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

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

When corporations focus on reaching youthful audiences, many usually lump Gen Z and millennials into the identical group and create one marketing campaign technique that they consider matches each teams.

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

To analyze, I made a decision to start out by letting customers weigh in on whether or not or not the identical advertising and marketing methods will interact each age teams.

Download Now: The State of U.S. Consumer Trends [Free Report]

In a Lucid ballot, I requested 350 individuals to inform me if, “The identical advertising and marketing techniques that persuade millennials additionally work on Gen Z,” was a real or false assertion. And for those who 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

Information Supply: Lucid Software

Though 56% of these polled thought the 2 generations might be marketed to the identical manner, almost half disagreed.

As a marketer specializing in viewers progress, I sway with the 44% of people that suppose the identical techniques will not work on each teams — a minimum of not eternally.

However is both group of customers proper about their perceptions? On this weblog publish, I will share the chilly, onerous 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 for those who’re in a pinch, bounce straight to the information you want:

When you consider the generational variations on the most important doable scale, the oldest millennials are of their early 40s, may be settled down, and might be making bigger purchases like automobiles or properties. The youngest members of Gen Z are 11 years previous, may love youngsters’s exhibits, and will not be straight making buying selections any time quickly.

Apart from the plain age variations above, listed here are six extra elements that make these two generations essentially totally different.

Elements That Differentiate Millennials and Gen Z

1. They’ve totally different attitudes about expertise and cash.

Understanding the period an age group grows up in may 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 expertise and the economic system:


The obvious distinction between the eras every technology was raised in is the presence of expertise. 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 have been groundbreaking.

Now, most youngsters 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 might need additionally grown up in households with early smart home technology.

Whereas millennials watched innovation start, Gen Z was immersed in it from day one.

However though Gen Z by no means needed to know a time the place they did not have a cool gadget to resolve fundamental issues, the affect of expertise, the web, and social media has nonetheless taken a toll on the group.

Research exhibits that Gen Z — which has been referred to as the “socially-conscious generation — offers with much more physique picture, psychological well being, and cyberbullying points than another age group has up to now. Consultants have additionally referred to as Gen Z the loneliest generation regardless of all of their digital connectivity choices.

Economic 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 enhancing on monetary habits of previous generations, nonetheless, millennials put their cash into shopping for extra services or products that can give them a constructive expertise, whereas Gen Z is extra centered 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 attributable to the poor economic system, rising dwelling 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 exhibits that their previous expertise of residing within the Recession are main them to make extra practical spending decisions.

In case you’re advertising and marketing to those generations, you will need to keep in mind these attitudes about cash.

For instance, if you need millennials to purchase your product, you will need to give attention to constructing a model that provides a pleasant or entertaining customer experience, in addition to advertising and marketing services or products that give on the spot gratification. In case you’re advertising and marketing to Gen Z, you will need your campaigns to obviously show how or why your product will likely be worthwhile or sensible to them of their every day lives.

2. Gen Z is extra more likely 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 response to 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.

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

In response to 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 every day on social media.

When you might need already recognized that cell optimization and video advertising and marketing are a key digital methods, these stats show that it might probably enable you to zone in on younger grownup generations. In case you actually need to entice 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 be sure you market your self on platforms that’re already cell, reminiscent of main social media apps.

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

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

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

Information Supply: Lucid Software

The ballot outcomes above have 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 truly 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 every day whereas Gen Z logs on for more than four hours each day.

Apart from 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 not too long ago — 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 standard within the Enterprise Insider survey, this one-year-old platform is among the fastest-growing social media apps on account of booming global Gen Z users.

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 be a social community that each generations are prominently utilizing. Whereas YouTube was launched when most millennials have been youngsters, 96% of Gen Z users have accounts on the video-sharing platform. The video platform can 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 with regards to content material consumption.

Whereas millennials will take note of content material for 12 seconds, Gen Z will solely give attention to 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, reminiscent of 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 shortly and seamlessly as doable of their campaigns.

As I’ve talked about above, most of right this moment’s social and on-line platforms have gotten extra video-driven. This mirrors the truth that video utilization is rising shortly amongst both 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

On the subject of 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 way of social media-based videos and influencer 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 exhibits that 87% of Gen Z prefers adverts or advertising and marketing content material that exhibits precise individuals discussing merchandise. On the subject of millennials, solely 37% desire to see individuals discussing merchandise in adverts or advertising and marketing content material.

Apart from embracing video and cell optimization, for those who’re advertising and marketing to Gen Z, you will additionally need to give attention to content material that feels extra informative and fewer like an advert. This technology has actively rejected conventional promoting techniques. For instance, 84% of Gen Z will skip video ads as shortly 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 delusion about millennials and Gen Z is that each generations are financially illiterate. As a result of this appears to be a scorching matter on-line and all through popular culture, I carried out 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 delusion 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

Information 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 response to varied research, each generations truly 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 method is routed in budgeting classes that the technology discovered from the U.S. Recession.

