SHANGHAI: China’s Gen Z will represent 40% of the country’s consumers by 2020 – but marketing to them requires a savvy digital and social media strategy, according to a senior agency executive.

Celine Nikolakopoulou, Regional Business Director at Zenith Hong Kong, writing exclusively for WARC, describes this demographic as “culturally hungry, intensely China proud, and eager to strike a physical and emotional balance in their lives”.

At the same time, they are “also caught in the time-honoured struggles of teenagers everywhere: a budding independence, the emergence of individual identity combined with a thirst for peer acceptance, in the midst of rising expectations and pressured life-determining decisions,” she says.

(For more on how to connect with China’s Gen-Z consumers, click here: Marketing to Generation Z in China.)

Gen Z is more digital than any other generation in China: video sites cover 90.6% of consumers born after 1995; 70% of them indicate they like to purchase goods online through social media sites; and they use five screens vs. two for Gen Y, on average.

And they rely heavily on the possibilities of the digital world. “Gen Z in China usually have more virtual than real friends and use social networks as a way to connect to realities and experiences that would otherwise be not accessible to their ‘real me’,” Nikolakopoulou advises.

She portrays a generation that is champion of the “compression era”: more devices (they multitask with five devices), more media (they compress 11 hours of content into 7.5 hours of time), more visuals (they prefer image communication like emojis & memes over words), more dimensions (zoom, pinch, swipe is their normal) but also less attention (eight-second attention span, down from 12 seconds in 2000).

“Doing more is not a distraction with Gen Z and as such, short form, snackable video is thriving among them, explaining the meteoric rise of apps like Douyin and Kuaishou,” says Nikolakopoulou.

“ Short duration ads, skippable content is prized and instant gratification is the norm.”

Sourced from WARC