Gen Z & Technology: The new power couple

Generation Z (Gen z) has been noted to be a powerful consumer group for technology consumption over the past decade. Not only a powerful consumer group, but they are also the future workforce. Gen Z are the people born between 1995 and 2010 and as per expert reports they are set to become the largest group of consumers and future employees by 2030. In 2020 Gen Z already accounted for 40% of the global consumers (as per a study by the Center for Generational Kinetics).

When it comes to use of digital technology, Gen z are digitally fluent which allows them to communicate on important social, economic and political issues such as the environment, diversity and inclusion. Majority of them also strongly believe that you can be part of a social movement even if only participating through social media. Understanding their use of technology also shares with us their view on the world. They believe in using the internet, technology and social media in particular as a force for good causes.

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Whether it is climate activists like Greta Thunberg or Disha Ravi, founder of Fridays of Future India, there are many like them who are making the best use of technology to spread the word on social causes. Anna Taylor, co-founder of UK Student Climate Network said: ‘Social media has been an absolutely crucial tool for Gen Z, which has enabled us to organize mass movements on a much greater scale and at a faster pace than ever before’.

A fine example of this power couple can be seen on the global scale of the school strike for climate movement and Black Lives Matter movement, ‘all of which spread so wide and quick’ – even in the midst of a pandemic – stand as a testament to the power they hold collectively.

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This generation believes that with the wide market of social media application they have learnt a lot more about openness, inclusivity and about their own generation with respect to receptivity to the information that is shared. Social media is viewed as a valuable source of information and has been key for this generation in building a greater sense of unity and shared values.

Gen Z’s attachment with technology and internet
Known to be true digital natives, Gen Z are the one’s born into the internet boom, social media and a smartphone world that connects them globally with almost anyone. Generation Z growing up with technology is a strong reason for their strong attachment. From early on in their childhood to their teenage and now young adulthood days, they have known the world to be a globally connected one with smartphones, laptops, internet connectivity and social media applications – they thrive in this environment and are also dependent on this. One of the core reasons online communities thrive is due to Gen Z’s constant engagement. It’s their second nature to absorb information from digital platforms at a fast pace and also to let go of connections that cause them distress.

Many reports in different parts of the world have found how Gen Z  (over 70%) accesses the internet for entertainment purposes as well – this includes videos, apps, messages, boards and more. This attachment also extends to communication and interpersonal fulfillment. This generation has surely taught the following to the world:

– Social media applications: Do not be afraid to put your voice forward. This means using social media applications like TikTok, Instagram, Hike and many others. This generation is willing to give almost everything a try that seems to make their life easier and more connected.

– Voice SEO – experts have acknowledged that Gen Z is more inclined to make use of voice search than any other generation. This makes voice SEO our near future and more advancement to follow in the category, especially making it more agile and vernacular.

– Engagement tools: This generation has made sure that a brand isn;t simply marketing their product to you, their constant digital addiction has made brands to interact and engage with audience, especially Gen Z via influencers and various engagement tools ( quizzes, puzzles, Q&A’s, Live sessions, subscriptions and more).

– Emerging Tech: From AI, VR to blockchain – almost every new emerging technology is now employed in making sure there is higher outreach, brand penetration, lead generation, customer acquisition and retention, immersive experience for engaging their audiences and new offerings like NFT’s and building a whole new digital world, Metaverse. All of these advancements are widely accepted by this generation who will soon be the leading employees in companies worldwide and also the largest consumer group.

At times, one can easily say social media applications are rather the Generation Z technology or the Gen Z technology considering how impactful it is for this generation and they have successfully utilized it for gathering, spreading and sharing information. 

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Gen Z as consumers
Generation Z is known for their outward participation in social media activism and climate strikes, and it did not take them long to translate and channel this energy and passion into consumer activism. This generation’s awareness towards the many social and environmental issues has also translated into a sense of burden or responsibility on their shoulders and are keen to make a difference.

How does this matter to businesses – digital or otherwise?
As a business owner or a start-up in the digital space (or otherwise), Gen Z has to be one of your core market segments and priorities when building your business strategies, products and marketing campaigns. They are the young guns who will call you out if you fail to commit to issues that are crucial for Gen Z. These issues include Sustainability, diversity, equality and other social and environmental issues. Brands and companies who are committed to these issues will be able to stay in business longer and be more spoken about via Gen Z. 

This is the generation that will soon take on the Millennials mantle of being the youngest in office and will have the purchasing power to spend on brands that are more aligned to values closer to that of their own.

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The gen Z work force
Millennials set the trend of flexibility and collaboration in the workspace, and this is about to be accelerated by the Gen Z entering the workforce. This is the workforce that will come in with no experience but a lot more information in hand and would be able to make more clear and decisive steps to tackle climate change challenges – what brands will also want this generation to focus and build on. 

Innovation is the key word here. Tasks that have been done for eons now will require this generation to step in and disrupt, making everyday tasks get more flexible in nature.

Technology perspective: This generation will come in equipped with knowledge of tech, businesses will need to use techniques, platforms and software that make sense to this generation.

Marketing content: Our world is already changed with short videos and reels across all digital platforms, and experts have already quoted how videos are going to play a more vital role in our near future. Content produced in the work space for internal and external communication will see a wide change from simple written text to video based content that is further supported by simple text content.

Other vital technology changes in workspace will include more content generated with users and curated with influencers. There will also be more data privacy conversations that will lead the future of digital innovations and user interactions. All this echoes the increasing overlap of personal and professional interactions with software, data and technology that will need to be addressed.

What can we expect?
Here is what we can expect to be part of day to day lives from this power couple as they take over the world, some of which has already began:
– Employment flexibility on the rise, remote working.
– Increase in contract engagement model and freelancing 

– Ethical consumption and adaptation towards more easy to use technology via social media applications
– AI to take over automation of basic tasks and interactions between brands and users
-Video based and user generated/ curated content, more vernacular in nature with diversity and inclusivity
– Immersive engagement tools for niche audiences
– Green tech and rise of sustainability as a key strategic business strategy

Like every new generation, they are about to push new and exciting times ahead however this push will come in much harder given this generation has a technology momentum backing them.

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