On the subject of the Gen Z members who’re sufficiently old to make purchases, analysis exhibits 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 anticipate extra added service from a model once 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 that the older technology is extra frivolous can be an enormous false impression. Whereas many millennials purchase their justifiable share of merchandise, additionally 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 in class or expertise coaching.

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

Regardless of growing 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 can provide you a sneak peek into what their funds and every day motivations may 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 learn about, particularly for those who’re a marketer in educational or B2B fields.

At present, many millennials are working or are enrolled in larger training. For the whole 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 in class, they’re additionally very career-minded.

On the subject of in search of 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 elements together with a recognized employer model, a fast-growing subject, or general advantages. These within the age group additionally say they’re going to put money into talent 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 faculty 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 onerous 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 additional time to brainstorm campaigns that present how your product will assist them and why it’s value their cash. Odds are, they are going to be extra persuaded by the practicality of a product than the “trendiness” of it.

Tips on how to Market to Every Era

Sure, each generations have loads of issues in widespread.

And whereas there are alternatives to market to each generations directly, it may be extra useful to brainstorm artistic campaigns that zone in on one technology or the opposite. That can assist you develop a technique that positive aspects consideration from the suitable viewers, listed here are a couple of takeaways associated to every technology:

Advertising Marketing campaign for Millennials

By now, you may be most acquainted with advertising and marketing to millennials. Fortunately, they’re additionally an excellent technology to market to. They’re on essentially the most distinguished social media networks right this moment and like to eat a number of totally different kinds 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.

Basically, many alternative codecs of selling content material will interact millennials as a result of they’re repeatedly seeking to be enticed by a brand new product that can assist them of their every day lives.

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

The most effective varieties of advertising and marketing campaigns will inform millennials about how your product could make their lives simpler or the way it can resolve their day-to-day issues. Focusing your technique on social media or on-line platforms like Facebook, YouTube or Instagram, the place many adults go to analysis merchandise will also be useful to your technique,

Advertising Marketing campaign for Gen Z

To efficiently persuade Gen Z to purchase your product, you will need to make content material that shortly cuts to the chase and explains why your product will present worth to them.

As talked about above, Gen Z loves to make use of video to study merchandise and spends most of their on-line time on cellphones. So be sure you leverage short-form video formatting and mobile-optimized content material in your campaigns.

You will additionally need to zone in on the area of interest social media platforms that they generally use, reminiscent of Instagram, YouTube, TikTok on Snapchat. In case you’re not on certainly one of these platforms, however nonetheless need to acquire model consciousness there, take into account sponsoring an influencer who is aware of the viewers and create content material that discusses your product.

Advertising Marketing campaign for Gen Z and Millennials

In case you completely cannot funds pinpointed campaigns for millennials and Gen Z, however know you need to market to younger adults, give attention to the cusp of each generations by making a marketing campaign for 18 to 34-year-olds. This can can help you zone in on younger and barely older adults that may truly make buying selections.

Whereas a marketing campaign with this age goal may be barely extra favorable to millennials between 27 and 42, there’s nonetheless an opportunity you would seize consideration from older youngsters who will quickly be capable to make extra purchases if they can not already.

Regardless of the variations between these two generations, there are additionally two massive similarities: each love social media and on the spot gratification. Make sure that your marketing campaign clearly explains why your product will likely be worthwhile to the age group you are pitching it too, and leverage the social media networks that the age group you are focusing on has in widespread.

For instance, for those who’re centered on selling your product to individuals within the 18 to 34 vary, you will need to be on Instagram, YouTube, and Fb, as a result of most members of this age group are utilizing all three of them regularly.

In case you can create a marketing campaign that leverages key social networks accordingly whereas highlighting why your product is so immediately gratifying and helpful, you may entice curiosity from each teams pretty shortly.

Ideas for Understanding Your Viewers

As you create campaigns round a selected viewers or age group, it is necessary to do digging to study what motivates this group of individuals, what their buying habits are, the place they spend essentially the most time, and what they’re in search of in a product. Listed here are a couple of ideas that may enable you to on this analysis:

  • Establish particular demographics: Strive to not be too particular or too broad. Decide an viewers you’ll be able to study loads about shortly that effectively aligns together with your product and begin researching that demographic.
  • Study their work and training backgrounds: This will provide you with perception on what motivates them and the way a lot they’re capable of spend on a product.
  • Discover out which social platforms they use: When you do that, you’ll be able to analysis every platform and leverage it appropriately throughout your marketing campaign.
  • Contemplate writing a purchaser persona: A purchaser persona is a fictional character that has a really comparable life-style to your ideally suited purchaser. Having a persona in thoughts may help you shortly take into consideration campaigns and methods that they’re going to interact most with. It is also a helpful place to arrange your whole detailed analysis findings into one easy place.

Wish to study extra about Gen Z or millennials particularly? Try this weblog publish on marketing to Gen Z or this piece on millennial marketing.

Editor’s observe: This text was initially printed in December 2019 and has since been up to date for comprehensiveness.

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