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How Gen Z Is Making Marketing Easier and Cheaper

Posted by T.A. Nathan on 9/3/19 8:10 AM
Topics: Gen Z, campus stores, who is generation z

Generation Z was birthed in the infinite space of the internet and its interconnected networks of communication. With buying decisions, they have access to every review, rating and criticism of a business at their fingertips. They also have access to a wider breadth of retail choices. Your marketing has about eight seconds to win Gen Z’s attention – don’t waste it.

How Gen Z Is Making Marketing Easier and Cheaper

Who is Generation Z?

The reign of millennials as the largest consumer population is soon to fall, and the rise of Gen Z is upon us. This generation will become the largest in American history, comprising 27 percent of the U.S. population according to Business Insider. According to Pew Research, generation Z is anyone born between 1996 and 2010.

Gen Z is already filling your campus store sales floor. These young men and women were raised in the age of the Internet and social media and are experts at using them. The way they find information and make purchases is defining a new way of marketing and it’s all about efficiency. 

Does your campus store have #instagram?

Generation Z’s fascination with social media has allowed campus stores to advertise their business in new ways without having to pay a dime to marketing agencies. What’s your “Insta- handle?” Has anyone ever asked you that before? Probably not, but it’s what your customers are asking each other as they look through their friend’s curated Instagram photos. At first, Instagram seems like any other trendy social media space, but it can (and should) be a huge part of your marketing plan.

Start with posting photos of campus store events like scavenger hunts, student orientations or other ways to promote your campus store. To start an account, simply sign up and start posting.

With Instagram Stories, you can also post videos in your timeline of events and promotions so that your followers can watch them. Display your Instagram handle in the store and let customers know to follow you for great deals.

They want to see your face, not a movie star

According to a survey by Deep Focus, 63 percent of Generation Z would prefer to be advertised to by an average person rather than a celebrity. This is fantastic news for the average campus store professional. Grab a smart phone, open the camera and start talking into it. Boom! You can make a personal connection and successfully compete with the competition for little to no extra cost. See what GSVU campus store did for their Social Media strategy.

Behind the meme-economy

If you’ve been on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Reddit in the past few years, you’ve undoubtedly come across a meme. Memes are like visual poetry in-so-much that they condense a feeling or behavior, usually humorously, in a compact way. They comprise a relatable image or images with some text overlay that say something about pop culture, ideas, events or feelings.

Much like investing in a 401k, investing in the creation and distribution of memes is a powerful way to connect with Generation Z and drive them onto your sales floor. Creating memes isn’t too difficult. Your store’s memes, retweets and shares could take your creation far and wide, helping your brand get noticed by more potential customers.

Remember, Gen Z has about 8 seconds that they’re willing to spend on looking at your advertising, you must get their attention quickly. This only touches the surface of ways your campus store can market to Gen Z, but it’s a good start.


Discover more about Gen Z's influence and impact on higher education. Download  the Barnes & Noble College Insights research today. Download Report


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