Beyond Millennials, Gen Z is shaping marketing trends in 2024. These 20- to 24-year-olds, known as Generation Z, are setting the stage for the future of marketing with their unique tastes and behaviors. Staying ahead of the curve is crucial, especially when it comes to appealing to her dynamic and insightful Gen Z crew. Here are the top 5 trends marketers should know about. These trends not only capture the attention of Gen Z, but also provide a roadmap for brands to connect with this team of cool in authentic and impactful ways.
Search moves to social media platforms.
Gen Z is turning to social media for answers that are authentic and relatable. Platforms like TikTok are becoming the preferred search engine, and Gen Z prefers his TikTok over Google. Social media apps are evolving into one-stop search shops, with features like TikTok's keyword insights tool and Instagram's powerful search capabilities. Marketers need to optimize their content for social discovery and ensure content is authentic and trustworthy.
AI takes center stage:
Artificial intelligence is more than just a buzzword. That's the key to connecting with Gen Z on a deeper level. In 2024, AI algorithms will reach new heights, allowing marketers to hyper-personalize their campaigns. From customized content recommendations to personalized shopping experiences, AI creates authentic connections with consumers, driving brand loyalty and increasing conversion rates. We can see that AI is having a big impact in the side hustle/small business space as well. There, various AI tools are used to improve productivity, creativity, and efficiency.
Gen Z’s relationship between buy now and pay later:
Gen Z has revolutionized the way consumers approach payments. Preferring fast, cutting-edge technology tools, this digital native generation demands flexibility and convenience from their shopping experience. As the e-commerce landscape becomes more competitive, brands must adapt to maintain their presence among younger consumers. Incorporating BNPL and interest-free payment solutions at checkout is no longer a luxury, but a strategic imperative for brands looking to grow in the dynamic market of 2024.
The trend-driven nature of Gen Z goes beyond fashion. Marketers can capitalize on interest in vegan products, plant-based meat, and fandom, along with popular trends in food, TV shows, music, and gaming. Engaging with your fan community and highlighting relevant products increases your brand's visibility and appeal. Let's take Stanley's cup as an example. + – Who would have thought that the R1200 cup would conquer feeds everywhere and millions of his Gen Z would rush to get the cup?
About Gen Z elections and brand value:
Gen Z's influence extends beyond consumer habits. They will play an important role in this year's elections. They will make up 27% of the world's workforce by 2025, making them the largest generation ever. Gen Z’s values, which focus on environmental protection and social justice, influence brand loyalty. Political campaigns and brands alike need to adapt to these principles and promote sustainability, social responsibility and equality to win the support of this influential group.
In the words of Thabiso Gkabashe, a true Gen Zer (Junior Account Manager at Student Village), “As we move into 2024, marketers must embrace these trends and become relevant to generations 20-24. We have to stay connected.'' The future is now, and it's being shaped by Gen Z's vibrant and diverse tastes.