Move over, Millennials - here comes Generation Z
The Millennials’ time in the spotlight is starting to wane. Generation Z - also known as Millennials on steroids - are coming of age, and it’s officially their time to shine.
A Millennial is a person that reached adulthood in the 2000s, whereas Gen Z are those born in 1995 or later - and they’re expected to account for 2.56 billion of the global population by 20201. Generation Z are the influencers of tomorrow - and as they come into their own, it’s really important that market researchers begin to understand their lifestyle, behaviours and shopping habits.
Whilst both Millennial's and Gen Z are leading actors of the digital age, there are differences between the two - and it’s really important for market researchers to understand these differences in order to successfully target both audiences for qualitative MR. Read on to find out more…
They’re less focused…
Generation Z live in a world of continuous updates. In fact, thanks to apps such as Snapchat, Vine and most recently Instagram Stories, they want information instantly which can be processed right away, hence their label as “The Snapchat Generation”. All this means they take in information instantaneously - and lose interest just as fast. Gen Z actually have an attention span of just eight seconds compared to Millennials’ 12 seconds - and your market research needs to reflect this.
When it comes to planning market research projects with Generation Z, they will respond well to methods that have a variety of short, snappy tasks that keep them interested and let them be creative rather than lengthy questionnaires or face-to-face focus groups. This makes MROCs or online focus groups a great option because they can include a range of different tasks to help maintain interest boost engagement.
...But they’re better at multitasking
Although Generation Z might have a shorter attention span than their Millennial counterparts, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Because they are used to doing so many things at once, they are also much better at multitasking. For example, at school they will research on their tablet whilst taking notes on their notepad, and in the evenings at home they might well sit in front of the TV whilst scrolling through social media on a laptop and Facetiming a friend on their phone.
That means when it comes to market research, online communities and bulletin boards are great options: not only are MROCs portable and therefore allow Gen Z to take part in conversations whilst completing other tasks, but because they provide 24/7 immediate access, these methods also fit in well to Generation Z’s multitasking lifestyles.
They’re even more digital…
Millennials might well be known as the selfie generation, but hold on to your hats - there’s more to come with Gen Z. Millennials are actually much more conservative than Generation Z when it comes to digital behaviour because Gen Z are the first true digital natives. They were born into a digital world, with over 91% already having a digital footprint2 and 98% owning a smartphone3.
That means when it comes to qualitative market research, you’ll need to apply up-to-date practices such as mobile research and social media research as well as other qualitative methods performed via video. And forget about location-based research - when it comes to Gen Z and research it needs to be carried out on the go, which means as the next generation comes of age there will be more and more instant digital methodologies.
...Which means they expect speed…
Whilst most Millennials probably still remember waiting for dial up internet and can even cast their minds back to the days when you couldn't use the internet if someone else was on the phone, Generation Z have grown up with technology and high speed internet. That means they expect things to work straight away - and if it doesn’t, they will assume it’s broken or that there’s something wrong.
When it comes to conducting MR with Generation Z, all this means your research needs to go off without a hitch - making the right software choice more important than ever before. You should also always test your software thoroughly beforehand to iron out any problems and prevent any delays that could result in them losing interesting and moving on, which could have a devastating effect on the success rate of your research. Find out more here.
...And social and video will become even more popular
Generation Z have never really known a life without social media - so if you thought Millennials were social media savvy, you ain’t seen nothing yet! All this means that future research will be effectively carried out by searching hashtags as well as tracking trends, comments and recent posts via social media monitoring - which is much quicker than traditional methods and will make it much easier to target respondents via adverts and social media sharing.
Platforms such as Periscope, Snapchat and Vine also mean that Gen Z are comfortable using video to express their opinions and share experiences - which means live streams and audiovisual content such as video diaries or demonstrations will become increasingly popular in qualitative market research, too.
In conclusion when it comes to Generation Z, think social, innovative and digital and you can’t go far wrong. As Generation Z comes of age, we predict that online methodologies such as MROCs will continue to go from strength to strength as respondents crave varied, bitesize tasks rather than time-consuming, in-depth traditional methods - which means that as traditional methods take a bit of a back seat, social media and video will continue to grow. Whatever happens, with Generation Z on the brink of adulthood, it’s certainly going to be an exciting time for the future of market research!