The New Kids On The Block
Generation Z, the iGen, the Centennials, the Zoomers, or simply GenZ, have already started reaching adulthood and joining the workforce. Usually defined as people born between 1996 and 2010, this new generation has also been taking the attention of marketeers away from Millennials (born in the 1980s and early 1990s)
The start of the iGen in 1996 coincides with a number of marquee creations including Google, Ask.com, IMDB, and MySpace. In that same year, Craigslist was transformed into a website and emails sent in the US overhauled mails sent by post for the first time ever.
Expectations are that by 2026, GenZ will be the biggest consumer spending group in the world, outdoing Millennials by a small margin. The marketing teams of brands and retailers had initially ignored the digital revolution and learned their lessons the hard way after struggling to catch up with the expectations of Millennial buyers.
We still have to see how well marketers will succeed in meeting GenZ digital expectations, as there might be surprises. Zoomers are the first generation that was born into the world of the internet, web2 and social media, and are the first so-called 'digital natives', as opposed to the 'digital immigrants' of previous generations.
One of desi people's most popular games - the lottery, may well bring such a clash of expectations, as government lotteries to this day are still paper-ticket sale operations assisted by state-controlled servers and the only options for playing legal online lottery in India is through international digital draws distributed by online agents.
Technology And Gamification Are Key
According to a recent survey by Dell with 12,000 GenZ respondents, 91 per cent claim technology would influence their choice of employment among similar job offers, 80 per cent say they want to work with cutting-edge tech, and again 80 per cent believe technology and automation will bring a more equitable work environment. At the same time, Zoomers have a different view on the role of games in the contemporary world and gamification is the keyword.
For GenZ, gaming means a lot more than just playing a game for fun as older generations are used to seeing it. "Gen-Z are interested in games that allow them to create their own worlds, unleash their creativity, and share it with friends," according to the words of Samantha Wolfe, PitchFWD founder and Adjunct Professor at NYU Steinhardt. "These types of digital world experiences are almost expected by Gen-Z consumers, who have turned to shared gaming as a way to connect with their friends during the pandemic."
Defining Role Of Gamification Confirmed
A similar observation is made by the analysts at Esse N Videri in their recently published study "New Generation Gaming" who conclude that "technology-driven societal transformation affects gaming faster than most relevant global economic segments, as gamification is set to become a defining rationale in both work and pleasure contexts."
GenZ are digital natives, since their very birth the world has been shaped by digital technology and the internet, and no wonder they are comfortable in the digital environment and display high levels of technical skills, sometimes at the expense of more traditional social interaction or 'soft' skills.
Yet, Zoomers' confidence in their digital and technological abilities gives them a firm belief that technology is capable of transforming everyday life. At the same time, "Leading educational and professional organizations have accepted by now that the young adults of Generation Z need gamification elements as a standard way of challenging their performance," as the authors of the study point out.
GenZ appreciates high levels of engagement, for example with more interaction with the virtual community of gamers as in Fortnite, or by creating the gaming environment themselves as in Minecraft or Roblox, or by immersing themselves in the world of Augmented or Virtual Reality (AR/VR). "Therefore, many industry analysts expect more jobs, education, and socialization opportunities to be "located" in metaverse settings for a generation currently replacing the global workforce.," Esse N Videri authors write.
Zoomers Are The Likely Drivers Of Post-Pandemic Economic Recovery
According to a recent report by Snap Team, it will be GenZ who will drive economic recovery in the post-pandemic realities. By definition, an economy based on technology is more efficient, with digital marketing and delivery being the tools capable of bringing fast impact.
At the same time, technology and Covid-19 will transform the work environment and most jobs will require advanced digital skills with special emphasis on "agility, curiosity, creativity, critical thinking and problem solving, which play to the natural strengths of Gen Z," Snap Team concludes.