As coveted as the massive Baby Boomer demographic may be for marketers, Generation Z, those born since the mid-1990s, is our largest living generation at more than 61 million strong.

And it’s a group that packs a tremendous amount of buying power, which is estimated at around $143 billion. But, as the generation that grew up in the wake of the Great Recession, they’re also a generation of savers, and that means marketers are going to have to work a little harder to earn their business—and their money.

The good news, though, is that marketers have a powerful tool for reaching this important market segment. It’s right in the palm of your hands. Short message service (SMS), or text messaging, is turning out to be an increasingly effective tool for reaching these young consumers.

From A to “Z”

If you’re looking to capture the young adult market, then you need to go where they are. And now, more than ever, where they are is on their phones. Studies show that this cohort reports they spend the majority of their time online, whether checking messages, doing research, or watching videos on their favorite platforms. 

The research also suggests that Generation Z is more likely than any other generation to shop online and to make purchasing decisions based on digital communications.

And the preferred medium of digital communication for this group? You guessed it: SMS and messenger apps.

So when you’re marketing to Generation Z, think personal outreach, customization, and visual interest. Short SMS messages which invite and encourage immediate responses will be the best strategy for winning your young audience’s interest and engagement.

Moving Pictures

Because Generation Z is the first generation of true digital natives, they’ve grown up on video content streamed on mobile devices. That’s made them a highly visually-oriented demographic. After all, there’s a reason why Generation Z’s favorite platforms, from YouTube to Instagram, are so video-focused.

So if you want to reach this audience, it’s imperative to augment your short messaging with appealing video content. The good news, though, is that you’re going to get a two-fer if you make the additional effort to include videos because video-enhanced content is going to be more likely to be shared within the users’ social network, which means you’re expanding your marketing outreach, potentially exponentially.

Trust No One?

Using SMS to reach Generation Z consumers isn’t just about building an interactive relationship or spurring their interest with captivating video. It’s also about earning their trust.

This audience is particularly tech-savvy and information-literate. They’ve more than accustomed to the abundance of misinformation and disinformation that’s available online.

And that means that they’re not going to take your SMS communications at face value. They’re going to be wary, particularly because Generation Z isn’t just skeptical of online information. They’re also highly distrustful of the corporate sector as a whole.

So you’re going to need to work hard to overcome those misgivings. Focus on transparency and authenticity. If your company is cultivating a socially responsible brand, it’s crucial to emphasize that with your Generation Z audience. This group, perhaps more than any other, wants to do business with companies whose values they believe mirror their own. They’re also far more likely to refuse to do business with a company that does not practice corporate social responsibility.

The Takeaway

Generation Z is perhaps the new Holy Grail of marketing today. But traditional marketing strategies simply aren’t going to suffice. These are true tech titans, and to reach them, you need to become one yourself. Marshaling the powers of SMS to engage, captivate, and reassure your target audience is the perfect way to win Generation Z and transform them into lifelong customers.