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Marketing to Millennials vs. Gen Z: What to Know

Marketing to millennials vs gen z - WeddingPro

When you think about marketing your business to newly engaged couples, who do you picture? We’d go so far as to guess that you think of a younger couple. And, you wouldn’t be wrong—the average age of someone who gets engaged in the U.S. is 29 years old. But, just because engaged couples tend to be younger than you (heck, maybe they are your age!), that doesn’t mean they are all the same.

Millennials and Gen Zers are often lumped together in regards to how businesses market to them—but assuming they are more alike than different is a strategic mistake. The truth is that there’s a big difference in marketing to Millennials vs. Gen Z couples. And, while the majority of your couples might still be in the Millennial generation, the oldest of Gen Zers are already 26 and will be your clients soon enough. 

So, today, we want to help you understand the differences between the two generations and share marketing tips to make sure you’re connecting with each. Read on to learn all about marketing to Millennials vs. Gen Z couples, including what makes them unique and how to refine your marketing plans moving forward!

Millennials vs. Gen Z: What to Know About Your Couples

From when they were born to how they spend their time and money to even what they prioritize in wedding planning, there are different considerations to take into account when you’re marketing to Millennials vs. when you’re marketing to Gen Zers. 

While each couple is different, there are noticeable generational trends that can help you to effectively speak to these two generations in a way that resonates with them and helps you attract the couples that are the best fit for your wedding business. 

Let’s take a look at some of the common questions about how Millennials and Gen Zers are different so that we can better understand your potential clients.

When Were Millennials and Gen Zers Born?

Generations are usually defined by years and life experiences. For example, the Greatest Generation was born between the 1900s and 1920, lived through the Great Depression, and were likely to fight in WWII. Meanwhile, Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964 and grew up in the Cold and culture wars. 

Then there is Gen X, often known as latchkey kids, which was the first generation to grow up with cable TV and the notable birth of MTV. And, now here we are with Millennials and Gen Z. So, when were Millennials and Gen Z born and what kind of world did they enter into?

Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996, and they are a generation greatly influenced by the events of 9/11 and the Great Recession. Meanwhile, Gen Z was born between 1997 and 2012 and are likely to be more defined by what the world experienced due to the onset and lingering effects of COVID.

How Do They Spend Their Time and Money?

Research has shown that there’s an interesting difference in the spending habits of Millennials vs. Gen Z, especially considering what they prioritize in terms of how they use their money. For example, Millennials value experiences over possessions and overwhelmingly consider sustainability as an important factor when purchasing their clothing, a notable point considering that Millenials spend about 33% more on their clothing than Gen Z. 

Meanwhile, while Gen Z also values experiences over possessions and care about sustainability, they report prioritizing authenticity and that value the importance of real-life reviews before making a purchasing decision. They also tend to be more mindful with their purchases, largely due to rising costs.

Interestingly, Millennials and Gen Zers also spend their time differently, with Millennials prioritizing spending time outside the home to make lasting memories with close family and friends. Gen Zers take a different approach, reporting they spend more time at home doing quiet activities, such as reading, playing games, and even crocheting.  

Where Do They Get Their Information?

Both Millennials and Gen Zers receive a lot of their information online, likely due to the large amount of time they spend browsing the Internet. Millennials report spending approximately 7.5 hours a day online while Gen Z shares that they spend a minimum of 8 hours online each day.

Additionally, while both cohorts are on social media for similar amounts of time (according to the World Economic Forum), the platforms they use are very different. You’ll find most Millennials on Facebook, Linkedin, and posting on Instagram while Gen Z is all about TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram Reels. 

That said, they both report a high usage of YouTube, with 96% of all Gen Z and 87% of Millennials having an account.

What Do They Prioritize in Wedding Planning?

Despite their differences, both cohorts report prioritizing their guest experience above all else. According to The Knot Real Weddings Study 2023, 78% of Millennials and 70% of Gen Zers say providing their guests with a memorable experience was the most important aspect in their planning process. And over 80% of both generations also reported sharing wedding-day information with their guests via wedding websites such as The Knot and WeddingWire.

