Generation Z is the newest generation to be named and encompasses people born between 1998-2015. They are currently make up nearly 74 million people in the United States and, by 2020, Gen Z will make up about 40 percent of the U.S. population (Sparks & Honey).
|The Greatest Generation||1928-1946|
They are the first generation of true digital natives, meaning from an early age, they have been exposed to the Internet, social media and mobile devices. Because of this, Gen Z is incredibly comfortable researching and cross-referencing sources of information before making a decision.
In a time of increased competition among public, private and charter schools, it has never been more vital for school administrators to understand Gen Z and what makes them unique. They do their research and what they see online from your school influences their opinion of your brand.
Here are a few data points to keep in mind when you’re thinking through how to effectively communicate with Gen Z.
45% of Gen Z say they are online “almost constantly” (compared to 24% in 2014-2015), and another 44% say they go online several times a day. (Forbes)
60% of surveyed Gen Z will not use a website or app if it loads too slowly. Similarly, 62% will not use an app if it is too difficult to navigate. (Content Square)
Instagram and YouTube are the two most popular social media channels for Gen Z. (99 Firms)
It’s estimated that Generation X had an attention span of about 40 seconds, Millennials of about 5 seconds, and Gen Z, even less. (Sarah Gibb, Future Shopper)
Both Gen Z and Millennials are turned off by brands that constantly self-promote. (Social Media Week)
More than 40% of Gen Z and Millennials expect to see user-generated content before making a purchase. (Statista)
More than half of Gen Z (51%) say their generation is more creative than previous generations, according to a 2019 study conducted in the United States and United Kingdom by JWT Intelligence.
After watching their Millennial siblings expose everything in their personal lives for posterity on social media and suffer the consequences, Gen Z has grown up more cautious about leaving their digital footprint behind. (Content Square)
75% percent say their mobile device/smartphone is their device of choice, compared to their laptop (45%). (National Retail Federation, IBM)
Gen Z consumers are 2x more likely to shop on mobile than Millennials. (99 Firms)
73% use their mobile device to text and chat, while only 36% do schoolwork through their mobile device. (National Retail Federation, IBM)
47% of U.S. Gen Z consumers research items on mobile devices while shopping at brick-and-mortar locations. (Retail Touchpoints)
60% of Gen Z are more likely than average consumers to hang up if their call isn’t answered in under 45 seconds. (Business Wire)
63% of Gen Z members prefer real people to celebrities when it comes to advertisements. (BazaarVoice)
61% know someone who has been cyberbullied or stalked online. (Alanna McLeod, Burns Marketing)
70% of teens are working entrepreneurial jobs like teaching piano lessons or selling items on eBay. (Harvard Business Review)
Gen Z’s are the least likely to believe there is such a thing as the “American Dream.” Many have watched their older Millennial siblings dream big and then move back home when it didn’t work out, which has given Gen Z a generally practical, no-nonsense mindset. This means that they look for products and messaging that reflect reality, rather than a perfect, imagined life. (Ruth Bernstein, Advertising Age, Move Over Millennials – Here Comes Gen Z)
Gen Z is saving money far earlier in life than older generations. About 60% of the people surveyed by Lincoln Financial Group between ages 15-19 have a savings account and 71% say they are focused on saving for the future. (Lincoln Financial Group)
63% are worried about their future. (Sparks & Honey)
Gen Z influences $600 billion in family spending. (99 Firms)
60% expect to have multiple careers by age 30. (Sparks & Honey)
76% want to make their hobby their job. (Alanna McLeod, Burns Marketing)
63% believe entrepreneurship should be taught in college. (Alanna McLeod, Burns Marketing)
45% choose brands that are eco-friendly and socially responsible. (National Retail Federation, IBM)
46% agree that their friends’ recommendations and opinions matter when choosing a brand. (National Retail Federation, IBM)
60% want to have an impact on the world. (Alanna McLeod, Burns Marketing)
Education is evolving faster than ever. The choices of where a student can study are growing, and schools of all shapes, sizes, and stature must define what they stand for and take into consideration the differences between Gen Z and Millenials when crafting their communications.