Gen Zs

“Ok boomer”. When you hear this phrase, it just screams ‘generational gap!’ Alas, we’re welcoming a new group of consumers to the playing field – the Gen Zs. They already account for 40% of global consumers and have a spending power of over $360 billion globally.  

With their own quirks and peculiarities, this ‘TikTok generation’ can’t be more different from their Millennial, Gen X, and Baby Boomer predecessors. And marketers are scrambling to decode their behaviour and decipher their lingo in a bid to get them on their side.

Who are Gen Zs? 

woman holding her hair

Born: between 1996 to 2012 

Nicknames: iGeneration, Zoomers, Net Gen 


  • We’re the most racially diverse and educated generation to date.  
  • We’re digital natives who’ve never known a world without the internet, and we spend most of their time glued to our phones. 
  • We’ve grown up with ads and commercials – ad fatigue is real  
  • We brand-conscious and prefer sustainable, socially ethical brands 
  • We have beliefs, values, opinions and we’re not afraid to express them 

So, how do you appeal to Gen Zs? Here are 8 quick tips to add to your marketing strategy.

1. Show That You Get Us

73% of Gen Zs believe they need self-expression to live a happy, healthy life. For us, self-expression extends beyond the physical realm – it’s not just about wearing what I want to wear or playing music that I like. As digital natives, we want to share our experiences online with friends. Personalisation with products and services is then especially important when marketing to our generation – it feeds the need for individualism and expression of our personal values and preferences. Don’t just slap some generic ad for your generic product on our feeds, put in some effort. 

Spotify's Wrapped 2021 arrives with artist video messages, Blend and even a  game | TechCrunch

That’s why Spotify’s annual Wrapped campaigns are the bomb. Boasting over 60 million shares across socials in its 2020 iteration, these campaigns provide personalised insights on each user’s listening habits and allows them to share a summary of this on various social platforms. It’s a win-win situation here. Spotify gets huge publicity and engagement, and I get to share my music tastes with my friends and also see what they’ve been listening to. 

2. Influencers are the New Celebrities

woman in green long sleeved shirt holding iphone 6

Influencer culture is on the rise. They say Gen Z is almost twice as likely as millennials to make purchase decisions under the recommendation of influencers. 

Like sure, I see Emma Chamberlain endorsing Levi’s and BTS appearing in GoJek commercials. But, I’m much more likely to gloss over these fancy ads in favour of local, micro influencers. These are the individuals who are more likely to give honest opinions and genuinely care about the products they’re endorsing. It could just be in a simple Instastory or TikTok live. After all, it’s about the authenticity and trust when working with influencers. 

3. Hit Us Up with Snackable Content

The attention span of the average Gen Z is 8 seconds. That’s a whole 4 seconds shorter than the average millennial’s attention span of 12 seconds. Can you really blame us though? We grew up in a highly stimulated environment, with iPads and Social Media apps as companions. 

Thus, began the advent of short-form content to appeal to our (unfortunate) limited ability to focus. Think Snapchat stories, TikTok videos, Insta Reels, YouTube Shorts, memes and even GIFs. We’re so used to jumping from a video of someone’s cover of the latest Blackpink song to a video of a sleeping cat in just one tap or finger scroll. It’s a tough fight for our attention since, I’ll admit, we’re spoiled for content. 

That’s why brands like Netflix are bringing their best meme game to the table, churning out relatable funny memes that capture our attention while also promoting their ongoing shows in just one square image. 

Gen Z Netflix

If it ain’t enticing within the first few seconds of viewing or if it’s too text-heavy we’re most likely going to scroll past your content or switch to another platform without much second thought. So, remember to keep things succinct.

4. Social Shopping

We like shopping, just not at physical stores. I mean, why bother when I can simply lie in bed and click ‘add to cart’ without needing to go outside? It’s a real time-saver. Social commerce is anticipated to hit  $1.2 trillion with a growth rate three times that of e-commerce.  We see the rise of social shopping in our generation especially since we already spend so much time on socials. The hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt already has over 30 billion hits from users recommending products that sometimes go viral on TikTok, like mini washing machines. 


