Just How Do You Market To Gen Z?

Just How Do You Market To Gen Z?

When ‘Gen Z’ first entered marketing lingo, the generation was still at school. In a world ruled by boomers, Gen Z fell to the back of marketers’ priorities. 

Fast-forward to 2023, and the trailblazing ethically-motivated generation is centre stage. 

There are almost 5 million Gen Z consumers in Australia, and by 2025 they will make up 27 percent of our workforce. 

Whilst Pepsi helped marketers figure out how not to reach Gen Z ( see disastrous  Kendall Jenner ad), there have been fewer examples of what to do. 

One publisher doing it right is Year13. Year13 is a purely Gen Z publisher reaching 1.6M online each year and 3.5M+ each month across social channels.

It has a 61 per cent average open rate on EDMs with 40K plus subscribers and its TikTok view rate is three times the Australian average.  Young people spend 1.47 minutes on average on each of the articles. 

Launched 10 years ago, Year13 supports young people with their post-school goals (work study travel) as well as their health and wellbeing. 

Year13 describes wellbeing as “anything that positively impacts a young person –  from mental health, sport, health and body, self-esteem, confidence, sustainability,  love and dating, friends, culture”. 

It is listed in the top 50 Ed-Tech’s AU and supports careers advisors and students in over 1200+ subscribing schools. 

Unlike a lot of platforms that say they target Gen Z, 96 per cent of the audience is Gen Z. 

Doing Rather than Being 

For Saxon Phipps. Founder and CEO of Year13, Gen Z makes decisions based on radically different values and criteria than generations before them. 

“Understanding what motivates and inspires them is key to success,” he said. 

Year13 has surveyed 60,000 young people in the last 8 years and uses the insight to create its content. 

One of the key differentiators of Gen Z is their relationship with technology. 

“Gen Z’s are known as digital natives, which means they have grown up with the influence of the internet and specifically smart technologies,” Phipps said. 

“This has meant that as a generation they have had an unbridled access to information, and also platforms to voice their own concerns, opinions and beliefs.” 

Access to so much information and viewpoints has meant that Gen Z are (famously) more engaged with social issues than previous generations. 

“As a generation, they care more about social, environmental and sustainable impact than they do about news and pop cultures,” Phipps said. 

Leading With Content 

With 44 per cent of Gen Z using ad blockers, the key to engaging Gen Z is via content. 

Peer publishing is one of the methods Year13 uses to authentically connect with young people – all of its content creators are Gen Z, and some are straight out of school. 

“We only create native content, which makes our platforms highly engaging and uninterrupted,” Annie Mulders, National Partnerships Director at Year13 said. 

Within the mould of content, Year13 has worked with a number of leading brands such as Levi, Red Rooster, Microsoft and Westpac to further their messaging to Gen Z. 

In their partnership with Levi, Year13 broke down their 200-page global Sustainability report into bite-size content pieces to drive awareness of Levi’s sustainability efforts among Gen Z.

For Red Rooster, they worked on a promotion in which people can get free chicken when they drive through with P Plates. 

Westpac partners with them on their Financial Literacy program, in which they help educate young people on finance (something that is, frighteningly, not taught in school). 

The main ways brands partner with Year 13 are through Academy – An  E-Learning platform providing life lessons not taught at school,  digital content campaigns, Digital Expo’s i.e  Sports Expo, research partnerships from large scale reports to small insta polls, and through career content.

Gen Z Isn’t Afraid To Call Out Inauthentic Content 

Despite being brand partnerships, all of Year13’s content first and foremost align with its mission to support Gen Z “in a very real way, with the very real challenges they face as they become young adults”. 

This realness and authenticity is at the heart of any relationship with Gen Z. 

“Every marketer needs a strategy around this segment. They need to understand Gen Z and build a relationship with them to secure current and future brand advocates, and the conversation they have needs to be genuine and authentic,” Annie Mulders, National Partnerships Director at Year13 said. 

“Gen Z will make brands more accountable than they’ve ever had to be. Gen Z wants to know a brand has the receipts!”

“It’s not just about saying your brand is something, it’s about proving your brand does something,” she added. 

And Gen Z will call it out if they don’t believe it. Ask Pepsi.

Find out more about partnering with Year13 here




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