If you have a tough-enough time telling Gen Xers from Millennials, then get ready: There’s another generational phase on the scene, and it’s larger than any of its predecessors. As James Emery White puts it in a recent post:

“Drop everything and start paying attention to Generation Z, who now constitute 25.9 percent of the U.S. population. That’s more than Millennials (24.5%). That’s more than Gen X (15.4%). Yes, that’s more than Baby Boomers (23.6%).

So who falls into Generation Z? There’s still some debate on exact dates, but essentially those who were born after Generation Y, so approximately 1995 to present. At the time of this writing, it is the generation that is now under the age of 18.

Do the math, and you realize they grew up in a post-9/11 world, during a recession. They’ve experienced radical changes in technology and understanding of family, sexuality and gender. They live in multi-generational households, and the fastest growing demographic within their age-group is multi-racial.

How has that molded them? According to the marketing research of Sparks and Honey, here are some “Z” headlines:
• they are eager to start working
• they are mature and in control
• they intend to change the world
• they’ve learned that traditional choices don’t guarantee success
• entrepreneurship is in their DNA
• they seek education and knowledge, and they use social media as a research tool
• they multi-task across five screens, and their attention spans are getting shorter
• they think spatially and in 4D, but lack situational awareness
• they communicate with symbols, speed and with images
• their social circles are global
• they are hyper-aware and concerned about man’s impact on the planet
• they are less active, and frequently obese
• they live-stream and co-create

I’ll stop there, because the list goes continues. Bottom line: They are not Millennials. So how do you connect with the largest generation on the planet? Marketers are way ahead of you.

Here’s a top-10 to consider:
1. Talk in images: emojis, symbols, pictures, videos.
2. Communicate more frequently in shorter bursts of snackable content.
3. Don’t talk down…talk to them as adults, including global topics.
4. Make stuff—or help Gen Z make stuff (they’re industrious).
5. Tap into their entrepreneurial spirit.
6. Collaborate with them, and help them collaborate with others.
7. Tell your story across multiple screens.
8. Live-stream with them, or give them live-streaming access.
9. Optimize your search results (they do their Internet research).
10. Include a social cause for which they can fight.

Do you see a theme? I do. It’s all about talking in a way they will understand, not watering down the communication of the message, but changing the method of communication.” (Click to read the full article.)

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