I could absolutely be biased being a Gen-Z person myself, but this is based off things I'm hearing and seeing around me.
Not too long ago, I wrote a blog post about the importance of using memes in marketing. This was in part due to some branded memes I follow on Instagram, and I figured this would become a regular trend moving forward in digital marketing. I don't think I really realized how much Gen-Z has impacted the advertising world as a whole until I took a weekday to see a friend with my older sister.
The car ride to see my friend was at least an hour long, and my sister is no longer paying for Spotify Premium. That meant we listened to a ton of ads (some of them were repeated, but they never got old), and I noticed a trend: so many of them used Gen-Z humor. From Wendy's "biggie bank" ad to the countless Snapchat ads I've seen created with TikTok, so many ads have begun catering to my generation. It definitely won't be long before memes are direct influences of billboard advertisements.
In my eyes, this feels great! It'll prompt hiring managers to search for younger people who want to get involved in the marketing industry. It makes me wonder to what extent companies are going to try to catch up. How many companies are going to choose maintaining their current brand instead of stepping out of their comfort zone? How do companies know if they should maintain a level of professionalism instead of making their marketing funnier?
However, humor isn't the only thing I want to keep in mind when I think of Gen-Z Marketing. To me, Gen-Z Marketing feels a touch more personal than the other forms of marketing. With the Black Lives Matters and Pride Month marketing that goes around, it feels good...but at the same time, it's obvious that companies are just trying to cater to those audiences. A lot of people point this out. Let's face it: changing a logo to BLM colors or to a rainbow color scheme and them doing nothing else to support those causes is simply performative. Thinking about how people my age are starting to get into marketing makes me believe that marketing can be less performative/pandering and more personal. I love that idea - I want a future in marketing where people and companies are being true to themselves and not just trying to make money.
If you're ever thinking about how to change your marketing and your brand, maybe look to your younger co-workers for answers. What better way to appeal to an audience than to get the answers from members of that same audience?