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Marketing to Gen Z vs. Millennials: Key Differences

Millennials and Gen Z may seem similar, but don't underestimate their difference in your marketing efforts. Learn how to curate marketing messages to target both generations.

If you are interested in expanding your marketing strategy, you must think carefully about digital marketing. The vast majority of people use the internet when they are looking for products and services they require, so you need to have a strong online presence as well.

There are different types of digital marketing, ranging from search engine optimization to PPC campaigns. You might even be interested in social media marketing. With so many different strategies for growing your audience, you first need to think about how you can target your audience. That means that you need to think about how you can create a buyer persona.

You must start by thinking about the age of your target market. If you are interested in targeting younger buyers, you might be interested in Millennials and Gen Z.

Even though both categories are relatively young, there are a lot of generational differences if you are marketing to Gen Z vs Millennials. So, what are the key differences between Millennials and Gen Z, and what do you need to know?

Learn more about the differences between Millennials vs Gen Z, and fine-tune your marketing strategy to increase your conversion rate.

Who are Millennials?

Millennials are people who were born between the years 1981 and 1996. Even though people can debate the exact years in which this generation falls, this is a great place to start.

As a result, Millennials are mostly young adults. They are called Millennials because they were children or young adults when the calendar turned to the year 2000.

There are several defining characteristics that you need to know regarding Millennials. Some of the personality traits that you may notice include:

  • Millennials tend to value meaningful motivation. They are not going to do something purely because they think it will make them a few dollars, unlike previous generations.
  • They are very interested in challenging the hierarchical status quo. Simply saying that things are the way they are is not going to fly with this generation.
  • Millennials prefer to have meaningful relationships with their superiors. This means that they want to view their managers and bosses as friends in addition to superiors.
  • They are very intuitive when it comes to modern technology. They grew up with rapidly changing mobile devices, and they are very comfortable using them.
  • Because technology has changed quickly during the course of their lives, they are also open and adaptive to change.
  • They are very passionate about learning. They believe that life is a lifelong journey of learning, and they always want to know why something is the way it is.

These are a few of the biggest characteristics that set Millennials apart from younger generations.

Who is Generation Z?

The exact date lines of Generation Z are still debated, but Gen Zers are typically born between 1997 and the early 2010s.

Therefore, they tend to be teenagers or very young adults today. Generations are typically defined by letters, taking a break from the letter tradition for Millennials. That trend is resuming with gen zers.

There are several defining characteristics of Gen Z. They include:

  • They have never lived in a world that did not have powerful mobile devices or internet access. Therefore, they are considered to be digital natives.
  • Gen Zers are very cognizant of mental health issues, and they have played a significant role in breaking the stigma that surrounds them. They are more open and honest with themselves and others than prior generations.
  • They tend to be more socially conscious than their older counterparts. This includes minority groups, the poor or underserved, and the environment.
  • Gen zers have been more impacted by the pandemic than many other people.
  • Diversity is the norm with this generation. They do not necessarily see differences between races in the same manner as other generations.
  • Older members of the generation are very financially conscious. Gen Z tends to think carefully before they make a purchase, no matter how big it is.

These factors play a significant role in defining who Gen Zers is and what they think about. Their mindset plays a significant role in how anyone can market successfully to them.

How to market to each generation

When it comes to marketing to millennials and gen z, you need to think carefully about what will work best for them. Because there are a lot of personality differences between generations, the right tactic for one generation is not necessarily going to be the right tactic for the other.

Neither of these two generations responds well to traditional advertising. If you think carefully about the differences in online shopping habits between millennials and Gen Z, you should have an easier time increasing your conversion rate.

What are a few of the marketing tactics that you may want to use if you want to get the most out of your marketing dollars?

Marketing toward millennials

If your target market is Millennials, you need to think carefully about what they are interested in. Then, you need to craft your content to accurately match their interests. So, what are millennials interested in?

They are not necessarily beholden to things that are considered comfortable and safe. They are very interested in exploring the problems in the world. They also place a greater value on experiences than material possessions. They want content that aligns with their values, and they want their life to have a purpose.

Of course, Millennials are individual people. The problems one person cares about will not necessarily be the same as the problems the other person cares about. Millennials are very conscious of climate change, the well-being of animals, and helping the underserved. They want to know that their life will make the world a better place.

Therefore, there are a few specific marketing tactics you may want to use if you want to make inroads with this generation. They include:

Long-form content

It is true that Millennials tend to have shorter attention spans than prior generations; however, if you can craft content that they are interested in, you will hold their attention for a long time.

Keep in mind that Millennials view life as a lifelong journey of learning. If you can put together helpful content that teaches them about a topic they are interested in, you can win them over.

Therefore, don't be afraid to write an article that is a bit lengthy. As long as you break it up with shorter paragraphs, images, and video content, you should have some success. You might even want to consider throwing a few infographics into the article.


Millennials prefer podcasts more than their younger counterparts. They value their time more than other generations. If Millennials feel like they are multitasking and boosting their efficiency, they will go all-in.

That is why so many Millennials are interested in podcasts. Podcasts are great because people can listen to them while they are on the go. They can put on their favorite podcast during their morning commute, or they can listen to something while they are cooking or cleaning. You might want to do an interview with an authority in your field.

Then, advertise that podcast on social media, and you should be able to get more people to listen to it.


Of course, Millennials are very familiar with streaming services. They love watching video content. A picture is worth a thousand words, and a moving picture is even more important. You might want to use video marketing to connect to this generation.

You don't necessarily need to keep the videos short, as you will hold their attention as long as the content is relevant to their needs. Use video marketing as an integral part of your Millennial marketing strategy.

