Gen Z marketing

Marketing to Generation Z

Ryan Burch is the Managing Director of Cybba's West Coast office. His expertise is in the design, implementation and maintenance of media and marketing strategies. He leads his team in developing Digital Strategy, Online Advertising and Conversion Rate optimization for their clients. For any inquiries, contact him at

Brands and marketers are preparing themselves for Generation Z: the first age cohort of truly “digital natives”. More than just a buzzy term, a digital native is someone who has never known a world without the internet. Information and entertainment have always been accessible for Generation Z, a group that makes up more than a quarter of the US population, and represents more than $44 billion in spending power. So, what else do we know about Generation Z?

  1. According to a Google study, they rank “Getting a Phone” as the third most important milestone in their lives…right behind “Graduating from School” and “Getting a License”. Nobody is surprised by the prevalence that smartphones play in a Generation Z’s life. Like a car, the phone represents a connection to entertainment and social interactions. The new hangout space is digital and mobile, and marketers need to learn how to adapt.


  1. More than 60% of Generation Z would like to see real people in advertisements instead of celebrities. Generation Z grew up following social media influencers and would much rather hear from their friends and social networks than from a celebrity spokesperson. Generation Z is skeptical of advertising and is more apt to learn about new products or do research via platforms like YouTube than any other group. Real interactions with customers or how-to’s explaining your brand will likely do better than short-form advertising focused on product features. Generation Z craves information, but must be entertained at the same time.


  1. Generation Z is more entrepreneurial and creative than their millennial counterparts. According to a Deep Focus study, 60% mentioned having “a lot of money” as a sign of success compared to just 44% of millennial respondents when asked the same question. Generation Z would rather spend their free time being productive and creative than just “hanging out”. They have interest in building their personal brand via social media videos. Brands like YouTube and GoPro are considered some of the coolest brands, because they allow Generation Z avenues for their creativity. Brands should aspire to build a creative or entrepreneurial edge.


Generation Z represents a completely new challenge for marketers because of their ability to cut through clutter, and because of their innate cynicism toward contrived marketing messaging. To reach them, it’s even more important to build completely immersive marketing strategies that are rooted in personalization, creativity, and authenticity.

Read to learn about Generation Z's views on higher education.

Cybba runs award-winning advertising and marketing campaigns for its clients. We cut through the digital clutter, and help brands engage with their customers at all levels of the marketing funnel.

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Ryan Burch
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