With all the talk of Millennials seemingly killing and reviving industries every day in the news, you might not have noticed that Generation Z is entering adulthood. In fact, the oldest "kids" in Generation Z are now 23 years old! Like it or not, these are your upcoming market research respondents.
Businesses can no longer afford to solely focus on Baby Boomers and Millennials with a new generation of buying power around the corner. They currently already influence 93% of household spending.
I'm here to also tell you, they are not like the generations that came before them. The good news is Generation Z is not shy to tell you what they think. The bad news? You need to research them on their own terms.
In this post, I will outline some of the unique characteristics of the youngest generation and how you can adapt your market research to their preferences.
There are several implications to market research as Generation Z become the new adults and purchase decision-makers of the world.
They respect originality.
Just about every kid thinks his or her parents are "lame." This is really no different in the context of market research. Traditional research surveys and interviews are generally viewed as trite and robotic by Generation Z. In their own words, don't be "basic."
The takeaway here for market research is to make the experience visual and interactive for Gen Z participants. Ticking boxes on each page is not going to cut it. Add elements to the survey that make it stand out from every other survey they have seen.
Our market research firm is a fan of playful statements throughout a survey to lighten the mood. Phrases like "Let's get started!" or "You're doing great. Just a few more questions." help add a human element to the research.
Another great tactic is adding gamification to your surveys. More on that here!
They are conversational.
Generation Z is quite willing to share their opinions and feedback, but not necessarily in the way researchers would prefer. More so than Millennials, Gen Z want to speak more freely on their terms.
One way to accommodate this expectation is incorporating conversational questions in an online survey. Instead of displaying cookie-cutter questions to Gen Z respondents, see if there is a way to ask a follow-up question in a more personalized manner.
Some survey platforms feature text analysis capabilities that can detect key words and trigger logic for the next question. The benefit with this approach is better aligning the question flow with how Gen Z respondents like to offer their opinions. By having a more relevant back-and-forth flow, you can expect to receive better, qualified information from respondents.
Learn about sentiment analysis to see how open-ended text responses are calculated to be positive, neutral, or negative in a survey.
They want a social experience.
Social media is a major part of Gen Z's lives. The most popular platforms include Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter. Breaking this down a bit, 9 in 10 Generation Z individuals are online multiple times a day and 5 in 10 admit to using social media constantly.
With social media ingrained in the daily lives of those in Generation Z, uploading pictures and other types of media is simply how many of them like to interact. Fortunately, this translates rather well into surveys.
Many survey platforms, including the one our market research company uses, provide question templates in which the respondent provides an answer by sharing a photo, video, or audio recording. For many in Gen Z, it is more natural to capture a quick piece of media than it is to type out a thoughtful open-ended response in a box.
By incorporating media responses to a survey, researchers see a variety of opportunities for analysis, they would not normally receive from a text response. For example, an ideal match for these types of features is mobile ethnography, a methodology centered around a participant's experience in their own words. The creating of mobile ethnography almost seems as if it was specifically designed for Generation Z research participants.
They happily share their location.
Of those in Generation Z, 96% use mobile phones in major countries. Also worth noting from this same report, 1 in 5 mobile phone owners always leave on location tracking. This tells us passively sharing your whereabouts has largely become normalized in society.
As a market researcher, I see two main ways location can be utilized to push a survey to a respondent. First, GPS location can be used to target mobile devices that are within mere feet of specific coordinates. This is also known as a geofencing survey. Another similar application is a beacon connected to the internet that detects nearby mobile devices. In both of these scenarios, a survey may be sent to respondents on the spot.
What is there to gain from a location based-survey? For starters, you can achieve extremely accurate targeting for specific businesses or events. With Generation Z, you are also likely to see a better response rate because the survey is in-the-moment. A survey about a particular experience days or even months ago is not going to be relevant to these respondents.
Drive Research is a market research company located in Syracuse, NY. Our team of experts can successfully target and design a full study around Generation Z participants for your needs.
Interested in learning more about our market research services? Contact us below!