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Marketing to Generation Z vs. Millennials

March 26, 2021

Did you know the Millennials and Gen-Z make up 80% of engaged couples? Which means these are also the age groups that are having babies and looking for family photographers. Which means that no matter who your specific ideal client is, they are likely to fall into one of these two age gaps. But there are some important things you need to know when it comes to marketing to Generation Z and Millennials. Even though these generations are similar, they are also incredibly different.

Marketing to Generation Z | Marketing for Photographers

who are they

Generations are normally defined by years and life experiences. Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996 and are a generation greatly influenced by 9/11 and the Great Recession. Millennials make up 24.5% of the U.S. population.

Generation Z was born between 1997 and 2012 and are likely to be defined by what the world is experiencing due to COVID-19. Gen-Z’s make up 25.9% of the U.S. population.


These two generations were raised with the ability access a wealth of knowledge in record-breaking times which means they have high expectations, but also short attention spans. This will effect your business not just in how you marketing on social media, but also in your response times. Millennials and Gen-Z’s expect quickly, seamless communication from all professionals which means waiting an hour for your brochure isn’t really an option.

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attention spans

According to Hubspot, Millennials will pay attention to content for 12 seconds, and Gen-Z will only stay focused for 8 seconds. This is important to consider when you make the effort to produce content because while the older of the two enjoys long-form content like videos, articles, and podcasts… the younger is only going to stick around for the short-form stuff. This even plays into what platforms they hang out on. Therefore, when marketing to Generation Z and Millennials keep in mind that Millennials still favor Facebook while Gen-Z is all about TikTok, SnapChat, and Instagram Reels.

how they use technology

Every tool grows up with different tools, political ideologies, circumstances, and technology, but all of those things are important to understanding the differences between millennials and gen-z.

For example, Millennials grew up alongside the internet, they were not born with it. Where as Gen-Z are true digital natives since smart devices are nearly as old as they are. Because of that, they don’t know what the world is like without social media, as a result, they spend more time on social media than anyone else.

  • 92% report going online daily.
  • 25% say they are online constantly.
  • 91% say they go to bed with their devices.

But, interestingly, just because they are online doesn’t mean they post. In fact, almost 60% of millennials have never posted anything. And only a wee 15% say that they prefer to interact with their friends via social media as opposed to face to face. They just observe others. Naturally, this will effect marketing and algorithm changes since “sharing” will be less likely. This also means, video marketing is important, and face-to-face consultations.


Millennials do spend but because that generation has seen one financial hardship after another, they are restricted. Where as Gen-Z’s spend less money and are more practical than older generations. Sociologists suspect this might be due to the fact that they watched their parents lose their jobs, houses, etc. during the Great Recession. This also might be why a lot of them care a lot about politics and social justice.

politics, inclusion, diversity & social justice

These things are just important qualities to Gen-Z, these things make up their identity. Part of this is because of the reason I stated above, another reason for this is because Gen-Z are more racially diverse than any other generation. For this generation, nothing is more valuable than individual freedom for all people, no matter what sexual orientation, religion, or race they are.

Gen-Z’s more than any other generation holds strong support for gay marriage and transgender rights. For example, when Bruce Jenner became Caitlyn Jenner in 2015, 73% of Gen-Z were in favor.

They are also extremely concerned with humanity’s impact on the plant and more than anything they want to change the world. As a result, they are born with a natural entrepreneurial spirit. Many of them believe that the way to success means going against the traditional way of doing things.


Because of their inclusive nature, Gen-Z’s is more likely to hire a professional who aligns with their values. Therefore, when marketing to Generation Z its super important to talk about your values and what makes you an authentic and inclusive brand. Here are some practical things to consider with this:

  • Write a mission, vision, or values statement on your website
  • Talk about diversity and inclusion in your marketing
  • Pick an organization to support with your biz and make regular donations.
  • Build diverse teams and hire diverse models for any brand or styled shoots you plan on doing
  • Make sure your recommended vendor lists are diverse.
  • Ask your couples what pronouns they use
  • Ask questions during your wedding consultations about how accessible their wedding will be for everyone (no matter physical ability)
  • Show them inspiration from weddings that include a range of cultures and ethnicities
  • If someone says something inappropriate, do the right thing and help them understand how they can say it differently as well as why that is important to do so. Gen-Z’s are firm believers that silence is violence.

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