ITS A MINI WASHING MACHINE HOW CUTE😩 #makeup #tiktokmademebuyit #fypシ #beautytok

♬ original sound – Trulee

Apps such as TikTok and Instagram are evolving to make shopping experiences more integrated and seamless within their apps. Hence, if your brand wants to seize a slice of the Gen Z market, make sure you adopt a mobile-first approach, since we usually use social media on our phones. Also, don’t forget to integrate your products naturally on the platform, whether it be showing off your fashion line using the latest dance trend or trending audio. Don’t just dump a bunch of product photos on your Insta grid and tag the items. The last thing we want is our Insta feed looking like Shopee or Lazada. 

5. Game it Up!

Around 87% of Gen Zs are active gamers. It’s undeniable that interactivity plays a huge part in reaching out to our generation. Including gamified elements in your marketing strategy can be a novel experience for Gen Zs and can often result in higher engagement. That’s how Shopee Games and Google Pay’s CNY Huat Pals thrived. They banked on simple game mechanisms to cultivate loyal consumers. With point-earning systems and referral marketing tactics overshadowed by the joy of chasing collectibles, these games provide a sense of positive reinforcement and sometimes even a sense of community. 

Shopee Candy - YouTubeHuat Pals Ultimate Guide: How to Get BaoBao! - Sethisfy

Some brands are also stepping into the Web3 realm of Metaverses to appeal to this generation of gamers. Well, if I’m gonna be spending on your products or using your services I might as well have fun while I’m at it. Makes for a more memorable experience.  

6. Appeal to Our Entrepreneurial Spirit

Gen Z is sometimes referred to as the Side Hustle Generation. We’ve all heard of the narrative that youngsters nowadays are less-driven, ‘allergic’ to hard work. However, Gen Z are still career-minded individuals. Just that, rather than climbing the corporate ladder, we’re more likely to care about gaining new skills and experiences. Some of us find fulfilment in our passion projects selling home-made earrings or keyboard caps outside of our regular 9-5s. 

For our generation, we want to leave our legacy and work on something that gives us a sense of purpose.  This was likely the impetus behind Heineken’s Tiger beer and their contest to award 25 young hawkers a grant of $10,000 to start-up their own stall in Singapore. They sought to provide support for the next gen of hawkers who were motivated to ‘innovate and modernise traditional methods of cooking’. 

We Gen Zs are attracted to aspirational and future-oriented brands who want to support us in attaining our goals and dreams. 

7. We Want a Better World

group of people raising cardboard box with text near building

In this era, remaining neutral on social and environmental issues is no longer an option. It’s time to amplify your brand’s values and show that you’re with us in striving to make our Earth a more sustainable, fair, and safe space for all to inhabit.  

We grew up in a time where activism was on the rise and we have causes we care about, be it gender equality, diversified representation, sustainable sourcing etc. And we genuinely mean it. For instance, 3 out of 4 Gen Zs would prioritise sustainability over brand name when making purchases. We’re actively commending and condemning with our dollars. 

We stan brands like Pantagonia who are taking tangible steps to reduce its impact on the environment. With their ‘Don’t Buy This Jacket’ campaign, with discourages excessive consumerism, to their Repair and Reuse program, they’re looking to make a difference. If you haven’t already, consider making a roadmap and outline some actionable steps that your brand can take to become more sustainable and ethically-conscious. And don’t forget to communicate this clearly and consistently. 

8. And We Want Transparency and Commitment

Oh and don’t even think about faking it, we want to see the receipts. This generation isn’t afraid to call out BS with greenwashing and social washing. Just like the hoo-hah regarding H&M’s Conscious Collection, where they claimed the clothes were made with sustainable materials when in fact, they were found to contain more damaging materials than their main line of clothes. This saw an outrage from netizens who took to socials to call out the fashion brand and express their dissent. An investigation by Quartz also showed that H&M’s environmental scorecards for products were ‘misleading’. Shame shame shame. 

Why You're Not Going to See 'Conscious Choice' on H&M's Website Anymore –  Sourcing Journal

Don’t claim to be what you’re not. All we ask for is simply transparency and accountability. We understand that #ESG and #DEI take effort and are a work in progress, and even communicating honestly about your production, distribution process, or hiring policies is greatly appreciated. We just want to see some movement in the progress bar over time. 

All in all

As you can see, Gen Zs are a whole different ball game from their predecessors. You need to move away from traditional marketing methods and embrace the new. With this group’s spending power, influence, and size growing day by day, it’s best to start incorporating these strategies and building relationships with this generation.

Web3 technology

When Elon Musk tweeted about Web3 being just another ‘marketing buzzword’, what exactly did he mean?


