Data is great to trace the macro trends, but “it doesn’t give you the why” of those trends, said India Wooldridge, SVP Director of McCann Truth Central, the agency’s research unit. That’s why Truth Central took to the streets to add some qualitative research to its survey about trends.
Truth Central’s report “Truth About Street” found Gen Z is a departure from previous cohorts in that its members are less individualistic and look more at their place in the whole of society, said Wooldridge.
Gen Z consists of digital natives who see mobile and online channels as part of life, said Wooldridge. Social media has shaped their personalities and relationships, and this has implications for brands. Marketers need to think about leveraging multiple platforms to be perfectly seamless for these consumers.
Today’s political climate is also affecting consumer views and trust levels, said Wooldridge. But despite all those shifts, “brands are still seen as beacons of trust.” This offers a great opportunity, she noted.
In this environment, consumers expect brands to stand up for what they believe in, said Wooldridge. but it must be aligned with what the brand stands for, and it need not be divisive.
Gen Z also expects personalization, having been brought up in an environment where they grew up being marketed to, said Wooldridge. They understand the tradeoff between data and personalization and the implications for privacy. The bigger shift is that this generation also expects to be able to tailor their products to themselves, and that is shifting the expectations of content.
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