Engaging Gen Z through experiential marketing

Five Strategies for engaging Gen Z through experiential marketing

Known as ‘the cousins of millennials,’ Gen Z consumes more media content and is more technologically savvy than any other generation.

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This cohort, born post-1995, doesn’t know a world without 24/7 internet access. The preferences and principles of Gen Z indicate a strong inclination towards brands committed to bettering the world and serving their customers.  

To distinguish your product from competitors, embracing experiential marketing is an excellent approach to actively engage, captivate, and cultivate Gen Z into enthusiastic advocates for your brand.

Prioritize the creation of meaningful and unforgettable experiences, leverage user-generated content, and execute compelling online media campaigns as integral components of your experiential strategy. 

1. Segment your target market through psychographics

Psychographics involve targeting an audience by analyzing their values, attitudes, and motivations. Take Generation Z, for instance. They hold distinct attitudes compared to their baby boomer parents and naturally desire different things. 

Relying solely on straightforward demographics is no longer sufficient. Recognizing the nuances of psychographic distinctions enables more precise targeting. It enables tailoring messages to resonate with a specific group’s mindset, ensuring that each group receives a message that aligns closely with their perspective, even when they belong to the same demographic. 

2. Use experiences to promote products

Generation Z isn’t driven by acquiring possessions for the sake of ownership. Their focus is on purchasing experiences that enhance their lives, express their identities, and forge lasting memories. Utilizing experiential marketing can effectively highlight how your products or services provide value and align with these aspirations, going beyond merely presenting their features or prices. 

Selling experiences alongside products to Gen Z requires a nuanced approach, as this generation values authenticity, uniqueness, and meaningful engagement.  

Here are some strategies to effectively engage Gen Z consumers.  

Promote User-Generated Content

Encourage Gen Z customers to share their experiences with your product on social media. User-generated content builds trust and authenticity, as it showcases real people enjoying your product in their own unique ways. 

Personalize Your Messaging

Offer personalized experiences or products tailored to individual preferences. Gen Z appreciates brands that understand their unique needs and tastes. Use data and technology to provide customized recommendations and options. 

Practice Inclusivity

Embrace diversity and inclusivity in your marketing and product offerings. Gen Z values brands that are inclusive and promote diversity in their advertising and product designs. 

Ask for Feedback and Co-Creation

Involve Gen Z in the product development process by seeking their feedback and ideas. This not only makes them feel valued but also ensures that your products align with their preferences.

3. Understand that Gen Z uses social networks differently

It’s essential to grasp how Generation Z utilizes each social media platform to craft content and advertisements that truly connect with them. Generation Z uses different social networking platforms for different activities. 

According to a study recently conducted by Response Media, Generation Z 

  • Showcase their aspirational selves on Instagram 
  • Share real-life moments on Snapchat 
  • Get the news on Twitter 
  • Glean information from Facebook

Consider promoting and leading your campaign on platforms like TikTok, YouTube and Snapchat, and invite participants in your campaign to post and upload their own content against a unique hashtag. This goes hand in hand with the concept of UCG (User Generated Content).  

4. Leverage influencer audiences

Another insight from Response Media’s study is that 70% of teens trust influencers more than celebrities. They’re also heavily influenced by relatable YouTube creators, so collaborations with relevant influencers is an avenue for consideration. 

Gen Z turns to influencers for genuine assessments and brand endorsements. A significant 56% of this demographic express a greater inclination to try a product or experience if it receives an endorsement from their favorite influencer. 

However, there’s a caveat: they possess a keen awareness of inauthentic or contrived messaging and are quick to reject one-size-fits-all marketing tactics. Consequently, enlisting a multitude of influencers does not necessarily translate to multiplied results. Rather than fixating on follower counts or sheer popularity, seek out influencers who resonate with your brand values, maintain a devoted fan base, and are adept at crafting engaging content. 

The most effective influencer partnerships are founded on authenticity and a shared set of values, as previously highlighted. These collaborations should be cultivated with influencers who genuinely hold an affinity for and admire your brand. This approach yields authentic and sincere content, which aligns with the preferences of Gen Z, who seek authenticity above all else. 

To learn more about how to find the right influencers and partner with them, read this article here.  

5. Optimize live events for video and photo opportunities

There is immense benefit in generating content during experiential events. Brands can rest assured that consumers will share this content within their social circles. This authentic content offers people a clearer glimpse into the brand and bolsters its credibility. It’s crucial to recognize that Generation Z employs social media in a distinct manner compared to older generations. 

While their usage shares similarities with millennials, there are also notable differences. For instance, Gen Z is less active on Facebook but favors platforms like YouTube and Vine more than millennials. One article suggests that their preference is driven by the type of videos they consume – “feel-good content” that alleviates their stress. 

Leverage event content on social media for Generation Z to share, with a particular emphasis on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, which resonate deeply with this demographic due to their perceived authenticity. 

Both Generation Z and millennials prioritize memorable experiences over material possessions on numerous occasions. Marketers who adeptly harness this preference in an authentic manner can establish genuine, enduring connections.


With the increasing purchasing power of Generation Z, companies must explore novel and inventive methods of engaging with this generation. To establish more meaningful connections with this demographic, brands should contemplate crafting content that aligns with their values and interests, maintaining transparency and authenticity in their messaging, and fostering a sense of community. 

The Trade Group is a full-service trade show and event marketing company. We will work with you to create an exhibit or an event that brings in leads and helps you achieve your business goals. Contact us here or give us a call at 972-734-8585. 

Photo Credit: Pexels

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