What is Generation Z and how can hotels attract them?
Hotel marketing ideas are increasingly shifting from traditional (read generic) to more ‘targeted’- whether it is geo-specific marketing, catering to a specific demographic or even a tiny subset of a larger demographic. And the next big thing that every hotelier is focussing on is the ‘Generation Z or iGeneration’. A generation that may be young but has more power to influence than any other; a generation that is not just tech savvy but whose online presence is stronger than any other generation ever!
What is the definition of Generation Z?
To know who Generation Z are, it is important to know who the generation that precedes them- Millennials. Millennials are those people who were young adolescents in the year 2000. Which means Generation Z are the ones born in or after 2000, the oldest of whom would currently be about 18 years of age.
I know what you’re thinking. And I can guarantee you that your skepticism is premature.
Generation Z- Who are they?
I’d be making a massive blunder if I sat to compare the 19-year-old me to the current generation’s 19-year-old. Not only is the ecosystem drastically different for them, but also their perception of human interactions. There are several things that indicate that Generation Z is more forward thinking and progressive than any other generation in the past. And they have more clarity of thought and decision as well. They are more self-aware, more tolerant of diversity and so much more entrepreneurial in nature.
How does all this relate to my hotel’s marketing Strategy for Generation Z?
I’m going with the assumption that you already consider this demographic as a solid source of revenue and if you don’t, by the end of this article, you will!
The most effective marketing strategies are those that take into consideration the target audience and create a buyer persona. This helps brands get their approach, messaging, imagery and content right. It is, therefore, paramount that you understand your audience.
How Gen Z are affecting the hotel industry
To drive home the point of just how the Generation Z are affecting the hotel industry, we are going to go down a path that we know will not disappoint. Statistics. Consider the following findings:
84% of seven to seventeen-year olds hold an influence on the family’s overall spending
Categorically speaking, I am a millennial, and I cannot think of one single time in my teens (let alone my teens), when my parents sought my inputs on household decisions, expenses, etc. Gen Z holds the reins to the virtual world in most families today, allowing them to have a better understanding of their family’s choices. What they should buy, where they must dine, which part of the world they should travel to for holidays, where they must stay while on vacation, etc. And if that doesn’t cut it for you, allow me to share with you another mind-boggling stat:
32% of parents say that their kids hold a lot of influence on vacations and spending and 54% of parents say kids have some influence.
This is a clear indicator of the fact that the rules of the game are changing rapidly, and so should your hotel’s marketing strategy. While business hotels have started targeting millennials, leisure hotels should also actively target Gen Z as they have a say (if not the loudest one!) in the family’s vacation plans.
Here are a few tips on how to attract Gen Z to your Hotel:
Put together a comprehensive online marketing strategy: They are digitally connected. 92% of GEN Z’ers have a digital footprint and they are 25% more likely than millennials to say that they are addicted to their digital devices.
You need to have a really, really strong digital game going in your hotel’s favor, if you are wondering how to engage with Gen Z customers. Be present where they are. Get active on social media, make sure your display ads are visible wherever they hang out virtually, and generally stay in touch with what the Gen Z’ers are up to digitally, so you can accost them there.
Honor your commitment and win their loyalty: They have a more elevated perception of loyalty. Gen Z’ers are as loyal to brands as brands are loyal to them. They are connected digitally to a wide network of people, so they are more than happy to act as promoters to a brand that delivers on what they promise. But disappoint them, and they will not spare you. Make sure you keep up your side of the commitment before you expect them to be loyal customers because that commitment is golden for Gen Z’ers.
Be more innovative or better yet, disruptive, to appeal to them: Gen Z has grown up amidst Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Vines and all this social media hullabaloo. They’ve grown up seeing unprecedented events like people becoming millionaires,thanks to social media in no time at all. In this world, there is no time or scope for anything technology that is ‘traditional’ (read: laborious) or time-consuming. It is all about working smart and being quick. Position yourself as a brand that celebrates the ‘unique’ and welcomes disruption. Your offers, discounts, packages, etc. could help you communicate this to the Gen Z’ers. Get creative and you’ll earn their respect!
Bottomline is, the rules of the game are changing faster than we can catch up with. In this changing scenario, without ample support from technology to run your day-to-day operations, one simply cannot focus on the ‘what’s next’. If you want to be a long-term player in the hospitality industry, then it is about time you get a dynamic system in place that will help you automate your mundane tasks, so you can get to strategizing and brainstorming on how to attract Gen Z’ers to your Hotel.