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July 26, 2021
7/26/2021

5 Actionable Insights for Marketing to Millennials and Gen Z

Today, it’s widely recognized that millennials and Gen Z are a force to be reckoned with. Not only do they have incredible global spending power — $4.4 trillion and growing1 — but they’re stepping into their roles as the influential change makers and innovators the world needs. Together, millennials and Gen Z use their creativity, empathy, and digital prowess to progress the social causes that matter to them and in doing so, help shape a better world.
Small businesses and global companies alike know how important it is to reach millennials and Gen Z, but experienced marketers know it’s even more important to connect with them.
So how can your business connect with this trailblazing audience? Here are five actionable insights for marketing to millennials and Gen Z.
1. Be present and creative online, where millennials and Gen Z spend their time.
Millennials and Gen Z are rarely without their phones — they use them to stay connected, browse their favorite brands, make purchases, play games, follow news updates, and so much more. For brands, an online presence serves as a direct lifeline to this critical audience. Websites, social profiles, and listings on relevant apps or platforms make getting discovered by Gen Zers and millennials easy, quick, and scalable.
While building an online presence is the essential first step to reaching millennials and Gen Z, going a step further by offering creative new ways to capture their attention and keep them engaged is crucial to building a lasting relationship. 
One easy way to do this is by meeting this audience where they are — on social platforms! Advertising in the spaces they already spend their time is a quick and effective way to reach them, and since these spaces lend themselves naturally to creativity and innovation, you’ll have plenty of freedom to market to millennials and Gen Z in a way that represents your brand best. Snapchat Ads are one of the many creative ways you can engage this audience, drive meaningful results, and grow your business.
2. Share your brand’s origin story and what sets it apart from others.
Sharing how your company came to be — what sparked the inspiration to start a business, and the work put in to bring this idea to life — can win big points with the Snapchat audience. Because they are curious and entrepreneurial themselves, millennials and Gen Zers want to hear the origin stories of their favorite brands and the people behind them. And being open and honest about your brand can then lead to lifelong brand loyalty. 
In fact, almost half of millennials and Gen Z say they like to learn the backstory of brands and products that they buy.2 Plus, Gen Zers and millennials that align with a brand will show loyalty by repping their favorite brands’ logos — 46% agree that they like to have clothes and accessories that have brand logos on them, and 44% say wearing brand logos means they agree with what the brand stands for.3
Between your website and your social media, there are a number of natural moments to share your business’s story authentically. An ‘About’ page is the perfect place to go deep — to introduce the people working behind the scenes to make it all happen, and to tell your brand’s origins and share what sets it apart from others. Use your social feed to showcase your best work, and invite your audience to see your day to day unfold in a way that feels less curated and more approachable in your stories. Taking advantage of these opportunities will ensure your audience sees the entire picture and feels confident in showing support for your business.
3. Show how you prioritize diversity and inclusivity, and be authentic about it.
It’s more important than ever for brands to recognize that striving for diversity is not only essential to growing a successful business, but helps foster an environment that values multiple points of view, encourages equitable decision making, and more. Plus, it’s key to connecting to millennials and Gen Z.
From how you advertise to who you hire, your business’s ability to demonstrate your efforts in diversity and inclusion is critical when building and fostering a relationship with millennials and Gen Z. These generations not only value diversity, but they celebrate it and practice it in their everyday lives.4
Similarly, these generations don’t tolerate the one-size-fits-all model. They want to be recognized, seen, and heard for who they truly are. They want the freedom to express themselves in what they wear, where they shop, and how they spend their time — both in real life and in how they’re represented online. In fact, 7 out of 10 millennials and Gen Zers say they want their online image to represent the “real me.”5
When marketing to millennials and Gen Z, your brand should take the lead in celebrating diversity and promoting self-expression. Create and share ads that represent a diverse audience. Be transparent about the efforts you’re making or have made to create a more inclusive space for employees and customers. Practices like these will help millennials and Gen Zers confirm their personal identities, and in turn confirm your brand as one that they’ll feel good about supporting.
4. Spread positivity through kindness and joyful experiences.
Between external pressures to excel in school, sports, work, and hobbies, a commonly held expectation to change the world, and the hard social, political, and environmental realities they are living in, millennials and Gen Zers are often stressed out. To recharge, they seek out moments of levity and have a strong desire to bring fun back into their everyday lives.6 This search for joy and laughter is sure to continue being a reliable way to restore their psyches, and a key opportunity for brands to capitalize on when marketing to millennials and Gen Z. 
Incorporate humor and fun in your advertisements, spread kindness on social media, and be optimistic in the stories your campaigns are telling. After all, this positivity is exactly what they’re looking for! Even with all the stressors in their lives, millennials and Gen Z are feeling more hopeful, happy, and excited about the future. These generations are moving through life with determination, optimism, and enthusiasm — and your business can and should be a part of it.7
5. Actively and openly support the causes you believe in by giving back.
Millennials and Gen Z are still forming brand preferences and deciding where their brand loyalties lie. These generations genuinely care about where their money is going and see the brands they buy from as direct reflections of what they believe in. In fact, nearly half of millennials and Gen Zers say they are less likely to buy from a brand that chooses to promote the opposite side on social issues that matter to them.8
Whether they’re furthering the social causes they care about most, donating to charitable organizations, or volunteering time in their communities, millennials and Gen Z have placed high expectations on themselves to make the world a better place. They are increasingly active in their communities and believe in the importance of giving back, and even think that the coolest people they know help make a difference in their community.9 Deepening your connection with these generous and charitable generations relies on your brand’s ability to follow their leads by actively and openly standing behind the causes you support and have in common with them.
From establishing environmental standards in your business’s production practices to offering employee’s paid time off to volunteer locally, no show of support is too small. By showcasing actions like these in your marketing materials, sharing them on social media, or offering products or services that align with the causes you believe in, you’re proving to millennials and Gen Zers that, like them, your business is dedicated to making the world a better place.
Millennials and Gen Z are dynamic, resilient, influential, and above all, they’re making a difference in the world around us. With these additional insights into how they think, what resonates with them, and how they shop, you’re better equipped to market to them in a meaningful way. 
So what’s next for your business? Snapchat is here to help you reach this innovative and influential audience. Get started today!
A version of this piece was originally published in Campaign US.