Elon Musk Tweet


First of all, we need to understand what Web3 is…

Web3 is essentially a decentralized and more democratic version of our current internet. It represents the next evolutionary phase of the web where we’re witnessing a shift in power from large corporations like Meta and Amazon to individual users like you and I. If this’s your first time hearing the term ‘Web3’, your next question might be – was there a Web1 and Web2? Well, yes.

Web1 (1990 – 2005) The ‘read-only’ web

The first stage of the world wide web was Web1, which was characterized by static websites. Think of this as the ‘read-only era’ where users could only peruse websites without being able to interact with them. It’s like visiting a Wikipedia-esque page with information that you can read, except you can’t add any comments or make changes. Users then were more akin to passive viewers clicking through existing online records.

Web2 (2005 – Present) The ‘read and write’ web

Then came Web2 which pushed users to play an active role in consuming and contributing information. This generation of what some call the ‘participatory’ web saw the reign of social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, where networking and user-generated content came into focus. Web2 is the present version of the web – It has a high level of information sharing and interconnectedness among users.

Web3 (2020 – ??) The ‘read, write and own’ web

In recent years, there’s been more and more talks about Web3. The term was coined by Ethereum co-founder, Gavin Wood, shortly after the launch of Ethereum in 2014. At its core, Web3 is about bringing more power to the user instead of the platforms and publishers. It’s characterized by increased privacy, decentralization, and equality.

Imagine a Web3 version of YouTube – let’s call it ‘OurTube’. Then, imagine if you could support your favourite content creators like Mr Beast by buying crypto tokens to subscribe directly to him instead of via the platform. YouTube wouldn’t be able to sell Mr Beast’s subscriber data to third parties or make sudden cuts to his advertising revenue. Mr Beast owns his nearly 100M subscriber list and if he chooses to quit the platform he takes his subscribers with him.

Such Web3 platforms would run on blockchain technologies where multiple computers keep track of all activity, instead of just one. This empower creators to have control over their own YouTube videos, Instagram posts, their followers etc. – their own data.

So how does Web3 affect marketers?

In essence, Web 3.0 offers better control over data privacy and delivers a more personalized user experience. As marketers, we’ll need to ensure that we’re able to keep up with increased demands by users for security and control over their data.

The Rise of dApps

With blockchain technology, we’ll have the ability to create decentralized systems; there would no longer be a single data center controlling users’ data. We’d be free from the control of a single, centralized authority. With data on Web3 saved on multiple servers, this reduces censorship, vulnerability to data theft, and allows for flexible development.

This paves the way for the rise of Decentralized Applications (dApps), like our imaginary ‘OurTube’. These are applications that run on blockchain technology and allow app users to participate as both content consumers and seeders.


Non-Fungible Token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea is an example of an existing popular dApp. Blockchain technology ensures the security and transparency of transactions,  allowing users to buy and sell unique digital assets with cryptocurrency. In time to come, who knows? Perhaps we’ll start to see more brands developing their own dApps as community-building tools.

Adding NFTs to your Marketing Strategy

Speaking of NFTs – these are digital collectibles that can be bought and sold with cryptocurrency which is a key feature of Web3 technology. The applications for NFTs are plenty. Marketers have used these to promote their product or event, ranging from digital artworks to in-game avatar outfits. 

It’s no surprise that big brands are already jumping on board the NFT bandwagon. McDonald’s recently created McRib NFTs to celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2021, and Coca-cola developed 4 branded NFTs for their international friendship day charity auction.

Warner Music has even employed NFTs as digital mementos that can be collected exclusively by fans who attend certain music events. For example, rapper Kevin Gates made NFTs available to those who attended his concert. NFTs are being used as proofs of attendance to signify that you were part of an experience.

POAP Rapper Kevin
Be prepared for more brands to employ NFTs as part of their strategy to build communities, extend consumer touchpoints and improve brand perception.

Immerse Yourself in the Metaverse

Another big contributor to the Web3 vision is Metaverse technology. It’s a network of virtual worlds where people can socialize, work, play, and shop etc. Moreover, it can also be a great place to host your next brand or PR event. Think – international media events with guests from Philippines and the UK tuning in at the same time and interacting with each other via their avatars in the Metaverse.

