52 Gen Z Stats Marketers Need to Know in 2021

Marketers, brace yourselves: Generation Z is taking over. Born between 1997-2012, Gen Z is the largest, most diverse, and most digitally-native cohort yet. And they‘re bringing tremendous change to the consumer landscape.

As Gen Z comes of age, you may be wondering: Do I need to completely upend my marketing strategy to reach this unique generation? Will my tried-and-true tactics still work? How can I create campaigns that resonate with these young, savvy consumers?

Never fear. While Gen Z does differ from previous generations in some critical ways, you don‘t need to start from scratch. By understanding Gen Z‘s behaviors, preferences, and expectations, you can evolve your marketing to form authentic connections with this influential audience.

To help you get inside the mind of Gen Z, we‘ve compiled a list of 52 stats that reveal what makes this generation tick. From their digital habits to their spending power, these insights will inform and inspire your Gen Z marketing strategy. Let‘s dive in.

Gen Z Demographics & Fast Facts

First, let‘s set the stage with some key Gen Z demographics and fast facts:

  • Gen Z (born 1997-2012) numbers 67 million in the U.S. and 2.5 billion worldwide (Bloomberg)
  • Gen Z surpassed Millennials as the largest generation in 2020, comprising 32% of the global population (Bloomberg)
  • Nearly half of Gen Z (48%) identifies as racially or ethnically diverse (Pew Research Center)
  • Gen Z has $360 billion in disposable income and influences over $1.7 trillion in household spending (Deloitte)
  • 90% of Gen Z live in emerging markets (Bloomberg)

Clearly, Gen Z‘s sheer size and spending power make them a force to be reckoned with. But it‘s their unique characteristics and preferences that will really shape the future of marketing. Which brings us to…

Gen Z‘s Digital Diet

If there‘s one thing that defines Gen Z, it‘s their digital-first lifestyle. Having never known a world without internet, Gen Z navigates the online realm with ease. Key stats on their digital habits:

  • 95% of Gen Z owns a smartphone and spends 4 hours and 15 minutes per day on mobile (Global Web Index)
  • 55% of Gen Z uses their smartphone 5 or more hours per day, compared to 47% of Millennials (Global Web Index)
  • Gen Z averages 9 hours per day online across devices, compared to 7.5 hours for Millennials (Adobe)
  • 73% of Gen Z uses multiple connected devices simultaneously (Institute of Business Management)
  • 65% of Gen Z prefers digital communication over in-person (Consumer Technology Association)

What does this mean for marketers? Creating a seamless, mobile-first digital experience is non-negotiable. Your website, content, and campaigns must be optimized for smartphones and delivered in snackable, attention-grabbing formats.

Interactivity is also key. 55% of Gen Z wants to choose their own adventure in the content they consume, so consider branching narratives, quizzes, and other participatory elements (Cognizant).

And don‘t forget about load times – 60% of Gen Z won‘t use a website or app that‘s too slow (Institute of Business Management). Every second counts with this impatient generation.

Social (Media) Butterflies

If Gen Z had to pick their one true love, it would be social media. These avid users don‘t just check social platforms occasionally – they practically live on them. A few key stats:

  • Gen Z spends an average of 3 hours per day on social media – almost an hour more than Millennials (World Economic Forum)
  • The top social platforms for Gen Z are TikTok (34%), Instagram (30%), and YouTube (25%) (Global Web Index)
  • 84% of Gen Z has made a purchase based on a social media influencer‘s recommendation (Morning Consult)
  • 56% of Gen Z says social media is the most relevant advertising channel for them (Snapchat)
  • 82% of Gen Z is willing to share their data to get more personalized recommendations on social (Salesforce)

The takeaway? Make social a cornerstone of your Gen Z marketing strategy. Go all-in on short-form video content tailored to each platform. Cultivate relationships with influencers and micro-influencers who align with your brand values. Create interactive social campaigns that invite participation and co-creation.