These are just a few examples of different types of content that may work well with this generation. Keep in mind that having a diverse digital marketing strategy is helpful.

Long-form content, podcasts, and videos are only going to be helpful if your target market is aware of them. You might want to advertise this content on social media. Be sure to share a link to it, and ask your audience to check it out.

Then, audit your content from time to time. Try to figure out what is working and what is not. What continent has the best conversion rate?

You might even want to ask for feedback from your target market directly. Then, you can incorporate it to boost the quality of your content moving forward.

Marketing toward Gen Z

If you are interested in marketing to Gen Z, you need to think about what they are interested in. Unlike prior Generations, which tend to prioritize travel, home goods, and furniture, Gen Z appears to be more interested in health, wellness, electronics, and technology.

This generation is still very young, and their exact interests are still being defined; however, it is clear that Gen Z spends a lot of time focusing inward, trying to make themselves the best people they can be.

Because this generation is inextricably tied to electronics, technology, and social media, that is where you should focus a lot of your marketing efforts. There are plenty of ways you can capitalize on these interests to increase conversion rates. A few examples include:

Short-form content

Remember that this generation arguably has the shortest attention span of any generation in the past. Therefore, you need to think about how you can use short-form content to grab and hold their attention.

For example, this is a generation that is known for TikTok. TikTok is one of the most popular social media apps today, and Gen Z is the expert. You need to keep your social media marketing tactics short and sweet.

This means that each word is inherently more valuable, and you have an even shorter amount of time to grab their attention. If you want to make inroads with this generation, keep your content short.

Video marketing

Video marketing is also very important with this generation. There are plenty of creative ways you can use video marketing to communicate with Gen Z.

Remember that memes and GIFs are helpful. You may want to take a look at some of the TikTok videos this generation produces. Then, if you can emulate those videos as a part of your marketing strategy, you should have an easier time boosting your conversion rate.

Keep in mind that you need to focus on the topics they are interested in, even on these video-based platforms. If you can somehow tie your products and services to improving health and wellness, you may have an easier time swaying their purchasing decisions and earning new customers.

Influencer marketing

This is a generation that is known for influencer marketing. After all, it is the same generation that coined the term “TikTok famous.” This means that the person is only famous because they have a very large social media following, usually referring to TikTok.

Therefore, you may want to target some of their favorite influencers. See if you can convince those influencers to promote your products and services. If Gen Z shoppers see that their favorite influencers are promoting your products and services, you should be able to increase your conversion rate.

These are a few examples of marketing strategies that could be successful if you are interested in marketing to a Gen Z audience. This generation is still relatively young, and their interests are still being defined. That is why it is helpful to have a diverse digital marketing strategy that incorporates a lot of the tactics above.

Remember that you need to take a closer look at your marketing strategies from time to time. You need to figure out what is successful and what is not. Then, you need to figure out if there are changes you need to make that can increase your conversion rate.

If you can do so, you can stay one step ahead of your competitors, putting your company in a position to be successful. No matter how large or small your business is, you must keep an eye on your digital marketing strategies, and maximize the return on your investment.

Marketing toward both Gen Z and Millennials

Clearly, there are a lot of generational differences between Millennials and Gen Z. At the same time, the date lines are relatively arbitrary, so there is a bit of overlap. For example, both generations are very interested in social media.

Both generations grew up with social media, and they are very good at using it. You need to use social media to communicate effectively with your target market, but there are some differences in the social media platforms that they use.

For example, Millennials tend to grow up with social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Myspace. These social media platforms are built around content that is slightly longer.

Even though they are not nearly as long as magazine articles are newspaper articles, they are still longer than social media platforms that Gen Z is more familiar with. A few examples of younger social media platforms include Snapchat and TikTok.

Either way, you need to have a strong social media presence if you want to generate a strong connection with younger generations.

You do not necessarily need to have a presence on every social media app, but you need to think about where your target market hangs out. Then, use those platforms to communicate effectively with your target market.

Furthermore, remember that both generations are very focused on instant gratification. The idea of delayed gratification is not necessarily going to work well for either of these generations. Instead, you need to let them know why your product or service is helpful for them right now.

Regardless of whether this involves targeting a social message, providing them with a special experience, or helping them improve their mental health, you need to focus on using social media marketing to provide instant gratification to your target market. Then, you may have an easier time earning a new customer.

How to tailor your marketing campaigns

Clearly, there are a lot of marketing tactics out there. For previous generations, TV commercials and radio ads may have worked well.

Now, Internet advertising is more important than it has ever been in the past. Your marketing dollars are valuable, and you must use them wisely.

That is why you need to think carefully about your target audience before you decide what marketing strategy you want to use. This is called audience segmentation, and you can use this marketing tactic to help you increase your conversion rate.

If you want to create your first audience, you need to think about the demographics of your target market.

How old are they? What are some of the biggest problems they have? What types of solutions are they looking for? What is important to them? If you can define your target market, you can figure out what marketing strategies you want to use.

Then, you can put together some metrics that you want to follow. These metrics can help you figure out what is working well and what is not. That is particularly important if you are trying to target the younger generations with your marketing strategies.

If you want to increase your conversion rate, you need to use the right tools to help you. It is nearly impossible to track everything by hand, but there are automated tools that can help you design a strong marketing strategy.

That is why you may want to take a look at what Mailchimp has to offer. With a wide variety of tools that can help you maximize the results of your marketing campaign, you can stay one step ahead of the other companies in your industry.

Consider taking a look at everything that Mailchimp has to offer, and put all of your marketing campaigns in a position to be successful.

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