How To Digitally Engage Generation Z After The Ad-Apocalypse

We’re in an age of instant gratification.    

Generation Z demand one-click checkouts supplemented by same day delivery, love at the swipe of a finger and live tracking of their lunch being delivered.

They refuse to wait longer than two seconds for a page to load, or for breaking news to be on television. Yet marketers expect them to sit through a 30 second auto-playing display ad. There’s a disconnect.

As internet users have evolved, the majority of brand’s approach to them has not. Hence 69% of Gen Zers not just feeling indifferent to digital ads, but finding them disruptive. Better data sets, and more sophisticated targeting has not led to better advertising or content. In the scramble for Gen Z’s buck, brands have sought to push their message wider and louder, into increasingly intimate contexts without thinking about how to actually engage with this younger, more digitally discerning online demographic.

Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Wattpad, Twitter and other places Gen Z spend their time online are not interactive campaign destinations, they’re merely display networks for ads.

And in their latest report on the state of Digital Advertising, leading business analysts Forrester agree:

“Advertising has been the best way to do what it did. It shaped culture, delivered product information, and powered the economy. But digital tools have arisen that do what advertising does, often better.”

Whether it be boring, archaic ad formats, the uptake in ad-blocking tech or simply embarrassingly low click-through rates of around 0.35%, digital advertising is broken, and the youth of today don’t just ignore ads, they actively choose to rid themselves of them.

The Solution: Interactive Experiences

The answer isn’t to try and find innovative and surreptitious ways to beat the ad-blockers. Nor is it to hijack the latest social media channel Gen Z are populating.

The solution is to listen to young people and use the power of technology to make marketing engaging once more.

Digital transformation is about creating new, interactive ways to share experiences, and that’s what digital channels can provide. The onus is on brands to drive real engagement, by encouraging people to take action: to vote, to share, to comment, to purchase. That’s how brands will survive the ad-apocalypse.

Take Snapchat for instance, where young consumers can be activated through experiences within snaps or stories, or by simply scanning Snapcodes on digital screens. The possibilities for engagement are endless.

Brands can use snapcodes to encourage participation and drive attendees to a digital campaign marketing experience. Just open Snapchat, scan, and you’re done.

Brands can use snapcodes to encourage participation and drive attendees to a digital campaign marketing experience. Just open Snapchat, scan, and you’re done.

Appverts: A New Way To Drive Engagement

Even well placed, highly-targeted ads that are rich with relevant content get ignored. That's why innovative, interactive brand experiences within traditional ad-units will replace today's tiresome display ads.

An Appvert is an interactive marketing 'application', fully customizable by the advertiser, which is used instead of the traditional ad unit. Appverts allow brands to combine the traditional targeting of ads, but powered by unique, engaging and flexible live experiences. Delivering these experiences front and centre, where the young generation actually spend their time online.

From user-generated content to quizzes, live polls to meme generators, these real-time campaign types can be embedded into Appverts, help you stand out and drive action.

Whether it be social media channels, in-article, an event screen, or any paid media stream, Appverts can see your engagement rates jump from a meagre 0.01%, to over 40%.

So whether Gen Z are scrolling their Instagram feed, or scrutinizing brand stories on Snapchat, you can connect with them through interactive experiences they actually want to engage with, on channels they regularly spend their time.

Check out Wayin’s whitepaper Ad-Apocalypse: Why Brands Won’t Survive Without Interactive Experiences

Richard Jones, CEO of Wayin will be taking to the stage at YMS17 NYC this October, talking about what CMOs need to do to survive the Ad Apocalypse.

Haven't got your tickets for YMS NYC 2017 yet? Head on over to our event page for more information on the biggest youth marketing conference in America.