How to Target Generation Z and Millennials in Your Marketing Campaigns


Twitter Experiential Marketing

Capturing a staggering 64% of the world’s total population, Generation Z and Millennials are a generational force to be reckoned with, and marketing campaigns are armed with insights and strategies to capture these historically unique (yet once dismissed) demographics.

With over 100 million of them in the U.S. workforce and accounting for nearly 30% of the U.S. population alone, Generation Z and Millennials are the newest generations whose purchasing power demands attention by brands in the U.S. and around the world.

The same traditional marketing campaigns Baby Boomers and Generation X are accustomed to can be lost on Generation Z and Millennials. In 2019, the Pew Research Center found that Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram receive the most traffic from users between the ages of 18 and 29. 

Check out these tips to capture the hearts and minds of today’s most in-demand generations.

There IS a Difference

… And a big one. In fact, the biggest mistake marketers can make is assuming Generation Z and Millennials are one in the same. Millennials are population segments born between 1981 and 1996 and those born after are considered to be Generation Z. Think of it this way: Lady Gaga and Mark Zuckerberg are Millennials. Kylie Jenner and Billie Eilish are Generation Z. Treating “young people” (18 to 35 age-range) as a monolithic segment of the population is a marketing mistake. 

Most Millennials came-of-age during the “digital revolution,” but also remember a time before smartphones and Amazon Prime. While they crave authenticity, Generation Z values transparency, relatability, and personal connections even more. Those attributes are hallmarks of social media standards that dominate society and culture today.

Philadelphia Cream Cheese Promotion

The Power of the Influencer

Another noteworthy (and surprising) difference between Generation Z and Millennials is “the power of discounts,” because who doesn’t love “a good sale”? While 67% of Millennials polled by BusinessInsider in 2019 said they would visit a specific brand’s website to receive a promotion or discount, only 46% of “Gen Zers” said they would do the same.  

In the same poll, 71% of Millennials indicated that online marketing was a direct reason for purchasing an item, whereas only 59% of Gen Zers said online marketing had a similar effect.

So, what is a powerful marketing tactic that does work? Enter, social media influencers. In a report from Think With Google, 70% of Generation Z subscribers to YouTube said they view YouTube personalities like PewDiePie, Shane Dawson, and Mr. Beast as more relatable than mainstream celebrities. 

Harnessing the sway influencers have over their millions of fans (and billions of views) is a strategic marketing tactic brands can use to leverage their reach with a vast audience by being at the center of the cultural zeitgeist. 

Neil Patrick Harris Influencer Marketing

Brand Loyalty is a Thing of the Past

In previous years, having an identifiable and well-known “brand” meant half the battle was won when capturing a desired market share. In 2020 however, simply being ubiquitous isn’t enough for Generation Z and Millennials to open up their wallets. 

According to RetailDive, Millennials are traditionally more frugal than Generation Z, with some analysts suggesting the reason being a by-product of their experiences living through the Great Recession. Gen Zers on the other hand, are more willing to spend the extra cash on luxury brands. 

With both demographics hyper-aware of what motivates them to make a purchase, lower on that list is “brand loyalty.” Millennials and Generation Z gravitate toward brands that identify with their sense of independence and originality. 

In a study by Ernst & Young, less than half of Millennials and Gen Zers expressed they subscribed to “loyalty programs.”

Share Their Values

Much like Baby Boomers of the 1960s, Millennials and Generation Z are socially-conscious of the world around them and lean upon their values when making purchasing decisions. They expect brands to be aligned with those same values (i.e. environmentally-friendly, committed to LGBTQ rights, pro-gun legislation, etc…)

Marketing campaigns that engage with Millennials and Generation Z on an interpersonal basis and speak to their values, can create powerful messages that resonate with them on a deeper level and will capture their attention.

Zara Pride Brand Activation

Make Your Marketing Mark With Generation Z and Millennials

Representing the two largest generation demographics in the U.S., Millennials and Generation Z are the nation’s most powerful consumers bases and will be for years to come. As long as you cater to their wants, needs, and values now with marketing campaigns and strategies that appeal to them and who they are, you can develop long-term customer relationships that will lead to unlimited potential and growth for your brand.

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How Brands are Supporting Social Issues with Cause Marketing


In an era of social responsibility, consumers want brands to show their support for causes they believe in. Find out how cause marketing can help show what you stand for and help make a difference. 

