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  • Writer's pictureKayJay McDonald-Ferguson

Unlocking Gen-Z Engagement

I recently had the privilege of attending the Sparks Summit by Brandwatch, where Sina Port, the founder of Shared Diversity and Head of Communications at Adidas, shared her insights on "Purpose to Profits: Marketing to Gen Z." Sina's presentation shed light on the fast-changing landscape of marketing, particularly in reaching the Gen Z audience.

Sina introduced during the session, the Triple P Structure "Purpose = People + Planet" and stated that It is essential to define your brand's purpose. She highlighted the idea that a clear purpose is not only a moral imperative but a strategic one, as it attracts both top talent and investors. Purpose is increasingly becoming a key factor for investors, particularly in the context of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) funds. In a world of ever-changing market dynamics, purpose is not just a buzzword; it is the foundation for future success.

Sina Port speaking on a webinar about marketing to Gen-Z
Purpose to Profits: Marketing to Gen-Z Summit

Sina challenged marketers to ask important questions when crafting their marketing strategies. These questions include: Are we contributing to the problem? Do we have the power to make a change? How do our customers perceive us in terms of being part of the solution? These questions can guide brands in aligning their brand's purpose with meaningful actions.

There have been significant shifts in marketing priorities over the years. In 2010, the focus was on the audience; in 2018, it was on creators. Today, the Gen Z market demands a "community-first" approach. Engaging Gen Z through community co-creation involves three stages: community research, community feedback, and community storytelling. This approach ensures that Gen Z feels included, heard, and valued.

While user-generated content (UGC) has been a central focus in the past, Sina stressed the importance of shifting towards employee-generated content (EGC). This approach empowers your workforce and generates authentic content that resonates with your audience. In an era where authenticity reigns supreme, leveraging the stories and experiences of your employees can be a game-changer.

Transparency is non-negotiable with Gen Z. It was highlighted that there's no hiding behind fancy slogans or behind-the-scenes secrecy when marketing to Gen Z. They demand transparency, and any inconsistencies in your brand's messaging and actions will be quickly exposed. Authenticity and honesty are key to building trust.

Sina Port speaking on a webinar sharing here favourite quote by Peter Diamandis
Purpose to Profits: Marketing to Gen Z Summit

The world's biggest problems are the world's biggest business opportunities" - Peter Diamandis

The central message of Sina's session was clear: the future of marketing is deeply personal. To succeed in reaching Gen Z, brands must connect on a human level, engaging in meaningful conversations and co-creating with their community.

This session was truly enlightening and engaging. Sina's personal anecdotes from her work at Adidas made the content more relatable, and her interactive approach with the audience created a dynamic learning experience. As we navigate the ever-changing landscape of marketing, Sina's insights have reminded me that purpose, authenticity, and community engagement are the keys to connecting to the Gen Z generation.

The future of marketing is personal and it is time for brands to embrace this change today.

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