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Five reasons to pay attention to Gen Z

There has been a lot of talk about millennials in the marketing world, with good reason. However, it’s time some of that spotlight is turned to the generation after them—Gen Z.

Gen Z is made up of people born after 1997 (or thereabouts, depending on your source) and comprises 30% to 40% of the world population. Gen Z has traits that have not been seen in other generations before them — knowing what they are will help when marketing to them.

1. They are a generation who have had the internet available throughout their entire lives. They are a highly digital generation and often have multiple devices going at the same time. This generation spends a lot of time researching products and brands; however, they value one-on-one advice and personal reviews, both from family and friends. For financial services, Gen Z may end up being the ultimate word-of-mouth campaigners.
2. Because Gen Z is so tech savvy they have more influence on their parents’ spending habits than previous generations. They can help their parents discover new things and places, as well as research on pricing and reviews and like to be involved in the decision-making process, particularly when it’s a purchase that’s relevant to them.
3. Gen Z is a financially conservative generation. “This generation grew up during a recession, and that has made them risk-averse and cautious when it comes to their finances. Providers will need to offer a helping hand as these consumers start to navigate the financial world.”1 They have watched millennials take on significant college debt making Gen Z-ers think more about debt and saving than generations before them.
4. As a whole, they are an entrepreneurial generation. Their online upbringing has shown them that businesses can be started with an idea and a little bit of money. They are optimistic and see opportunities that others don’t. “Gen Z may just turn out to be the most competent, productive and high achieving generation we’ve seen in a while.”2
5. Gen Z is passionate about environmental, social and political issues. Gen Z-ers have been known to research a bank’s carbon footprint before opening a checking account. They are the most diverse generation, and subsequently, they advocate strongly for social and political justice, and with their social media reach, they have the means to do it.

For financial services companies that wish to serve the up and coming Gen Z-ers, now is the time to get on board with the right advice and services. This could be impact investment options that resonate with their causes or online tools specifically created for Gen Z. It’s been said that it may very well be the generation that changes things for the better — Gen Z-ers are going to need all the support they can get.

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