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AdColony and GWI survey reveals Gen Z trends

Brands are looking to better understand Gen Z and its $100bn spending power as consumer habits start to take shape.

In recent research conducted in partnership with Global Web Index, AdColony highlights the most important differentiators and insights about who Gen Z is, what drives and interests them, what they are doing in mobile environments, how strong their purchasing power is across different verticals, their behaviour in mobile games compared to other generations, and how advertisers can reach them in the best possible way.

For many years, millennials were in the spotlight for brands and marketers. But as the next demographic block comes of age and their buying power increases in the workforce, Gen Z will be the main target for brands as their purchasing power increases and is expected to overtake millennials this year accounting for 32% of the global population. Whereas in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region the Gen Z penetration is 16% of the overall population and more than 72.5 million. When the countries in the EMEA, region are compared; Russia has the highest Gen Z population with 16.2%. Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and UAE follow with 15.8%, 12.2%. 2.6% and 0.8%. The country with the lowest percentage is Denmark with 0.5%.

Born between 1997 and 2012, Gen Z consists of the true digital natives who have never experienced a moment without the internet and digital technology. For this reason, digital channels are critical to effectively communicating and reaching Gen Z. Mobile games and interactive videos come to the fore here, because for Gen Z, having fun, being able to socialize, and using technology at the same time is very important.

According to the Global Trends Among Gen Z report by Global Web Index, we know that smartphones are a must for Gen Z. This generation spends an average of 4 hours and 15 minutes every day on mobile, and this is a very high figure compared to other generations.

Gen Z, who spends the most time on smartphones, has some of the most important purchasing power in mobile. Therefore, while communicating with Gen Z, brands and marketers should plan their strategies according to this generation’s behaviour, preferences, and habits in mobile environments.

The GWI and Ad Colony report features seven sections for advertisers and marketers to keep in mind while building marketing and communication strategies for Gen Z and leveraging mobile advertising to engage their target audience.

As one might expect for a younger audience, 63% of Gen Z lives with their parents, where 52% of the whole generation are students. The need for acceptance and belonging to a community are key characteristics of Gen Z. Around 2 in 5 say they are easily influenced by other people’s opinions — 17% more likely than the global average. Additionally, 73% say it’s important to feel respected by their peers.

Around 64% of Gen Z say they are constantly connected online and 57% feel more insecure without their mobile phone than their wallet. As 97% of Gen Z owns a smartphone, unlike earlier generations e-commerce has a huge impact on purchasing power. Gen Z’s were spending an extra 1 hour and 13 minutes on their mobile devices per day in 2018 compared to 2015. And since 2016, mobile devices have surpassed PC and laptops in terms of daily time spent.

81% of Gen Z members say that brands should provide funny and light-hearted videos and content to entertain people. This approval rate goes down as respondents get older: 78% for millennials, 73% for Gen X, and 62% for Baby Boomers.

Mobile games have since filled the need for socializing and providing fun moments to spend with friends. From a gaming perspective, 45% of millennials consider themselves as gamers, while this ratio increases to 54% for Gen Z.