Additionally, more than half of all Millennials and Gen Z couples keep a close eye on their wedding budgets, with 68% of Gen Z and 64% of Millennials sharing that costs and overall budget were the most important factors for them.

4 Tips for Marketing to Millennials vs. Gen Z Couples

Now that you know more about what differentiates Millennials from Gen Zers, let’s take a look at how you can use this information to market your services to these different potential couples.

1. Meet them where they are. 

More than differences in age, each generation grows up with different tools, politics, circumstances, and technology — which is paramount to understanding the differences between the two generations we are talking about today. And, while a lot of people assume their relationships with technology are the same, they are, in fact, very different. Here’s how:

  • Millennials grew up alongside the internet—they were not born with it.
  • Therefore, people in Gen Z are true digital natives since smart devices are nearly as old as they are.
  • Because of that, Gen Zers have higher expectations when it comes to technology since they have been able to get anything they want, anytime, and quickly.
  • Gen Z also quite literally doesn’t know a world without social media (whereas Millennials were excited to tie up the phone line so they could spend hours chatting with friends over AOL Instant Messenger).
  • Lastly, Gen Z is twice as likely to make purchases on a mobile device.

The takeaway here? Make sure you’ve made it easy for both Millennial and Gen Z couples to interact with you by offering them multiple ways to contact you easily and quickly.

Pro-tip: Feel like you need to revisit your social strategy to make sure you’re making the most of your time on technology? Get our social media tips to help you connect with newly engaged couples!

2. Focus your pitch based on their money habits. 

Purchasing power and influence changes with each generation, and even though Gen Z is just coming into theirs, there are already noticeable trends that differentiate them from the cohort just ahead of them.

  • Gen Z spends less money than older generations.
  • This is likely due to the fact that they watched their Gen X parents lose jobs, houses, etc. during the Great Recession as well as record-high inflation.
  • Millennials spend but (as a generation) have had a lot of financial hardship.
  • This is because of starting their careers in the Great Recession and carrying lots of student loan debt.

Pro-tip: Gen Z couples are more likely to look for a deal and therefore price shop. Want to step up your sales game a bit because of this news? Learn how to close a sale based on your lead’s personality!

3. Tailor your content to their preferences.

Your Millennial and Gen Z couples also consume their content differently. According to Hubspot, “Millennials will pay attention to content for 12 seconds and Gen Z will only stay focused on it for eight seconds.” 

This is important to consider when you make the effort to produce content because while the older of the two enjoys longer form content (such as longer videos, articles, and podcasts), the younger is only going to stick around for the short-form stuff (such as reels and shorter videos).

Pro-tip: Need some help crafting content that will speak with both Millennial and Gen Z couples? Learn why creating a content strategy is important and how to do it!

4. Ensure your brand messaging is clear.

Finally, it’s important to remember that when it comes to Millennials vs. Gen Z, the two have different priorities, which your brand messaging needs to speak to them in a way that’s clear and engaging. 

For example, Gen Z is becoming more in tune with politics and social causes and is therefore looking to hire pros who align with their values. So, making sure you are building an authentic and inclusive brand is important to the world’s future engaged couples.

Meanwhile, Millennials tend to focus on aligning with businesses and making purchases that directly reflect their personalities. To reach them, ensure that your services make your clients feel seen and understood so that when the services are over, their reviews reflect this experience.

Pro-tip: Want more info on how to position yourself as a leading pro? Get advice from our WeddingPro Educators on how to build your brand and become a thought leader in the wedding industry.

Now that you have an understanding of how these two generations differ, it’s time to run through how you should approach marketing to Gen Z vs. Millennials.  And, after reading through these tips, be sure to revisit your marketing plan and make adjustments where you need to based on who your clients tend to be!

TLDR? The main takeaway for marketing to Millennials vs. Gen Z? Tell Millennials how you solve their problems. For Gen Z, cut to the chase and make it about the benefits for their wallets and their values.

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