Marketing to Gen Z - How Your Brand Can Reach Them Through Games
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.”, this is the famous quote from Nelson Mandela which was said years ago but it is still proven true in today’s world, including in the context of marketing and advertising.
What I mean is that in order to reach our target market, we need to communicate to them in the way that they are comfortable and familiar with. The channel or medium used to carry such messages must also be the one that they trust and feel connected to.
Now that brands are trying to impress Generation Z or Gen Z (those that were born between 1997-2012) or sometimes being referred to as the next consumers. To be successful in capturing their attention, one must really understand their key traits. According to the research, Gen Z usually received their first mobile phone at the age of 10. Many of them grew up playing with their parents’ mobile phones or tablets. So, they have pretty much grown up in a hyper-connected world and smartphones have always been a big part of their lives. We can call them the true digital natives, who have never known a world without the internet.
It goes without saying that any brands and advertisers who wish their businesses to grow must care about this future generation of consumers as they represent a significant opportunity. They are the workforce of tomorrow and remain one of the fastest-growing consumer markets.
Over the past, the way that we were taught to connect with consumers may primarily be cinema, television, radio, billboard, or social media in recent years. I believe some of us may be able to take a break from our favorite TV series or leave the movies for a while. But for the younger folks, it is gaming season 365 days a year. Without a doubt, gaming is the favorite media and entertainment activity for Gen Z, therefore advertisers and brands should consider using games as the means to connect with their target consumers.
But this does not mean that Gen Z will like or have a positive feeling toward everything they see in the games they play, even if these games are their favorite. According to a survey research, more than 80% of Generation Z will skip ads as fast as they can if they are given the option to do so. And half of them are already using an ad blocker. The study also found out that Gen Z strongly dislikes intrusive ads and inauthentic brands. They are quite particular when it comes to choosing brands. The brands that they are looking to buy must be the one that they can be proud of.
Consequently, brands and advertisers should partner with in-game advertising platforms that can act as a bridge to connect with gamers in an expressive and engaging manner. By this, I mean those that know how to create meaningful connections through in-game ads. Creative content and interactive ads would be considered catchy among Gen Z consumers. Brands should try to create a natural integrated in-game experience that does not make them feel as if they are being advertised or interrupted.
Sooner than everyone would have realized, Gen Z will be the next generation to make its mark on the consumer journey. Understanding how this new audience thinks and values will give brands a head start to connect with them in the right manner – particularly as it is already quite clear that this generation will be much more distinct from what we have known before. Gaming may be one of the languages that we can use to communicate through the heart of the Gen Z audience.
Generation Z will become the next wave of consumers, shaping the future of shopping. And gaming is one of the solution platforms brands are looking for.
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HotPlay joined Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2021, one of the biggest game development events of the year, and brought in-game advertising solution talk.