By Tamara Irminger Underwood
We’ve written a lot of blogs over the years about the importance of including Gen Z in market research. What’s obvious to us, may not be obvious to those who don’t work in market research, and so we figured it’s a good opportunity to revisit why this cohort matters, and why InterQ is uniquely positioned to interface with Gen Z.
One area we see continued confusion is where do millennials end and Gen Z begins. While it’s not ironclad, generally millennials are lumped together if born between 1981-1996, while Gen Z is assigned to those born between 1997-2012. These segmentations are particularly important to understand when recruiting for qualitative research. Knowing where to find Gen Z study participants requires a very different approach then recruiting millennials or baby boomers!
Why you should include Gen Z in marketing or product development studies
Many marketing teams have shifted their attention from baby boomers — who for decades formed the largest demographic — to millennials — who overtook the baby boomers in terms of size — and are now focused on the next big group with serious spending power and influence – Gen Z. Why this cohort is so important to include in market research is they are now the largest age-group demographic, and most diverse. Additionally, they are tech savvy, but also somewhat unpredictable in where they spend their digital lives. Knowing where to find this cohort changes quickly and they’re not necessarily in public-facing social platforms, as mentioned in this recent HBR article.
Just because Gen Z may not be as publicly obvious as they were even a few years ago, doesn’t mean they aren’t congregating and influencing purchasing and lifestyle behaviors. This generation has an outsized effect on which brands and products are favored, and companies that pay attention to this cohort are more likely to remain relevant and capture market share.
Why market research with Gen Z is imperative
We need to look no further than the housing market and how it’s being shaped by Gen Z.
This generation is less likely to own a single-family home, and more likely to live in multi-unit buildings (as either owners or renters) for much longer. Additionally, they aren’t having kids, and if they do start a family, they’re having fewer than previous generations. The ripple effect of these two realities has massive implications for all sorts of industries, from real estate developers, mortgage brokerages, banks, household furnishing companies, and even pediatricians.
As you can imagine, including Gen Z when conducting research is imperative to know how to pivot and remain relevant to the shifting business trends moving forward.
Gen Z—Hard to find, easy to study
While it takes extra effort to know where Gen Z is congregating so they can be recruited to participate in market research, once you find them, they’re a great group to study.
We’ve conducted dozens of market research studies that focus on millennials and Gen Z and we’ve had great participation rates from this cohort! Market research techniques such as mobile ethnographies, customer journey mapping, and even focus groups, are great ways to capture the unique insights from Gen Z participants.
We customize our approach for each study we design and tailor our methodologies to the composition of our qualitative recruiting efforts. The insights gleaned from our studies help companies prepare and plan product design, UX design, marketing messaging, and mission statement.
Don’t delay including Gen Z in your next market research study
If you’ve been thinking about conducting Gen Z market research, but have delayed it, for whatever reason, it’s time to make a move. Surveys and statistics reveal to brands that Gen Z is influencing market trends, but it doesn’t tell you how or why. Qualitative research is what gets to the heart of such insights.