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InstaBrain: Snap Into the Minds of Your Gen Y, Gen Z Customers (CMC 2018)


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Presented by Sarah Weise at Content Marketing Conference 2018 #CMC18

How do you connect and communicate with future customers? If you don’t know this about Millennials (Gen Y) and Pivotals (Gen Z), you’ll be out of business before you can say “Insta.”

A huge shift is happening today. Even between Gen Y and Gen Z, there’s a massive difference in how customers want to find information, transact, and connect and communicate with businesses like yours.

Customer research firm Brilliant Experience has conducted millennial studies for some of the largest and most advanced companies in Silicon Valley. Ever wonder what they know?

Today, we reveal the most impactful trends to attract and engage these customers, including:

· How do they select where to go for different types of content?
· How do they learn about news?
· How many ‘selves’ do they have online?
· Where do they click?
· What draws them in?
· What keeps them coming back?

If your business wants to not just survive but thrive with the next generation of customers, this is a must-attend talk!

Published in: Marketing

InstaBrain: Snap Into the Minds of Your Gen Y, Gen Z Customers (CMC 2018)

  1. 1. 1 DON’T KNOW THIS ABOUT GEN Y & Z? YOU’LL BE OUT OF BUSINESS BEFORE YOU CAN SAY ‘IG’. INSTABRAIN Sarah Weise Brilliant Experience @weisesarah @brlexp #CMC18
  2. 2. 2@weisesarah #CMC18
  3. 3. 3@weisesarah #CMC18
  4. 4. 4
  5. 5. What do these brands have in common?
  6. 6. 6 Companies who don’t understand how future customers think, find information, transact, and communicate wind up as relics. @weisesarah #CMC18
  7. 7. 7 Today we are designing experiences for tomorrow’s customers. @weisesarah #CMC18
  8. 8. 8 LONG
 SHORT. Brilliant Experience has conducted Gen Y and Gen Z studies for some of the biggest, baddest brands out there. Over the past year we’ve conducted surveys, mobile diary studies, video diaries, one-on-one interviews, ethnographic research, intercept interviews, and focus groups. Today we share with you the top trends we’ve discovered along the way—and what you need to know to survive in the brave new world ahead. YOUTH RESEARCH IS OUR JAM @weisesarah #CMC18
  9. 9. 9 Your past research no longer applies. It’s because your future customers have never known a world without search, social media, and smart phones. Gen Z customers think and act so differently from customers even a few years older. 98% OF TEENS OWN A SMART PHONE 51% WORLD POPULATION IS UNDER 25 85% FIND NEW PRODUCTS VIA SOCIAL MEDIA @weisesarah #CMC18
  10. 10. 10 GEN Y and Z do not consume the same content. Generational changes make for vastly different audiences. While both Millennials and Gen Z are digital natives, they do not consume the same types of content. Here are a few generational traits that drive the way these different generations experience and interact in the world. THE ABOUT SHIFT IN PARENTING = INDEPENDENT TEENS HUNGRY FOR WORK, EXPECT DIVERSITY MORE MULTITASKING, SHRINKING ATTENTION • Shift from Helicopter Parenting to Tech Parenting • Helicopter parents keep Gen Y tethered to them • Tech parents teach Gen Z how to find information, and warn them about tech risks • Unlike Gen Y raised in a boom, Gen Z was born after 9/11 and has been raised in times of war and recession • Gen Z is hungry for work. 61% want to start their own business; highly respect paid YouTubers • Gen Z won’t remember a time before a black president, legalized gay marriage, female presidential candidates. • Gen Y has a 12-second attention span • Juggles 3 screens at once • Gen Z has an 8-second attention span • Juggles 5 screens at once @weisesarah #CMC18
  12. 12. 12 Specific & discerning curators. 01 IF GEN Y = OVERSHARING, GEN Z = PAINSTAKING CURATION Teens see their accounts as their personal brand, and curate different content on different accounts. 55% manage at least 2 Insta accounts! @weisesarah #CMC18 GEN Z IS CLEAR ON WHERE TO POST (AND LOOK FOR) CONTENT Gen Z is able to clearly articulate the distinction between when to use each social app, where to post (and look for) different types of content. DISCERNING ABOUT DEVICES & APP ORGANIZATION TOO! Oh the green bubble! 84% of teens have iPhones, and Android users are social pariahs in the this generation’s version of mean girls. App layout is equally important. Popular now: minimal apps on the home screen and dock; color coding; emojis to label folders; YouTube organization tutorials.
  13. 13. 13 Snap judgement, then deep dive. SHRINKING ATTENTION SPANS MAKE FOR DECISIVE, SNAP JUDGEMENTS. Attention spans have shrunk from 12 to 8 seconds between Gen Y and Z. Yet the moment a Gen Z-er decides they are interested in a story or a person, they dive deeply into it, searching for every shred of information they can find. INTERESTS QUICKLY TURN TO OBSESSIONS Gen Z looks in every social media outlet and app they can to find information on a specific interest or person. They are constantly looking for exclusive information. The harder it is to find, the greater the gratification. MINI-STALKERS WANT TO FIND EVERYTHING Both Gen Y and Gen Z want to know everything about the people they follow, whether niche musician or YouTube celebrity. They crave the behind-the-scenes story, and want to know authentic and personal insights into their lives. They expect photos, stories, trips, fashion—at all hours of the day. Instagram provides the slice- of-life they crave. But they use at least 2-3 other apps to find different types of info. 02 @weisesarah #CMC18
  14. 14. 14 How curated is your IG or FB? 
 Can people tell what you’re about in 8 seconds? YES! TWEET THIS. 
 @weisesarah #CMC18
  15. 15. 15 Once your brand is noticed, you must have enough content in enough different places to make the scavenger hunt real. @weisesarah #CMC18
  16. 16. 16 Inspiration comes in personalized feeds. SCROLLING IS INSPIRING In nearly any instance, Gen Y and Z expect deeply personalized recommendations. They spend hours scrolling through feeds, looking for something that catches the eye. While it may appear mindless, it is actually the primary way youth seek out inspiration. 03 @weisesarah #CMC18 BLURRING BETWEEN SOCIAL & KNOWLEDGE-FINDING Gen Y, Z relies on feeds to track anything. When asked to find news, most Gen Z go to a social app. Gen Y uses Google News to scan headlines. More attention is on local news (seems relevant/personalized). DEEPLY PERSONAL, ON THEIR TERMS Instagram’s personalization is not creepy. “Instagram knows you because you let it know you. It doesn’t follow you around like a stalker. IYou teach it what you like by following people.” -16 year old WHAT SHOULD I WANT? Millennial expert and Georgetown Marketing Professor and former Dean Luc Wathieu cites a shift in the question in customers’ minds from “What do I want?” to “What should I want?” 

