Now is the time to learn how members of Generation Z think and interacts with their online community. As stated in the 2014 Social Media Week article about Generation Z, "Gen Z is loosely defined as those born after 1995 and who are now 18 and under. It's a big group: 2 billion worldwide, and one-quarter of the North American population."
One-quarter of the North American population equals roughly 75 million Americans and the number continues to grow. The remainder of the 225 million Americans is split between the Greatest Generation, the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Gen Y. Proportionately, Generation Z is quite large. Author Don Tapscott describes Generation Z's technological behavior as, "The result could well be the most profound generation gap ever: a digital divide between parents who see the Internet as disrupting society as we know it ... and their kids, who are not only at home with the technology ... but are already driving many of the shifts happening in how we communicate, the way we access information and the culture we consume."
Where does that leave marketers? It is hard to get ahead and get in the head of consumers when information moves at the speed of sound. Marketers feel like they are constantly playing catch up with the ways technology allows consumers to interact with information. To create a benchmark of what they are catching up to, marketers often use Generation Y, not realizing the vastness of the technology gap between the generations, and thus setting goals that will leave them behind the curve.
In order to stop playing catch up, and begin to get ahead, it is important to master the tactical art of social media, designing online interactions that cross devices, cross-platform campaigns, and real time marketing. However, strategic planning of the campaign is necessary and unchanging. Marketers now need to use Gen Z as their new benchmark for marketing strategy.