As always in society, younger generations take a lot of heat when their social consciousness aligns with their spending habits, creating a disruption across the consumer landscape. 

But, these perpetual progressions are eternal and unavoidable. No matter the generation.  

This presents brands with a unique opportunity to highlight not only who they are, but what they believe in. And, “cause marketing” has allowed brands to evolve, creating experiential campaigns that are more consumer-centric and event-based around issues making headlines today. 

Let’s take a look at a few powerful campaigns brands employed to both advocate for and actively support important causes, leading by example and driving change.

cause marketing zara pride


Take “Pride” in What You Do

The best trends in cause marketing utilize the most successful tricks in the experiential marketing playbook, which makes sense. If you want your brand to have a real-world impact, it only makes sense to bring your campaign out into the real world and directly to the people. 

Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, largely credited as being the seminal moment leading to the modern fight for LGBTQ rights in the U.S., last year’s global Pride celebration was held in New York, where the movement started. 

Global apparel retailer Zara and JustWater (founded by Jaden Smith) wanted to take part in this historic milestone and show their pride in a memorable way. 

With a three-sided glass truck customized into a 3D Pride flag utilizing 9,000 colorful bottles of JustWater, Zara strategically stationed their pop-up right at the heart of the festivities. 

And, to keep attendees cool and hydrated over the course of a hot June weekend, Zara’s field marketing team provided parade-goers with a rainbow selection of complimentary JustWater flavors.

This bold and colorful cause marketing campaign not only garnered Zara over one million impressions on social media worldwide (as people used the global trending #PrideLove to tag their photos with Zara’s rainbow truck), but also showcased Zara’s commitment to and support for the LGBTQ community. 


In 2012, when Kentucky-based distillery Jefferson’s Bourbon partnered with marine/oceanic conservation non-profit OCEARCH, you’d be forgiven for scratching your head to figure out what would bring these two unlikely forces together. 

Well, the idea originated using the science of aging whiskey. Constant movement in its barrel matures whiskey faster since it’s in direct contact with the wood more often. So, Jefferson’s Bourbon strapped a handful of its barrels and hitched a ride aboard OCEARCH’s 126-ft. research vessel and mobile lab to find out how a voyage across the seven seas would impact the flavor of their product. 

Turns out, the oceanic expedition resulted in a darker and more complex whiskey and, as a result, Jefferson’s Bourbon now has a line of Jefferson’s Ocean bourbon.

Jefferson's Ocean Cause Marketing

With a portion of all proceeds going directly to OCEARCH, the non-profit has been able to expand its operations with more research vessels stopping at 30 different ports on five continents. 

Four barrels of Jefferson’s Bourbon now embark on seasonal expeditions (for a total of 180 barrels annually) as OCEARCH collects important scientific data on the ecology and behavior of the world’s oceanic marine life.


Ben & Jerry’s may be one of the most popular ice cream brands in the U.S., but you could also say the Vermont-based company is a pioneer of cause marketing. With outspoken support on issues of the day like voting rights, LGBTQ equality, and Climate Change, Ben & Jerry’s is almost as well-known for their activism as they are for the catchy names of their ice cream flavors. 

As rallies are being held around the world advocating for racial equality, the issue has been an important one to Ben & Jerry’s for years. 

Just last fall, a limited-edition flavor called “Justice ReMix’d” was released as part of a national campaign with the Advancement Project National Office to help reform the U.S. criminal justice system. 

Along with portions of sales from “Justice ReMix’d” going to the Advancement Project National Office, Ben & Jerry’s also organized educational events and gatherings around the country to raise awareness. 

And, with nearly half a million visitors to their factory in Waterbury, Vermont, Ben & Jerry’s also teamed up with Art For Justice, which funds artists who’ve been previously incarcerated for an installation at Ben & Jerry’s headquarters exhibiting their work.


Everyone believes in something, and that goes for brands as well. Whether it be animal rights, poverty and homelessness, or online bullying, consumers have become more and more aware of the world around them and many want to make a difference. With the resources and man-power at brands’ disposal, customers almost expect the companies they know and love to stand for something. 

By aligning your goals with your audience’s beliefs, cause marketing is not just an opportunity to show the world who you are, but to help make it a better place. 

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