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12021 Global Cassandra Study commissioned by Snap Inc. | Base: Those with a monthly income N=12,710 respondents. Cumulative total of average by market. Spending power for the Snapchat Generation was calculated as follows: We obtained the average monthly income for each respondent. The sum of any expenses related to rent or mortgage, debt, insurance, medical expenses/healthcare, spending money given to others, and utilities was subtracted from this average monthly income. We then multiplied each respondent’s average monthly discretionary spending by 12 to obtain their average yearly discretionary spending and averaged these results within each country across the Snapchat Generation.
22021 Global Cassandra Study commissioned by Snap Inc. | Base: Total N=27,006 respondents | Q: How much do you agree or disagree with each of the statements below?
32021 Global Cassandra Study commissioned by Snap Inc. | Base: Total N=27,006 respondents Q: How much do you agree or disagree with each of the statements below?
42021 Global Cassandra Study commissioned by Snap Inc. | Base: Total N=27,006 respondents | Q: How much do you agree or disagree that the below statements apply to you and your friends? Q: How much do you agree or disagree with statements below?
52021 Global Cassandra Study commissioned by Snap Inc. | Base: Total N=27,006 respondents | Q: How much do you agree or disagree that the below statements apply to you and your friends? Q: How much do you agree or disagree with statements below?
62021 Global Cassandra Study commissioned by Snap Inc. | Base: Total N=27,006 respondents | Q: How much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements based on your current perceptions and activities?
72021 Global Cassandra Study commissioned by Snap Inc. | Base: Total N=27,006 respondents Q: How much control do you feel you have over your life? Please select one. Q: How much do you agree or disagree with each of the statements below? Q: How much do you agree or disagree that the below statements apply to you and your friends?
82021 Global Cassandra Study commissioned by Snap Inc. | Base: Total N=27,006 respondents | Q: How much do you agree or disagree with each of the statements below? Please select one response per row.
92021 Global Cassandra Study commissioned by Snap Inc. | Base: Total N=27,006 respondents | Q: How much do you agree or disagree that the below statements apply to you and your friends?
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