Generation Z has become particularly important in target group marketing. But the next few years already belong to Generation Alpha. In this blog, we'll tell you more about the media use and consumer behavior of the next generation of strong buyers - including insider tips from a real expert.
On the occasion of the national Future Day in November, we dare to take a look into the future of marketing and get tips from a representative of Generation Alpha: Emilia Bühler, the daughter of Ferris Bühler. The 12-year-old tells us how her generation thinks, consumes, and learns - and how marketers can best reach them.
Growing up with smartphones and tablet
No generation is currently as "hyped" as Generation Z. But in the near future, everyone will be talking about another target group with high purchasing power: Generation Alpha. Gen Alpha includes all those born in 2010 and younger. So not only are they the first generation to grow up completely in the 21st century, they are also the first to be surrounded by smartphones all their lives. So they have technology in their blood, so to speak, and will be the most tech-savvy generation to date.
So it's no wonder that smartphones and tablets are no challenge for Emilia. On the contrary, the 12-year-old already owns her own iPhone SE, and even at school, the classic PCs and some textbooks have already been replaced by modern iPads. What some millennials had a hard time with during the Corona pandemic is no problem for Generation Alpha - homework has long been done on a tablet.
Leaving home without a cell phone is unthinkable for many of us these days. But certainly for Generation Alpha: Emilia always has her smartphone with her - whether at school, with friends or simply at home. But although Ferris' daughter came into contact with smartphones at an early age, her screen time is now limited to one hour a day.
The smartphone: always and everywhere with you
But what does she use this precious hour for? "To chat with my friends, for games, and of course for TikTok, Snapchat, and YouTube," Emilia reveals. Phone calls are hardly ever made anymore, voice messages are the order of the day - and of course Snap Days (the number of days of a Snapchat stream with a user). Classic newspapers and linear TV ("Mom's Netflix account is more exciting") are also something "for daddy". Emilia prefers to consume news via 20 Minuten on TikTok. Her feedback shows that videos and communication are merging even more strongly among Generation Alpha, and that moving image content and its mobile use will become increasingly important.
Empathy and interaction are "key
But what fascinates Emilia most about TikTok? "The funny videos, the exciting tutorials and the opportunity to chat with my role models," says the 12-year-old. The videos should be entertaining and funny, but also informative, qualitative and varied. And: interaction is the key. "Your" influencers interact with the community, show a glimpse behind the scenes, respond to requests and answer inquiries, which creates closeness - and that in turn creates trust. Influencers and TikTokers have long been role models from whom people are happy to take tips on particularly practical products.
Emilia has also bought one or two products from "her" influencers. Generation Alpha understands, however, that this is often paid advertising. But if the content requirements are met and trust in the influencer is built up, Emilia is not bothered. Because what is evident in news consumption can also be observed in the buying behavior of this generation: Research is now being done in social media and, above all, on TikTok.
Paying with Dad's credit card? Not so with Generation Alpha. Like Emilia, many of her peers own a debit card and thus learn to manage a (small) budget and make their own purchases at an early age. So it's not just the Millennial parents of these children who are exciting for marketers, but also Gen Alpha itself.
Helpful and sensitive
What Emilia wants from "her" role models on TikTok and Co. also applies to her entire generation. Like their "predecessor," Gen Z, Gen Alpha will be open, helpful and sensitive. They will allow themselves and others their idiosyncrasies, and the classic role models from older generations will certainly be a thing of the past. "Everyone should be allowed to be who they feel comfortable with and who they want to be," Emilia says firmly. Same-sex relationships have long been part of everyday life for the student, and she would like to see more acceptance in the future.
And if we haven't convinced you yet of the importance and versatility of Generation Alpha: The "screenagers" will grow into the largest generation ever in the next three years. An exciting target group that marketers should definitely not ignore.
If you're interested in the full conversation with Emilia and her dad Ferris, be sure to listen in on our Future Day Podcast Episode at StoryRadar. This is available in full length as a video on Youtube.