Gen Z on marketing to Gen Z

And how their generation differs from the millennials.

L-R: Moderator Alexis Glick, Michael Pankowski, Andrew Carlton, Susan Oguche
L-R: Moderator Alexis Glick, Michael Pankowski, Andrew Carlton, Susan Oguche

Generation Z doesn’t get talked about enough or talked to enough by brands, according to Harvard University student Michael Pankowski.

Speaking on a panel at PRDecoded, Pankowski, who owns Generation Z marketing consulting firm Crimson Connection, said Gen Zers need to be a bigger part of the conversation.

"Gen Z is about to be the biggest generation," he said. "We have $40 billion of spending power." 

Employers should take note: Generation Zers won’t be bought, and that’s even if they want to work for anyone at all.  

"Gen Z doesn’t want to work for you: 41% of us want to be entrepreneurs," said Pankowski.

So how do you make them work for you? A company’s social purpose affects whether 93% of Gen Zers take a job. Pankowski added that 74% of the cohort say purpose is more important than a paycheck when it comes to an employer.  

"[Older generations] like your money; we are all about purpose," he said. "It’s harder to make us work for you, and give our jobs an entrepreneurial spin if we aren’t going to be entrepreneurs completely." 

On the same panel, Andrew Carlton, a senior at Kewaskum High School in Wisconsin, noted several characteristics of Gen Zers. Most importantly, they want the truth from brands. "We want you to be straight up with us," he said. "If you’re not communicating with us, we will find a way to get that information."

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