Authenticity and relatability are paramount. 82% of Gen Z prefers a raw, unpolished social presence over a perfectly curated aesthetic (WP Engine). So prioritize showcasing real people, sharing user-generated content, and communicating in a genuine, human way. The social content that performs best doesn‘t look like an ad.

Behaviors & Expectations

Next, let‘s explore some of Gen Z‘s defining behaviors and expectations. Growing up in turbulent times has shaped this cohort into pragmatic, value-conscious consumers with a strong social conscience.

  • 66% of Gen Z believes brands should take a stand on social issues (McKinsey)
  • 73% of Gen Z is willing to pay more for sustainable products (First Insight)
  • 65% of Gen Z sees value in loyalty programs and exclusive discounts (Institute of Business Management)
  • 53% of Gen Z expects brands to offer seamless omnichannel experiences across digital and physical touchpoints (Bazaarvoice)
  • 67% of Gen Z goes to extensive lengths to find the lowest price when shopping (Salesforce)

To win Gen Z‘s trust and loyalty, demonstrate your brand‘s commitment to purpose beyond profit. Take a clear stand on issues that matter to this socially-conscious generation, like diversity, equity, inclusion, and sustainability.

Offer value through personalized promotions, exclusive access, and rewards programs. Meet Gen Z where they are by creating integrated, omnichannel experiences that let them interact with your brand however they prefer.

And remember, this thrifty generation loves a deal. Offering competitive pricing, sales, and discounts can go a long way in attracting Gen Z shoppers. Make sure they can easily compare prices and find the best value.

Motivations & Aspirations

Finally, let‘s examine what drives Gen Z. Despite facing significant challenges, this generation remains ambitious, entrepreneurial, and determined to create a better future.

  • 67% of Gen Z says career and financial stability are their top concerns (Deloitte)
  • 46% of Gen Z is attracted to entrepreneurial pursuits rather than traditional careers (EY)
  • 62% of Gen Z would take a pay cut to work for a company whose values align with their own (Monster)
  • 34% of Gen Z wants to buy from minority- and women-owned businesses (Facebook)
  • 58% of Gen Z expects transparent communication from brands and leaders (Morning Consult)

Position your brand as an ally in Gen Z‘s goals and aspirations. Provide resources and tools to support their financial wellness and career development. Highlight entrepreneurial opportunities like affiliate programs, creator funds, and startup competitions.

Most importantly, live your values loudly and proudly. Gen Z wants to buy from and work for companies that share their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. They expect transparency and accountability from the brands they support. Walk your talk consistently to earn their trust.

The Future is Gen Z

So, do you need to completely transform your marketing strategy for Gen Z? Not necessarily. But you do need to adapt to stay relevant to this rising generation of consumers and tastemakers.

Here are a few key principles to follow:

  1. Optimize for mobile and social. Deliver fast, frictionless, thumb-friendly digital experiences across platforms. Embrace short-form video and interactive formats.

  2. Collaborate with creators. Partner with influencers and micro-influencers to reach Gen Z audiences authentically. Invite Gen Z to participate in your campaigns.

  3. Demonstrate your values. Take a stand on social issues, prioritize sustainability, and foster diversity and inclusion. Let your brand purpose shine through all you do.

  4. Offer value and convenience. Provide personalized promotions, loyalty perks, and seamless omnichannel experiences. Make it easy for Gen Z to find the best deals.

  5. Support their aspirations. Help Gen Z achieve their goals through financial education, career resources, and entrepreneurial opportunities. Cheer them on.

By weaving these strategies into your marketing, you can forge genuine, lasting connections with Gen Z. The brands that understand and cater to this ascending generation will be well-positioned to grow in 2021 and beyond.

Remember, Gen Z is just getting started. As their influence and spending power continues to surge, they‘ll reshape industries and redefine cultural trends. The smart marketer will hop on board now – and enjoy the ride to the future.