The Gen Zs Are Coming! And Here’s How Marketers Can Take Them On

The Gen Zs Are Coming! And Here’s How Marketers Can Take Them On

In this guest post, InMobi commercial director Brendan Watmore (pictured below) shares some words of wisdom on marketing to the mobile app-consuming giants that are Generation Z.

Brendan Watmore

While presenting at the Millennials Marketing Conference in Melbourne a few weeks ago, I was surprised to see that brands are still hesitant to enter the mobile marketing space. Just about every publisher or technology business discussed the important role of smartphones to Millennials.

Mobile is the preferred digital platform for Australians browsing online, with 69 per cent of users preferring to use the smaller hand-held device over a tablet or desktop. This data is not startling by any means, as mobile consumption has been steadily increasing over the past decade, but many marketers have been slow to realise that there is no plateau in sight, with Gen Z hot on the heels of Millennials.

Many may think Millennials are still one of the biggest consumers of mobile, but the truth is more Gen Zs use smartphones more often than any generation that has come before them, with the youngest members of Gen Z starting to enter the purchase funnel as independent consumers.

Additionally, with mobile devices becoming more morally acceptable during social and professional gatherings, more Gen Zs use their mobile during downtime, including in the bathroom and whilst eating, as well as in meetings and classrooms. Although as many Gen Zs use their mobile whilst watching TV as Millennials, the way the two generations use  their smartphones differs, with Gen Zs using their second screens to text, play games or listen to music. While this behaviour could be considered normal for the age group that needs constant stimulation and peer communication, it does showcase that this generation is far more engrossed with mobile apps than their predecessors – Millennials.

With apps continuing to dominate mobile usage (90 per cent of time spent in-app compared to 10 per cent in mobile web), many marketers would easily jump to the conclusion here that they need an app to connect with the super mobile users that Gen Zs are. However, this is not true. You don’t need to create an app to be in-app. Brands and companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to create an app just to say they are progressive, but the clincher is that unless you are offering a valuable and unique user experience that drives a large amount of organic engagement, it’s a waste of money. You can just as easily create an in-app mobile experience with a far more cost effective and scalable solution – in-app mobile ads.

Furthermore, 60 per cent of Gen Z smartphone users have noticed in-app advertising and 72 per cent have agreed that it has helped them discover something new. This is considerably different to Millennials, with only 47 per cent noticing advertising in-app and 66 per cent stating it has introduced them to something new, showing that Gen Z are more aware and accepting of mobile app advertising. This opens up doors for marketers looking to target upcoming Gen Z consumers, with new mobile ad formats, such as vertical videos and 360 games, driving high engagement.

For marketers looking to target Millennials and the upcoming Gen Zs on mobile, the time to take action is now. However, before you dive in, digest these four tips to make sure you are ready to take on these mobile app-consuming giants:

  1. Think about winning attention… and keeping it

Consumers use apps to fill downtime. They are more often than not filling that downtime with entertainment experiences. The opportunity for advertisers is to create an experience which will win the attention of the consumer from the silly game they are playing, drawing them into your brand message. To achieve this, consider placing an entertaining ad, like a short game or prize draw, during a natural break in the game.

  1. Mobile is all about UX

As consumers’ preference for apps has grown, so has the opportunity for challenger brands to capitalise on this new consumer behaviour by creating compelling mobile experiences. Uber is a good example of an app whose UX is actually a competitive advantage over the customer connection points of the taxi industry. Your customers are mobile – make sure they can easily connect with you via their preferred device.

  1. Know your audience better with mobile data

Data has never played a bigger role in marketing and communication. While there are many sources of consumer data available, the data that mobile apps generate is rich and granular. Data gleaned from mobile apps gives brands a dual advantage: deeper understanding of users’ mobile behavior, as well as improved targeting using finely segmented audience personas. These benefits directly translate into increased campaign effectiveness and ROI for advertisers.

  1. Think mobile-first

From a user perspective, desktop behavior and mobile behavior are vastly different, as are the engagement opportunities that the respective environments create. Therefore, it’s imperative to pursue a mobile-first strategy rather than go mobile-also. It is likely more of your customers see your business through their smartphone than in any other form, so when was the last time you took a good look at your business and your competitors through the smartphone lens? By taking this approach, it’s likely that you may unlock new opportunities that you don’t currently see or indeed unearth a competitive threat you are not aware of. Think mobile-first – it will pay off!

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