#Integrate15: Move Over, Millennials. Generation Z Is Here.


Millennials aren’t kids anymore.

There’s a new generation capturing marketers’ attention, as Patti Girardi explained during Friday’s INTEGRATE breakout session titled “Marketing to Generation Z.”

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I enjoyed having the opportunity to chat more about Generation Z with Girardi, also a WVU IMC instructor, at Friday’s networking reception.


Who is this rising generation? Born between 1995 and 2010, those in Generation Z are currently in the age range of 5-20 years old. While young, they represent more than 25% of the population and command $44 billion in spending power—meaning marketers cannot ignore them or just toss them under the millennial umbrella.

While millennials—Generation Y—are frequently described as tech savvy, Generation Z is tech innate. Think millennials’ average multitasking of 2 digital screens is excessive? Generation Z averages five.

It’s no surprise that Generation Z expects brands to be on point on all social platforms as the group doesn’t differentiate between the internet and social media. In fact, many search brands’ social media rather than websites when seeking online resources about things like schools.

A focused and realistic group, Generation Z place high value on rallying around social causes. As many volunteer and show concern for the planet, they want to do work that makes an impact on the world. Both 9/11 and the Great Recession have been defining moments in shaping Generation Z youth.

Also a key influence on Generation Z is the dynamic of the young group often living in multi-generational households. Further, they often take the diversity associated with millennials to the next level as many are multiracial.

For marketers trying to effectively approach this new generation, storytelling, trust-building, and establishing a brand-consumer friendship are important.  As Girardi said, “If they believe in what you’re selling, they’re all about it.”

How do you think Generation Z will influence the future of integrated marketing?

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8 Responses to “#Integrate15: Move Over, Millennials. Generation Z Is Here.”

  1. mrcloud333 Says:

    Good info. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Mike Kohler Says:

    I am so excited about how Gen Z will influence the political arena. These people are not bringing the learned biases of prior generations into their decision-making, particularly in matters of race, gender and sexual orientation.

    As noted philosopher Chris Rock recently noted, his Z daughters don’t see anything unusual, let alone amazing, about little African-American girls in the White House. They’re growing up with African-Americans as Secretary of State or on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

    That, at long last, represents real progress for our society.

  3. Becky Says:

    Great blog, Rebecca. Patti, I thoroughly enjoyed your session. You did a great job moderating an interactive discussion!

  4. Laura Garner Says:

    Gen Zs are all about your brand if they love you. If they don’t, your brand doesn’t exist. How not to be liked? Two ways: Join a conversation in which your brand doesn’t authentically belong. Claim your brand cares about sustainability and do anything that shows it doesn’t. The generation born into an after 9/11 world and growing up during the Great Recession not only expects authenticity, they demand it.

  5. paulrhien Says:

    Maybe one of my favorite breakouts. I could see my Gen Z and Gen alpha kids in each of the characteristics described.

  6. rmort27 Says:

    This was a fantastic review of Patti’s presentation. As someone who attended the opposite session, I feel like I got the key takeaways from the session because of this post. Thanks!

  7. LISA SANDS Says:

    GenZ will challenge marketers to meet them where they are in an authentic way. As the parent of one, I can share that they struggle with highly personal interactions face to face, but they excel at personal interactions in an online space. I work with a client now who is trying to fuigure out how and where to talk to them and the answer to that is not always obvious.

  8. Patti Girardi Says:

    Reblogged this on Patti Girardi and commented:
    Share what’s new…

    Patti Girardi
    Shared publicly – Yesterday 7:38 AM

    Great fun leading the “Marketing to Generation Z” session at this year’s INTEGRATE conference!

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