Move over Millennials, Gen Z is taking the lead in shaping marketing trends for 2024. Dubbed Gen Z, these 20-24-year-olds are setting the stage for the future of marketing with their unique preferences and behaviors. Staying ahead of the curve is crucial, especially when it comes to engaging the dynamic and discerning Gen Z crew. Here’s the top five trends that marketers need to know. These trends not only capture the attention of Gen Z but also provide a roadmap for brands to connect with this cool squad in an authentic and impactful way.
Search shifts to social media platforms:
Gen Z is turning to social media for authentic and relatable answers. Platforms like TikTok are becoming preferred search engines, with Gen Z preferring it over Google. Social media apps are evolving into one-stop-search-shops, with features like TikTok’s Keyword Insights tool and Instagram’s robust search function. Marketers must optimise content for social discovery, ensuring it remains authentic and trustworthy.
AI takes center stage:
Artificial intelligence isn’t just a buzzword; it’s the key to connecting with Gen Z on a deeper level. In 2024, AI algorithms are reaching new heights, allowing marketers to hyper-personalize campaigns. From customised content recommendations to personalised shopping experiences, AI fosters brand loyalty and improves conversion rates by creating authentic connections with consumers. We’re seeing AI’s massive impact within the side-hustle/small business space too; where various AI tools are used to increase productivity, creativity and efficiency.
Gen Z’s affair with buy now pay later:
Gen Zs have ushered in a revolution in how consumers approach payments. With a penchant for fast, cutting-edge technology tools, this digitally native generation demands flexibility and convenience in their shopping experiences. As the eCommerce landscape becomes more competitive, brands must adapt to remain relevant 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 thrive in the dynamic market of 2024.
Gen Z’s trend-driven nature extends beyond fashion. Marketers can capitalize on their interest in vegan products, plant-based meats, and fandoms by aligning with popular trends in food, TV shows, music, and gaming. Engaging with fan communities and highlighting relevant products boosts brand visibility and appeal. Take the Stanely cups for example; who would have thought that a +-R1200 cup would conquer feeds everywhere and have millions of Gen Zs rushing to get a cup?
Gen Z’s on elections and brand values:
Gen Z’s impact goes beyond consumer habits; they will play a significant role in this year’s elections. Constituting 27% of the world’s workforce by 2025, they will be the largest generation to date. With a focus on environmental protection and social justice, Gen Z’s values influence their brand loyalty. Political campaigns and brands alike must adapt to these principles, advancing sustainability, social responsibility, and equality to win over this influential demographic.
In the words of a true Gen Z, Thabiso Gcabashe, (Junior Account Manager at Student Village) “As we step into 2024, marketers must embrace these trends to stay relevant and connect with the 20-24 Generation”. The future is now, and it’s shaped by the vibrant and diverse preferences of Generation Z.