Gen Z consumers — myself included — expect more from brand marketers than ever before. Gone are the days when generic, broadly targeted billboard advertisements break through.
Today, I am accustomed to, and therefore expect, advertisements to be targeted directly to me. Not only towards my internet “look-alikes,” but to me as an individual. Ads, to me, are contextual. They know who I am, what I value, and find me at the right place and time.
As a Gen Zer studying and working in the field of digital storytelling, I am in the unique position where I am both consuming and creating content for Gen Zers. Speaking from personal experience based on everyday discussions with my friends, colleagues, and in classes, these are a few examples of what my generation expects from brands, and how marketers can address these expectations.
Allow Us Privacy and Personalization
Every time we click “accept Terms & Conditions”, “allow App access to X”, or agree to allowing cookies on our browser, we understand we are giving marketers access to data. 62% of Gen Zers are willing to share their purchase history according to a 2017 study conducted by the National Retail Federation (NRF). But we view this as a transaction. We expect to receive something in return for that data — specifically: relevance. Essentially, I trade information for advertisements that are more relevant to my current context. For example, I appreciate an abandoned cart reminder, a push notification for a discount when I walk into a store, or a curated selection of similar products.