Jeremy Gray – The Geriatric Entrepreneur
IBGR. Network. The World of Business at Your Fingertips
Is retirement not for you? Me neither! I have always known that retirement did not hold any attraction for me. Those financial product advertisement promising early retirement never resonated.
As Elizabeth Queen of England, who is still active at the age of 95, says “If I stop, I will drop.”
In season 9 I will share with you my experiences running a consulting business that delivers the much targeted six figure income. I also invite you to join me, as I build my business plan to escape the tyranny of the clock which limits my earnings to the hours I work. Over the next five years I plan to build an income portfolio that will support my family into the future. Please join me as I plan that journey.
Episode 17. Marketing to Gen Z without the cringe
We are entering an era which sees a considerable shift of purchasing power from millennials to Generation Z. Millennial spending sits at just over $65 billion – whilst Generation Z is at almost $100 billion. The Bank of America estimates that Gen Z combined income will reach $33 trillion by 2030. So, if you are going to develop a successful business, millennials are not the only generation that you need to keep in mind.
Connecting with younger generations has always been a challenge for business, but connecting with Gen Z, which is roughly those born in the mid to late 1990s through the early 2010’s is a challenge of a different magnitude. Gen Z is in control over their own media, in a way which may be unfamiliar to older generations. They skip over advertisements which do not grab their attention. Unlike the days when you could not avoid advertisements on the TV or radio. You could make yourself a cup of tea or grab a beer, but that advert continued to play in the background.
Gen Z, sometimes called digital natives because of their knowledge of social media, create their own content on platforms such as Instagram and Tik Tok. Tik Tok is rapidly becoming the leading social media platform. According to Techcrunch.com. The app was the most downloaded app in the first quarter of 2022 with 175 million downloads. The platform had 3.5 billion views in the same quarter.
Instagram and Facebook were ranked number 2 and 3 respectively for downloads.
For older generations, employment was seen as the ideal route to stability. “Join a good company and stay with them for life” was the advice many baby boomers heard from their parents. But over the years companies broke this unwritten contract by sacking employees as and when needed. Euphemistically called downsizing.
Employment for life was replaced with the concept that job hopping was the path to success. Companies bemoaned a lack of loyalty in their employees, as people took more control of their individual careers. Today millennials and Gen Z may not look to employment as their life path. Entrepreneurship, encouraged by media coverage of those who have achieved great wealth by starting their own business, is often the number one choice for these younger folks.
This means there is a demographic with tremendous spending power, that is more likely than earlier generations to need the services of coaches and consultants to help them achieve their entrepreneurial ambitions. A demographic you should not ignore. A demographic that is more difficult to reach using traditional marketing methods.
How do you avoid the cringe factor when deciding how to capture Gen Z’s attention? The cringe factor has been in existence for thousands of years. It is the tendency of the younger generation to roll their eyes when the older generation tries to talk their language.
Gen Z is particularly sensitive to when it is being pandered to, authenticity and relevance are the key to avoiding the cringe.
During Season 8 the concept that success follows a genuine desire to provide information of value to your targeted customers before trying to sell them a product or service was discussed extensively. These ideas are well articulated in Dorie Clark’s book Entrepreneurial You and Sahil Lavingia’s The Minimalist Entrepreneur. This advice is particularly well suited when applied to millennials and Gen Z. For a link to these books Ctrl+Click here
Maybe you are already creating this type of content which only needs minor changes to make it resonate with Gen Z. To improve your chances of success you should reach out to members of Gen Z to learn more about their attitudes, desires, and expectations. This could be your children or grandchildren. Possibly you have employees in this age group you can consult. For this topic, age does not necessarily know best, do not ignore input from junior employees. To do this successfully you need to create an atmosphere where less senior employees feel free to disagree with older employees. This can be challenging in a culture where age is highly respected as in, say, Japan or Korea, in these types of societies extra effort will be needed.
