Cutting Through the Noise: Advertising to Generation Z and Millennials

Interested in advertising to Gen Z & Millennials?  According to Neilsen, roughly 92% of consumers worldwide trust word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family above advertising.

That doesn’t even account for the acceleration of this trend among the members of Millennials and Generation Z, who in addition to representing the largest living generation in America make up 38% of cannabis consumers in cannabis-legal states. And for all too many of them, traditional advertising like billboards, radio, and television spots that beckon to us every day is just so much noise.

In other words, these are consumers you simply can’t afford to ignore.

So, how do you work within this reality? Let’s explore a few tactics and strategies that might help you reach these unusually skeptical groups.

Advertising to Generation Z & Millennials: Social Media as the New Arena

It’s a well-worn trope that young people are addicted to social media, turning to the allure of the small screen over real-world interactions. This is an all-too-simple categorization, and it ignores a central truth: Millennials and Gen Z-ers turn to social media because it offers an authentic and personal connection to other individuals and organizations, even when those organizations are actively soliciting their business.

What this means for you as a retailer is that when it comes to engaging with these groups, sidestepping traditional top-down advertising in favor of partnerships with influencers and similar authorities offers a unique opportunity, particularly when it comes to cannabis.

We’ve written a great deal on influencer marketing before, and it’s a strategy that’s only going to gain in importance. How important are influencers? Among members of Generation Z—those born between 1997 and 2015, give or take—nearly half have made a purchase based on recommendations from a social influencer. (Though for our purposes, we only care about those Gen Zers that are of age in your state or province!)

Advertising to Generation Z & Millennials: The Power of Influencers

Careful study of consumer trends and patterns among Gen Z-ers and Millennials reveals a trove of useful insights. According to a recent study, these populations identified music, fashion, influencers, and gaming as their primary interests. Already, that suggests four fairly robust sectors for you to focus your outreach efforts on when it comes to forging partnerships with influencers.

What’s more, the study validates the working theory that the most recognized figures in these sectors aren’t necessarily the most influential. As identified by the aforementioned study, in gaming—self-identified as a crucial pursuit for 91% of Gen-Z males and 84% of Millennials—up-and-comer Jordan Daley bested the far better-known Ninja in terms of ROI in influencer partnerships.

The same holds true in music, which account for 38% of total interests for Millennials and Gen Z-ers when all genres are combined. But when it comes to cannabis consumers, Hip Hop and R&B pencil out to be a whopping 2300% more important than to the average internet user. Once again, influencer partnerships with lesser-known artists such as Na-Kel Allah Smith and Fendi P were found to deliver greater ROI and impact than with bona fide stars such as Kanye West and Snoop Dogg.

Of course, Millennials and Gen Z-ers aren’t the entirety of the cannabis market. And as we’ve written before, you can’t market to a single demographic and expect to thrive. But more than simply turning the same tools towards a new demographic and hoping they’ll deliver the same results, marketing to these hugely important demographics is about learning to adapt in a rapidly changing environment. And harnessing the power of social and influencer marketing is just one of the cutting-edge approaches we leverage to deliver outsize results to our clients.

Do you want to know more about effective, up-to-the-minute marketing approaches? Just reach out. We’re always happy to talk.