Blog Post

Adapting research to a new generation – recruiting Gen Z for research

Gen Z looking at phone

Gen Z is completely different than any other generation we’ve experienced so far when it comes to consuming products and user journeys. Not only do they interact differently with the products that already exist, but they also want and expect different things from new products than the generations before. The introduction of technology at a progressively younger age, has exposed an entirely new consumer group which has in-turn changed how researchers do their research.

This is the first of a two-part series about adapting your research to a new generation. We will be focusing on recruitment in this post followed by a post focused on the research itself.

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Finding potential recruits

If you’re at all familiar with the Gen Z community, you’ll know how hard it is to reach them with any ‘traditional’ form of contact (i.e. email or phone call) even if they’re always attached to their cell phones. Social media is always a promising start, it’s where they spend all that time on their phones after all. As they’re spending so much time consuming content on social media, there’s a very high chance they’ll see what you want them to see if you target them correctly. Having said that, there are a few things you should be sure to do when trying to recruit Gen Z on social media:

1. Social media is known for being fast paced and scrollable so whatever it is that you’re sharing must be easy to understand and absorb, to the point and packed with a punch if you want to get people’s attention.

2. A 2015 study found that. in general, humans have an 8 second attention span when it comes to viewing information on a web page before looking somewhere else.

3. To reflect this: be motivating, direct and include a CTA to grab attention and tell them what to do next – but make it quick!


How to say what you want to say

Once you’ve started recruiting it’s time to talk. If not talking, now is the time to provide more information about who you are, what you do and why you’re doing it. How you do that is just as, if not more, important than what you say. You’re going to think like a Gen Z.

As mentioned in point one, being direct and to the point is your best bet to grab a Gen Z’s attention. The faster they understand what you’re reaching out about the better. Try to avoid sending a wall of text that they just won’t read. Instead, try to be conversational. You’re much more likely to get a response if you make the information easy to absorb. Being transparent and authentic will help build trust, which is fundamental to successful research.

One last thing: make it shareable. Gen Z love the 'shareability' of social media so why not use that to your advantage? You could suggest sharing the post with friends who they feel may also be interested, to make it engaging for them and achieve a higher audience for you.


Don’t group all Gen Z’s together!

Gen Z research specialist Jennifer Reid discusses the importance of identifying internal age groups among the Gen Z population. Essentially, the youth consumer market can be split into three groups: young Gen Zs, older Gen Zs and young millennials. Why is this important you might ask? Attitudes and consumer personalities can differ a lot between the three groups. Their social media usage, needs, wants, when social media was introduced to them and how they approach products in their user journey can differ immensely depending on what stage of life they’re in.

By grouping them all together we are assuming that their user journeys are all the same. So, take a step back and think about who exactly you want totake part in your research.

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