More than just incorporating AR or VR, a Metaverse is a highly immersive space that holds great potential to for brands to establish greater connection and build memorable branded experiences for customers. Just take a look at Wendy’s ‘Sunrise City’ and Sentosa’s ‘Sentosa Crossing’.

Is it too good to be true?

The idea of a democratized internet might sound like an idealist’s dangerously optimistic vision of an internet utopia. As with everything, there are pitfalls – lack of censorship, cryptojacking risks and NFT skepticism. However, we still can’t deny the resources that brands have been dedicating to their NFT and metaverse endeavours.

So was Elon Musk right in deeming Web3 a mere ‘marketing buzzword’? Well that’s up to you to decide. But if I were you, I’d start saving those Web3 articles to my reading list tab because with ever-evolving technologies, today’s marketing buzzword might be tomorrow’s leading marketing strategy.

‘80% of brands who used these 3 tips experienced increased sales.’

Did that statement convince you to read on? Well, if it did, it’s probably because it made use of statistics to capture your attention. This is testament to the persuasive power of data and facts.

Data is powerful, and when combined with storytelling it can strengthen your campaign narrative, connect you with your audience, and shape their overall perception of your brand. As Stanford University Professor of Marketing Jennifer Aaker once said, “When data and stories are used together, they resonate with audiences on both an intellectual and emotional level.”

The Hospitality Industry

The Hospitality Industry

Brand storytelling is crucial when it comes to marketing hotels – crafting stories helps people understand that hotels are more than just a building with rooms and amenities. It helps you differentiate between The Plaza Hotel and Marina Bay Sands. But with COVID-19 disrupting the hospitality industry, guests’ behaviours and expectations have changed drastically in today’s post-pandemic world.

As such, data is now more crucial than ever in aiding the recovery process for this sector. With reduced activity, now is the best time to pause and reflect, listen to data insights, and make smart data-backed decisions.

Here’s how you can leverage data to build a killer campaign in 3 steps:

Data Helps you Identify and Understand Your Audience

1.  Data Helps you Identify and Understand Your Audience

Are you a luxury hotel aiming to reach out to affluent guests? Or are you a heritage hotel with an interesting origin story? When you craft your brand narrative, you need to think about who your target audience is, what they think of you, and how your stories will impact them.

Make use of data to understand the demographics and psychographics of who you should be targeting. How to obtain such data, you ask? For one, hotels are increasingly making use of artificial intelligence and online chatbots with the intent of enhancing guests’ experience. Incidentally, this also allows you to gather data on guests.

Just take a look at Rose, a ‘digital concierge’ created by The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas hotel to drive more direct bookings. Think about it, every time you interact with or ask an online chatbot a question, they are gathering data about your behaviours and thoughts. These insights can then be used to understand your target audience and who they are.

Data Informs your Communication Strategies

2. Data Informs your Communication Strategies

Once you’re equipped with information on your target audience, find out where and how best to communicate with them. What are the prevalent customer trends? What are the messages and channels that work best for your target audience?

Data then comes in handy here to influence the methods you use to communicate with your audience. If you’re looking for data on market trends, sites like Mintel provide updates and reports on the latest insights. For instance, according to a 2020 Mintel UK Hotels Market Report, there’s now a collective urge for indulgence and escapism spurred on by the pandemic. ‘74% of people who would consider staying in a hotel in the coming months agree that “Booking a luxury hotel to escape everything appeals to me”‘.  With such data on consumer sentiments, you can determine the type of messages and stories to disseminate to your audience.  Realize that more people are feeling trapped at home? Maybe steer your messages to appeal to the pent-up frustrations of employees who are itching to escape their work-from-home desks.

Data Determines the Tactics you Adopt

3. Data Determines the Tactics you Adopt

Last but not least comes the execution. Once you have data and insights you can put your strategy into action. You could be publishing short form videos on YouTube, placing adverts in print magazines, or even making videos on TikTok.

Well, for InterContinental Hotels (IHG), they realized that decreasing attention spans have caused consumer expectations to increase and decided to use guests’ booking data to deliver personalized offers to loyal customers via email marketing. This was distributed to 94 million members of the IHG Rewards Club. Their insights pushed them to deliver more personalized and relevant messages in order to capture consumers’ attention.


So with these steps in mind, when you’re launching your next campaign, have a thought about how you can leverage relevant data to provide impactful insights that will drive your brand’s story, resonate with your audience, and influence change!