Digital
Transformation
Festival


16 March - 24 April 2020

Our online festival is underway with a packed programme of interviews and panels. Featuring talks from the industry’s biggest brands and most innovative individuals, this event explores what digital transformation really means for marketing.

Coming Up
6 Apr 09:00 GMT / 05:00 EST

Reimagining women’s sport…what do we need to do to change the game?

FEATURING
Tom Corbett
Group Head of Sponsorships and Media at Barclays
Eniola Aluko
Sporting Director at Aston Villa W.F.C
Gabi Mostert
Creative Director at Iris
Rebecca Stewart
Senior Reporter at The Drum

Generation Z is upending influencer marketing

The marketing sector can be a complicated place as new marketing tools and techniques are launched, almost on a weekly basis. Powered by The Drum Network, this regular column invites The Drum Network's members to demystify the marketing trade and offer expert insight and opinion on what is happening in the marketing industry today that can help your business tomorrow.

IMA discuss the role that Gen Z play in marketing today.

Generations are shaped by the context in which they arise, and Generation Z is no different. You may still call them kids, but they are already making a true impact on the world. This is the first digital native generation (aka iGen), and Generation Z lives up to this concept: they are always connected and they can move around the online world like none of their predecessors.

The vast availability of information along with the ease with which they can navigate the internet and use it in their pursuit to change the world is building a more diverse and tolerant generation. Not to mention that they are on their way to becoming the most educated generation ever.

iGen is also reinterpreting established notions of gender, race, consumption, authenticity, and they are encouraging society to think and talk about topics like sustainability and plus-privilege. Instead of following old trends, Generation Z are creating new ones and inviting older generations to tag along. For sure you’ve heard of concepts like genderfluidity, genderqueer, non-binary, non-conforming, cisgender, gender-questioning, even though you might not be entirely confident about what they mean.

And on top of all that, they are passionate. They fight for their beliefs, they support each other, and they mobilize themselves around causes that speak to them. They are creative and inventive, and they can build powerful messages that can go viral and grow into movements.

Influence with purpose

That’s why Generation Z is a generation like no other and has arrived to change how society is currently shaped. This change is also happening in the Influencer Marketing scene - and it couldn’t be any different. In fact, influencers are the ones who inspire their peers in their pursuit of purpose and truth, while also spreading Generation Z’s message across older generations. It’s safe to say that Generation Z influencers have helped building this new cultural panorama and are more relevant than never before. They aren’t influencers, but creators, innovators, who are leading content creation to new and unexplored dimensions.

By now, you should already know that, if brands want to continue being relevant, they will have to keep up. And by keeping up, we don’t mean adding 'gender-questioning' to the target audience of your Facebook Ads. Besides, only tapping into trends won’t get you very far since Generation Z probably already saw whatever-the-latest-trend-is.

Brands must reinvent themselves in order to arouse this new generation’s interest and attention. In order to do this, they need to add real value. And the only way they can truly create real value is by aligning with iGen’s values and beliefs. They need to soak themselves in what’s important to Generation Z.

Forget the picture-perfect, super-edited type of content. Look for authenticity, and be authentic yourself. This generation is looking for the truth and values they can connect to, and that’s what you should deliver.

Pay extra attention to your social presence, because that’s where Generation Z live, and they will keep an eye on your every move. Your social channels are not only the space to provide valuable content, but also the space to listen to them, to engage and interact with them, to learn and understand what’s important to them. Use this information to align your social presence with Generation Z’s mindset, renew your image and make a stance. Be innovative so you can attract them to your conversation, and we promise that they will connect with you on a much deeper level.

Emilie Tabor, chief marketing officer and founder at IMA.

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