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7 Effective Gen Z Marketing Campaigns

A Gen Z student smiling.

7 Effective Gen Z Marketing Campaigns

by Hannah Tyler
Marketing Content Writer
Posted on Mar 08, 2019 5 min read

Successful marketers like you know all the tricks to create sweet promotions while taking transaction value and merchandising into account. But with so many deals and discounts coming at consumers, it can be hard to get noticed. Especially by such a digitally scrutinous audience as Gen Z.

How can you best reach this rising segment that has $143 billion in spending power?

Gen Z girl banner image

Gated, Exclusive Offers Make Great Gen Z Marketing Campaigns

Gen Z wants a personalized, streamlined experience where they control the amount of personal data they share. Many top brands have implemented a new marketing tool to great effect—one that happens to be perfect for Gen Z: gated, exclusive offers.

These personalized promotions target a specific segment from within a company’s own website for a streamlined CX. The offers are opt-in and require little personal information to access—usually no more than first and last name, date of birth, and school or military affiliation.

Here are seven ways you can market gated, exclusive offers to Gen Z.

7 Promotions That Work Well for Gen Z

01  The One-Time Promotion

Why This Works for Gen Z 

Offering consumers an extra, one-time deal is a great way to boost customer acquisition—especially for brands who reserve their discounts for special occasions or only specific times of the year. And if you make it a deal specific only to students? Slam dunk. Gen Z wants to feel special, and they love it when brands focus discounts around their status in life (e.g., college students).

Pitch It

Try a one-time, seasonal discount for winter or spring break, or an event-driven offer during finals week or graduation.

02  The Evergreen Promotion

Why This Works for Gen Z

Looking to support retention efforts? An ongoing discount for specific segments may be the way to go. Gen Z is price sensitive (some are working their first jobs, others may still be relying heavily on The Bank of Parent), so giving them a special deal that no one else gets is an ideal way to earn favor.

Pitch It

Our 2018 consumer survey suggests that Gen Zers would prefer a 10% discount off of every purchase they make, rather than 25% off one time. So a little goes a long way.

CBS All Access college student gated, exclusive offer.

03  The Limited-Time Promotion

Why This Works for Gen Z 

Giving Gen Z a sweet deal while they are in school is a great way to nurture young consumers during those lean years. It’s an especially powerful tool for subscription-based companies, who rely heavily on customer retention.

Pitch It

Offer access to a premium service for way less for as long as the consumer is a student. This upgrade from freemium deals helps nurture consumer loyalty and makes them more likely to convert to full-paying customers down the road.

Headspace's student gated, exclusive offer.

04  The Social Engagement Promotion

Why This Works for Gen Z

Gen Z is considered to be one of the most altruistic generations ever, and they support brands who think the same way. Use this motivation to be a better company and engage with your Gen Z consumers at the same time.

Pitch It 

Create a social responsibility campaign and provide gated offers to Gen Zers who participate. In addition, you’ll win Gen Z’s favor if you donate some of the revenue to a related non-profit.

Converse's new customer acquisition strategy gives college students and members of the military a gated, exclusive discount of 10% off.

05  The Stackable Offer

Why This Works for Gen Z

A deal on top of a deal that no one else is getting? Done and done. Stackable offers are an easy way to build consumer loyalty and one of the best ways to market to Gen Z. Such offers support Gen Z’s price sensitivity and their love of personalized deals.

Pitch It 

This one’s pretty easy: Add an extra percentage off that can be used in conjunction with other discounts, like an extra 10% off back to school sales items.

Stich Fix's Influencer Program promotion.

06  The VIP Experience

Why This Works for Gen Z

Gen Zers tend to value the brand experience over the product. Brands who go the extra mile to make the buying experience truly awesome will turn Gen Zers into loyal customers and organic brand ambassadors. Your social media team will thank you.  

Pitch It 

Include access to pre-sale tickets or an exclusive first listen to new music in your gated offer. A brand ambassador deal could offer specific perks in exchange for influencer work.

07 The Free Product With Purchase

Why This Works for Gen Z 

Like any relationship, showing you care with surprise gifts helps to nurture the bond. Take the opportunity to anticipate what Gen Z may need before they do.

Pitch It

This is an especially helpful promotion for retailers, who can add a sweet gift that makes the purchase even more attractive. Think an extra tube of lipstick and make-up remover wipes for an order of makeup, a fun accessory that goes with an outfit they just purchased, or an extra meal or special snack in a food prep kit. It could even be more basic: Light bulbs if they just ordered a lamp, a small padded case for a laptop…you get the idea.

Gated Promotions Are a Win-Win

When presented as exclusive, gated offers, these seven Gen Z marketing campaigns extremely useful for your sales goals and for building a loyal student customer base. They give Gen Zer the control, respect their price sensitivity, and offer the personalization they love—and you get access to a lucrative segment that can easily turn into a lifelong customer.

Curious to learn more about Gen Z?

Check out our e-book, or contact us for more information about capturing this segment through gated, exclusive offers.