak peek into what their funds and each day motivations is likely to be sooner or later.

Whereas each millennials and Gen Z are pushed by larger training and profession progress, they nonetheless have a couple of slight variations that you just may need to find out about, particularly when you’re a marketer in educational or B2B fields.

Right this moment, many millennials are working or are enrolled in larger training. For the complete decade between 2020 and 2030, millennials will comprise the largest share of the workforce, representing 40% of the worldwide working-age inhabitants by 2030.

However, though most of Gen Z remains to be at school, they’re additionally very career-minded.

In relation to searching for jobs, Gen Z adults are extra financially motivated than the millennial generation. In truth, 65% of Gen Z workers worth wage over different job perks as 74% 2023 US graduates surveyed said they prioritize stability and salary from employers, outweighing components together with a recognized employer model, a fast-growing area, or general advantages. These within the age group additionally say they’re going to put money into ability coaching if it means they make more money.

Gen Z additionally applies for jobs extra aggressively than previous generations. Solely 10% of the generation begins their job search after school whereas most Gen Z college students start scouting out job choices between freshman and sophomore year.

So, what does this imply on your advertising and marketing technique? Each of those generations are arduous employees, extremely educated, and may earn greater than previous generations.

Nonetheless, Gen Z is extra pushed to make and lower your expenses. Which means to steer Gen Z, you may have to take further time to brainstorm campaigns that present how your product will assist them and why it’s price their cash. Odds are, they are going to be extra persuaded by the practicality of a product than the “trendiness” of it.

The right way to Market to Every Technology

Sure, each generations have a whole lot of issues in widespread.

And whereas there are alternatives to market to each generations without delay, it is likely to be extra helpful to brainstorm inventive campaigns that zone in on one technology or the opposite. That can assist you develop a technique that positive factors consideration from the suitable viewers, listed below are a couple of takeaways associated to every technology:

Advertising and marketing Marketing campaign for Millennials

By now, you is likely to be most aware of advertising and marketing to millennials. Fortunately, they’re additionally an amazing technology to market to. They’re on essentially the most outstanding social media networks immediately and like to devour a number of totally different types of multimedia content material, from movies to podcasts. They’re additionally sufficiently old to make buying selections, are extra educated than earlier generations, and spend appreciable time within the analysis stage earlier than shopping for a product.

Primarily, many various codecs of selling content material will have interaction millennials as a result of they’re commonly seeking to be enticed by a brand new product that can assist them of their each day lives.

As a result of millennials have a barely longer consideration span than Gen Z, you may as well get a bit extra inventive by testing out longer-form content material like longer advertising and marketing movies or branded podcasts.

The perfect sorts of advertising and marketing campaigns will inform millennials about how your product could make their lives simpler or the way it can remedy their day-to-day issues. Focusing your technique on social media or on-line platforms like Facebook, YouTube or Instagram, where many adults go to research products can also be beneficial to your strategy,

Marketing Campaign for Gen Z

To successfully persuade Gen Z to buy your product, you’ll want to make content that quickly cuts to the chase and explains why your product will provide value to them.

As mentioned above, Gen Z loves to use video to learn about products and spends most of their online time on mobile phones. So be sure to leverage short-form video formatting and mobile-optimized content in your campaigns.

You’ll also want to zone in on the niche social media platforms that they commonly use, such as Instagram, YouTube, TikTok on Snapchat. If you’re not on one of these platforms, but still want to gain brand awareness there, consider sponsoring an influencer who knows the audience and create content that discusses your product.

Marketing Campaign for Gen Z and Millennials

If you absolutely can’t budget pinpointed campaigns for millennials and Gen Z, but know you want to market to young adults, focus on the cusp of both generations by creating a campaign for 18 to 34-year-olds. This will allow you to zone in on young and slightly older adults that can actually make purchasing decisions.

While a campaign with this age target might be slightly more favorable to millennials between 27 and 42, there’s still a chance you could grab attention from older teenagers who will soon be able to make more purchases if they can’t already.

Despite the differences between these two generations, there are also two big similarities: both love social media and instant gratification. Be sure that your campaign clearly explains why your product will be valuable to the age group you’re pitching it too, and leverage the social media networks that the age group you’re targeting has in common.

For example, if you’re focused on promoting your product to people in the 18 to 34 range, you’ll want to be on Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook, because most members of this age group are using all three of them on a regular basis.

If you can create a campaign that leverages key social networks accordingly while highlighting why your product is so instantly gratifying and useful, you might attract interest from both groups fairly quickly.

Tips for Knowing Your Audience

As you create campaigns around a specific audience or age group, it’s important to do digging to learn what motivates this group of people, what their purchasing habits are, where they spend the most time, and what they’re looking for in a product. Here are a few tips that can help you in this research:

Identify specific demographics: Try not to be too specific or too broad. Pick an audience you can learn a lot about quickly that well aligns with your product and start researching that demographic.
Learn about their work and education backgrounds: This will give you insight on what motivates them and how much they’re able to spend on a product.
Find out which social platforms they use: Once you do this, you can research each platform and leverage it appropriately during your campaign.
Consider writing a buyer persona: A buyer persona is a fictional character that has a very similar lifestyle to your ideal buyer. Having a persona in mind can help you quickly think about campaigns and strategies that they’ll engage most with. It’s also a handy place to organize all of your detailed research findings into one simple place.

Want to learn more about Gen Z or millennials specifically? Check out this blog post on marketing to Gen Z or this piece on millennial marketing.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in December 2019 and has since been updated for comprehensiveness.

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