In marketing, you’re always looking for the next big thing. How are you going to reach your target audience? Is this the best way, the most effective way? Will this idea get customers through the door?
Long gone are some of the more traditional ways of marketing that our parents are likely familiar with. Billboards, radio ads, and so on — they’re still utilized, but to a much lesser degree than in the past. Likewise, even some of the more modern strategies to reach potential customers such as television ads are losing favor. In the blink of an eye, markets moved online.
New techniques are on the horizon, including SMS marketing strategies. Younger, more tech-driven consumers — particularly Generation Z — are coming to the stage. Gen Z is highly tech-oriented and could become the prime candidate for an SMS marketing plan.
Here Comes Gen Z
For what seems like such a long time now, all eyes have been glued to the Millennial generation. Though they are a huge block of customers and many of them are finally reaching a comfortable level of affluence (older Millennials are in their early 40s!), they aren’t the “young kids” that many older generations keeper referring to them as. Move aside Millennials — here comes Generation Z.
At this point, those 20-somethings you’re referring to are Gen Zers, and they are pretty distinct, especially when it comes to marketing. Though similar to Millennials on many policy issues, Gen Z is the first generation to be completely digitally-native. They’ve always had technology in their lives, they’ve never known a world without cell phones or computers.
And many of them acknowledge this. Approximately 45% say they are “almost constantly” on a smart device, while nearly just as many say they check their devices “several times per day.” This is a huge point to note for marketing — online, SMS, and other techy avenues are those that are going to reach this customer block the most successfully.
Why Use SMS Marketing?
SMS marketing may just be the perfect match for Generation Z. The vast majority of them are regularly connected to their phones. One study found that they are nearly twice as likely to convert on a smartphone app than any other generation. This comes with one major caveat though — they have no patience for poorly working apps so the design has to be spot on to attract them in the first place.
Another thing to consider is that many Gen Zers have grown up in a world where online marketing surrounds them; they typically distrust it and are able to get use online research tools to dig into the motives behind a certain ad. Being dis-authentic with them will get you nowhere fast. Instead working to bring them into your marketing strategy and make them feel like a powerful contributor is a prime avenue to success.
One of the biggest ways you as a marketer can bring in Gen Z is by creating a personalized ad experience. Even more important is asking them to be brand ambassadors and take on a real role in helping to build the brand. Prominent influencers of the generation include those that are able to entertain by doing something they love in a short, attention-grabbing way.
Getting SMS Marketing Right
Of course, attracting this generation to your product is one thing, but the actual marketing part of SMS marketing isn’t all that easy either. It takes a certain level of craftiness that brings together creativity, personalization, relatability, and relevance — all in a socially just and responsible way. Customer service is also a significant component of any successful SMS campaign.
As you get going one of the biggest things to remember is that customer privacy is highly valuable. Generation Z has watched as hundreds of Millennials have been burned by errantly posted pictures and poorly phrased comments. They value their online privacy, so respect that. Give them the ability to opt-in or opt-out and don’t give any information away to a third party without explicit permission.
Additionally, take it easy on the messages. Nothing causes more frustration than getting the same message over and over, especially if it comes multiple times a day. Put a cap on the number that gets sent and make them varied. Think about only sending time-sensitive offers and leaving the rest to other marketing strategies until you’re sure the buy-in is high.
Generation Z is entering the marketing world with a big splash. They are tech-savvy and not afraid to move on from something that doesn’t work for them anymore. As a marketer it is valuable to realize that they want to build a real connection with you, so stay relatable. In the SMS world, follow some basic rules such as maintaining privacy and not overdoing it. SMS can be a powerful way to connect with this generation — good luck!