The impact of Gen-Z on marketing

By Wolfenden
4th May 2023
By Emily Grote


It’s no secret that the influence of Gen Z has changed the face of marketing. Making up 20% of the UK population, Gen Z is not the largest generation group, millennials currently hold this title. However, being the generation who have grown up in an increasingly technological world, Gen Z are on the pulse of new trends, being trendsetters themselves.

Starting off as a scientific title to categorise everybody born between 1997 and 2012, the term ‘Gen Z’ is now firmly part of the urban dictionary. Online, Gen Z-ers are often pitted against other generations like millennials, Gen X, and baby boomers, in particular when it comes to digital trends.

Read on to understand why Gen Z continue to have such a large impact on the world of marketing and advertising. We’ll also go into how you can create engaging, topical digital marketing campaigns with Gen Z in mind.

The Digital Era

Gen Z is unique because, unlike other generations, they have grown up with high-speed technology from a young age. Not only does that make them technologically literate, but it also means that they know what content they want to engage in and tend to be good at filtering out the content they don’t want to see. After all, the rise of digital marketing has happened within their lifetimes, so they are more immersed in trends, and digital innovation than any other generation.

What’s more, Gen Z has been one of the driving factors in the rise of social media which has been so prolific in the last ten years. Once a marginal part of brands’ marketing strategies, social media is now a core part of how brands reach consumers. Apps like Instagram and Snapchat were in their infancy when Gen Z-ers were older children and teenagers, so they grew up alongside each other. Therefore, the market evolved to cater to the needs, and habits of Gen Z.

What’s more, older members of Gen Z are increasingly ‘buying out’ of the hustle culture, embracing second-hand shopping, and grassroots trends. But that doesn’t mean that Gen Z doesn’t engage with mainstream advertising. On the contrary, marketing campaigns that feel ‘real’, and not forced can be very successful with the age group. For example, the big brands that have gone viral on TikTok are often the ones creating relatable, funny videos which reference the fact that they are being shot by real marketing interns, who are often a similar age to the people engaging with the content.

How to Create Campaigns That Gen Z Will Engage With

It’s more important than ever to create marketing strategies with Gen Z in mind. But, appealing to Gen Z isn’t always about overdone, flashy campaigns, as the generation is known for calling out overly corporate marketing strategies, and disengaging from brands that don’t fit their values.

The most important thing is to identify the core values that people in the Gen Z group (all other online users) care about:

  • Identity: For Gen Z, who they are as individuals, which includes what they believe in and choose to participate in, is more important than ever. Engaging with brands they trust, who represent part of their personality, helps to affirm this identity.
  • Community: Individuality and community go hand in hand for Gen Z. The online world has helped young people create connections across the globe, meaning that they often have a defined idea about what community looks like for them. Brands can take advantage of this by understanding which communities are likely to use their products, and marketing specifically to them.
  • Creativity: Growing up with all this technology at their fingertips, Gen Z are creative, and more likely to engage with campaigns that think outside the box, make them laugh or have a refreshing angle. They are also frequent online users, meaning your content will have to compete with the saturated market to reach them. So, the more creative the better.
  • Currency: No, we don’t mean currency as in monetary value. Rather, currency as in current events, trends, and what is happening on the global stage that we see reflected on social media every day. Gen Z is the most up-to-date generation in terms of the digital climate. Therefore, for a campaign to resonate with them, it must be relevant to what is going on right now, from current social media trends, to recent events.

Looking to create multi-channel campaigns, targeted towards Gen Z? Get in touch to pick our brains about what makes this tech-savvy generation click.

Latest Insights From The Team.

Explore our team’s latest thoughts and actionable advice from our blog to support your digital marketing strategies.

The Trends That

Our latest report delves into the challenges and opportunities for brands in the home furnishings industry. Sign up below to receive our latest reports straight to your inbox as soon as they’re published.

    Read our Privacy Policy here for information on how we use and store your data.