In a country seemingly obsessed with social and demographic categories, terms such as “Millennial”, “Gen X” and “Gen Z” are commonly used. But, what exactly do they mean? Furthermore, why is this important for your business and marketing efforts?

A Millennial is a person born between 1981 and 1996. They were not nursed in technology but came of age during the internet explosion. As technology rapidly changed, so did they. Generation Z comprises those born after 1996. They are a diverse group that is approaching or entering into full adulthood. Because they have always been around personal computing devices they have no qualms about making purchases online.

According to many sources, there are a number of factors that differentiates Gen Z from Millennials from the marketing perspective:

Social Media

Both generations spend considerable time using social media every day. It’s the platforms they use that are the biggest differentiators: Millennials favor Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Gen Z is more likely to use YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram.

Career Motivations

Career motivations are different between the two groups. Gen Z appears to value salary over other career compensations and perks. Millennials, on the other hand, place a higher value on job satisfaction.

Purchasing Tendencies

Both groups make online purchases but members of Gen Z are twice as likely to do so.

Other Factors

Several other factors consistently differentiate one group from the other:

• Gen Z attention spans are shorter than Millennial’s on average

• Gen Z makes more mobile purchases than Millennials

• Gen Z hates obvious marketing 

In summary, both generations have a lot in common, such as social media usage and their proneness for quick gratification, but the differences between the two are significant enough to warrant differing marketing styles. Among other things, Marketing to Gen Z requires short, snappy presentations and a heavy dose of video usage. Because of longer attention spans, millennials are more likely to respond favorably to long-form content on the social media they tend to use.