  17. 17. 17 STEP ASIDE, HOLLYWOOD CELEBRITIES. GEN Z COULDN’T CARE LESS ABOUT YOUR DRAMA. Craving authenticity— the real life story. Unlike drama-seeking reality TV addicts, Gen Z wants to peer into the real, authentic lives of the people they follow. They don’t want the drama, or not knowing what’s real and what’s not. As a result, Gen Z follows more YouTubers and Instagram celebs who obsessively post because this seems authentic, real. They respect self-made and local celebrities because what they have is attainable. HOW BIG NAMES CAN MAKE THEMSELVES SEEM WITHIN REACH “[I follow] celebrities… if you wear cute clothes, if you do cool stuff, if you always are posting about things that I can relate to. I’m not gonna follow a celebrity who’s always in name brand stuff that I can’t afford or can’t get access to… I don’t really watch their pages much versus a celebrity [iike] Cardi B. She wears Fashion Nova. I know when I see something that she has on, I can go on and literally buy the same thing she has on.” 04 @weisesarah #CMC18
  18. 18. 18 Post even when it’s not great. 
 Show personality. Be real. Make sure your brand is within reach. @weisesarah #CMC18
  19. 19. 19 Go to where your customers are. They’re spending hours a day scrolling through feeds on Insta, Snapchat, YouTube. Go there. @weisesarah #CMC18
  20. 20. 20 Natural aggregators of information. “My screenshot gallery is ridiculous” 05 “I love, love, love collecting bookmarks” “I text myself links” “I’m a tab hoarder” “I paste text from different sites into the Notes app” Teens are processing more info than before, at an unprecedented rate. Collecting and organizing info has become second nature. “I use Pinterest collections for inspiration”
  21. 21. 21 Obsessed with time, schedules, time management. 06 STAY UP LATE Stay up later and get less sleep than past generations or the same age groups in other countries. NEED A LIFE RAFT TO KEEP TRACK OF EVERYTHING Due dates and events are all organized on different platforms. CONSTANT ALARMS The only thing that seems to work is alarms. Many of them. DELIGHT IN HACKS Hacks are more than shortcuts. They equate to cleverness, resourcefulness. Overscheduled? Overworked? Overwhelmed? Whatever the root cause, Gen Y and Gen Z think about time. A lot. They stay up late. They scheme. They spend lots of time looking for time-saving hacks. @weisesarah #CMC18
  22. 22. 22 Organize your content into collections (or allow co-creation of collections) 
 and feature hacks. @weisesarah #CMC18
  23. 23. 23 Money mindset: it just happens. GEN Z MAKES UP 40% OF US CONSUMERS AND IS SET TO BE THE MOST FINANCIALLY POWERFUL GENERATION IN COMING YEARS. 07 @weisesarah #CMC18 As teens, Gen Z accounts for $830B per year in the US, 7% of total consumer spending. Average weekly allowance is $16.90, equating to $44B in direct purchasing power annually. MONEY IS ELECTRONIC, INSTANT, AND EASY I order a ride and it shows up. I order Uber Eats and it shows up. Why would it be any different for money? WHAT IS CASH TO YOU? Cash is for “throw-away” stuff. DON’T TRUST APPLE PAY Fear accidental charges, losing phone.
  24. 24. 24 How your future consumer makes a purchase decision. 08 EXHAUSTIVE RESEARCH Big purchases are exhaustively researched, compared, and personal reviews read. COUPON CRAZE Coupons are irresistible. Multiple coupon apps on phones. Daily emails and app alerts. “I need to buy it now. I’ll be upset if I miss it.” SHARING PURCHASES Eagerly share potential purchases with friends via social media, but not actual purchases. Post- purchase it’s bragging. Burned by special taxes and fess in the past (travel, phone plans), Gen Y wants the “out-the-door” price. This generation loves all- inclusive travel destinations. SHIPPING COST!? Shipping costs are totally unacceptable and deal breakers. MIDWEEK IMPULSES More susceptible to impulse buying midweek when alone, because they don’t see their significant other very much due to work, commute, gym, etc.) EXPERIENCES > THINGS NOT TOO EASY They like to sign the receipt. Easy online purchases or Apple Pay seem too easy. Gen Y worries about making accidental purchases. @weisesarah #CMC18 Experiences are more valuable than things. They are necessary to recharge from everyday pressures. People work lots of small odd jobs to pay for them. WANT THE TRUE COST
  25. 25. 25 Goat says to add friction at checkout (just a little). Making it less easy makes Gen Y, Z feel better about making an informed purchase decision. @weisesarah #CMC18
  26. 26. Your future success depends on your future customers. Sarah Weise Principal, Brilliant Experience @weisesarah