Generation Z is comprised of the 67 million people born between 1995 and 2010. It’s been reported that they contribute $44 billion to the U.S. economy and influence $600 billion in family spending. Though the oldest member of this generation is 23 years old, in just four years nearly half of all new parents will be generation Z.
BabyCenter, the world’s #1 pregnancy and parenting web and mobile destination, and Collage Group, a leading insights and strategy company, released findings from their study, “Futurecasting Families: Early Insights into Generation Z & the Future of Parenting.” The two organizations compared the ideals and values of generation Z moms to millennial moms, uncovering differences that didn’t necessarily fit with previously held assumptions. (Generation Z moms were defined as those born 1997-1999; millennial moms were defined as those born 1980-1996.)
2,300 total qualified participants were surveyed online to collect the data. Below are a few key points to help marketers and brands win with generation Z moms:
Success is very important to 32% of generation Z moms (vs. 20% of millennial moms).
Generation Z has witnessed how millennials faced economic prosperity, a collapse due to the Great Recession and ultimately economic hardship. Perhaps as a result, 32% of generation Z moms are placing way more stock on personal success and achievement. In other areas, generation Z moms are more like their millennial mom counterparts, to put less value on things like money, freedom, and friends because their kids are their priority.
Generation X has impacted their ideals and values: 42% of generation Z moms believe life is supposed to be hard.
Given the defining moments of generation Z (September 11 attacks, the Great Recession impacting their parents, the U.S student-loan debt crisis), this generation has been raised with a fight-it-out mentality and places a higher value on financial security and career.
Generation Z moms are focusing on teaching their children traditional principles, such as manners (47%), work ethic (45%) and chores (44%).
Furthermore, generation Z moms’ focus on success, career and working hard causes them to focus on traditional principles more than millennial moms. They’re undoubtedly the new traditionalists, valuing marriage and teaching responsibility. However, it should be emphasized that 1950s imagery and ideals (marriage solely advertised as being between a man and woman) doesn’t resonate with them.
Generation Z moms spend almost two more hours on their screens than millennial moms.
Generation Z are digital natives, consumers who have lived in a world with internet, smartphones and other ubiquitous digital technologies. Being a mother has only slowed their technology use down an hour; moms from this generation are still using their screens for leisurely purposes for a total of 5.9 hours.
Generation Z moms are driving toward perfectionism, and social media is the cause.
56% of generation Z moms cite feeling much more anxious than most people. They are also more likely than millennial moms to feel social media pressures them to lead an outwardly exciting life, spending more time editing posts and photos before publishing or deleting them if they don’t get enough likes. (Instagram is the favorite platform among generation Z moms for posting their curated content.) Unlike millennial moms, they don’t think it’s important to be the “perfect” mom. Moreover, though they have higher levels of anxiousness, 55% are happy when they wake up and are optimistic about their future.
Bottom line: although generation Z moms are pushing back on always being the “best,” they still feel pressure to present a curated version of their best selves.
Generation Z moms are still using Facebook, but not to post photos and videos.
Today, generation Z moms favor Facebook twice as much than their non-parent generation Z counterparts. When it comes to sharing funny posts, 56% of generation Z moms prefer to use Facebook. 48% use it to share good or bad news and 40% use it to express their point of view. This is an interesting data point, especially when coupled with the fact that nearly half of generation Z moms enjoy posting their opinions online and are more comfortable expressing themselves online than in real life.
Generation Z moms are still most receptive to brands and companies on Facebook, with 30% of them turning to it to discover a new brand, 26% using it to recommend products and brands and nearly half sharing coupons and deals. In short, if product and brand recommendations are what companies are after, Facebook is still the clear preference among both millennial and generation Z moms.
Generation Z moms understand the transactional nature of digital marketing and expect real-world benefits.
46% of generation Z moms prefer ads tailored to their specific life stage needs, even if that means brands or companies must collect their personal information. 48% share content with brands and 42% post using brand hashtags. (In comparison, just 33% of millennial moms share content with brands and 27% post using brand hashtags.) They’re also more likely than millennial moms (61%) to follow a brand or company on social media if they post meaningful, engaging content. While leveraging celebrity influencers is an attractive way to go, if generation Z moms don’t feel initially connected to a brand, they will see through that marketing approach.
Generation Z moms are more attuned to the “quid pro quo” of engaging with brands online. When companies make a meaningful effort, these moms are more likely to advocate for these brands within their social networks and engage. Having grown up in an era where digital screens are the norm, this is potentially because they are merely used to these types of ad experiences. Also, it is likely that generation Z has a better understanding of the value exchange between data for free content or services than their millennial mom counterparts. Generation Z moms know that interacting with brands can provide real benefits, like coupons and deals. Brands and companies just need to be aware that they expect something in return.
Abouth the Author
Christine Michel Carter – I write about how today’s parents balance work and life. By day, I am a writer and the creator of Mompreneur and Me, inclusive parent and child-friendly networking events. By night, I am a mom to two members of Generation Alpha. I have become a voice for moms (and uniquely, young black female professionals and mothers) and labeled a thought leader for marketing to millennial consumers. I have been featured in, and guest contributed to several global digital publications, including TIME, The New York Times, Harper’s BAZAAR, Health, Ebony, Women’s Health and many others. A specialist in project management and partnership marketing, I have formed strategic alliances for organizations with the following companies and brands: Starbucks, Under Armour, Amazon (Whole Foods), Popchips, KIND Snacks, IKEA, Red Bull GmbH, The Coca-Cola Company (Honest Tea) and Procter & Gamble (CoverGirl).christinemichelcarter.com