Gen Z & Millennials Differ in Feelings Toward Digital Advertising, Brand Engagement

Many marketers have already begun adapting their advertising to fit the Millennial audience, and now Gen Z has become the center of attention for many. According to Fast Company, this generation makes up a quarter of the U.S. population and by 2020 will account for 40% of all consumers.

Millennials and Gen Z are very close in age, however, they display different views in terms of product discovery, brand influence and engagement and digital advertising. These opposing viewpoints reiterate that not all marketing is created equal, and that these two audiences require different approaches.

A new study from BabyCenter and Collage group revealed that Gen Z moms (46%) are more persuaded to see ads that are relevant, even if it means collecting personal information, than Millennial moms (29%). In other words, Gen-Z moms are okay with seeing ads, if the ads are tailored to fit them.

Most of Gen-Z has been entrenched in various digital technologies since birth, so these ad experiences are nothing but normal for them. It’s also a possibility that they understand the value and importance of exchanging data for content. Marketers should keep this in mind when creating these targeted ads.

Gen Z and Millennial moms also differ somewhat in their trusted sources for researching products. While 54% of Millennial moms prefer online user reviews like Amazon, Gen Z moms are more likely to turn to other sources for product research, like online professional product reviews (27%), social media (15%) and brand websites (21%) than Millennials in these categories. Generally, the data show that Gen-Zers are more receptive to online channels, which they know and trust, than Millennials.

Both groups, however, favor in-store research almost equally, at 48% for Gen Z moms and 47% for Millennial moms. They also trust recommendations from friends at family, both at 45%, indicating that personal, word of mouth still matters to both generations.

Additionally, Gen Z moms are far more receptive to brands, with 48% sharing content with brands, compared to only 33% of Millennials moms, they also use brand hashtags (42%) far more than Millennials (27%). Because Gen-Z moms are more likely to interact with brands, they more than likely realize that doing so can provide them with added benefits like additional offers, coupons and resolution of product/service issues.

Both audiences show distinct differences in their overall opinions on brand engagement, as well as digital usage for purchase research. Identifying generational differences or trends can help marketers deliver relevant and tailored brand experiences and messaging.

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