Go social, post your content where Gen Z hangs out. Millennials and Gen Z are highly engaged on social media platforms, a digital marketing component many of us are lacking. Make sure that social media (Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Twitter) is part of your digital marketing strategy. Your content should be relevant and topical. Ensure it's something that younger generations engage with, and tie it into your overall marketing story. In addition to reaching out to younger folks as we just discussed, find a few hours to watch content on these platforms that is targeted at your younger potential customers. This can be very time consuming as consistency of posting content is the key to developing a following. Clearly the strategy of reusing material on multiple platforms makes sense.
Consider hiring a social media asset to make the postings for you. They can be found on freelance platforms such as Fiverr. Note it may take you a few tries to find someone who is reliable, but freeing up your time to produce better quality material is likely a solid investment.
Gen Z takes notice of what their favorite influencers tell them. Unlike past generations, major celebrities carry less weight with Gen Z. They are more likely to follow micro or nano influencers than macro influencers. This is good news as smaller targeted influencers are less expensive than macro influencers. These smaller influencers are often highly professional business people who know their audience well and produce content that attracts their audience. As they are experts if you choose to partner with an influencer let them guide you on the content to use.
If you are a baby boomer or Gen X you may be thinking that connecting with Gen Z is too challenging. Keep in mind that the fundamentals of business have not changed. An entrepreneur needs to develop a product, ensure potential customers know it exists and make it easy for them to buy it. You know how to do this already. It's just a case of packaging your knowledge in a way that connects with a younger generation.
Gen Z’s purchasing power makes them a demographic you should not ignore.
Even more than earlier generations they recognized when they are being marketed to. Provide valuable material before you try to sell anything to them.
Avoid the cringe by consulting with people who belong to this generation. This will help you connect with them in a way that is meaningful to them.
Look for micro or nano influencers you can work with to promote your brand. Let them guide you through the process.
Meet them where they are on social media. Consistency is key when posting on social media so either limit the number of platforms that you use or consider hiring someone to post for you.
Most of Generation Z is still fairly young but in the next decade this demographic will begin to dominate. So, no matter what your product or sector, the needs of Generation Z should already be on your radar screen.
Tags: Gen Z, Marketing to Gen Z, Connecting with Generation Z The successful entrepreneur, business common mistakes small business start-up; avoid these common mistakes of business, mistakes in business, IBGR.network, Jeremy Gray, Geriatric Entrepreneur
Episode 18 Start up hiring is different. Here is why you need a hiring plan.
Recruiting talent is no different than any other challenge a start-up faces. It’s all about selling.” – Vivek Wadhwa
Tags: How to start a business, Achieve start up success, Hiring, Organizational structure, employee costs, The successful entrepreneur, business common mistakes small business start-up; avoid these common mistakes of business, mistakes in business, IBGR.network, Jeremy Gray, The Geriatric Entrepreneur
Employee turnover costs you money. – Retention is the key
“We cannot stop employees leaving unless we have a plan for them to stay”.
Tags: How to start a business; Achieve start up success, Employee recruitment, Employee Retention, Training, Company Culture, Cost Management, The successful entrepreneur, business common mistakes small business start-up; avoid these common mistakes of business, mistakes in business, IBGR.network, Jeremy Gray, Geriatric Entrepreneur
“Cut smart, Cut with a plan, and Cut with help”
Jason Goldberg - Fab
Episode 20 – Your startup has hit the rocks – How to reduce staff cost while minimizing disruption.
Tags: How to start a business; Achieve start up success; How to assess your competition; The successful entrepreneur; business common mistakes; small business startup; avoid these common mistakes of business; mistakes in business; IBGR.network; Jeremy Gray; The geriatric entrepreneur
I am committed to helping entrepreneurs succeed. I can bring the experience of 30+ years of experience at the C-Suite level in an MNC from Europe, North America, and Asia. Combine this with eight years of helping a diverse range of businesses and I can provide you with practical solutions to any difficult problem may be facing.
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