Gen Z

Digital Behaviors

The following digital behaviors have been identified for individuals between the ages of 13-22 (the Target Audience):

  • Attention span ranges from 5-8 seconds, with some (channel dependent) ranging from 2-4 seconds.
  • Duration: Time spent within the digital space totals 8-10 hours per day, generally in chunks of 1-2 hours from 5 AM – 4 PM and 2-4 hours after 5 PM.
  • Mobile First: 95% of target has access to a smartphone, with 55% using their smartphones for 5+ hours per day.

Digital Channels

The following have been identified as the digital channels used by the Target Audience:

  • Websites: The Target Audience does engage with websites, with most leaving if the load time exceeds 3.1 seconds. Once loaded, layout and content are considered within 7.6 seconds. Engagement is higher for this target if (1) the load time, layout and content considerations are met (2) the site content fulfills the message that brought them there.
  • Emails: 53% expect to get emails from their favorite consumer brands each week. To improve effectiveness, emails should be specific, provide extreme, actionable value, and be sent at consistent intervals. Email should be subscriber-based and tested extensively to provide the right value at the right time.
  • Social Media: Average time spent on social media is 2.5 hours per day (of the 8-10 hours). Content is consumed quickly, with Snapchat posts alone averaging 10-30 seconds.
  • Paid Advertising: This Target Audience is less likely to engage with paid advertising with the first exposure. This can skew depending on need, but overall having 1-4 different types of organic exposures can increase an ad’s effectiveness exponentially.

Engagement Insights Summary

  • The short attention span paired with the amount of time spent online shows that this Target Audience is constantly moving through snippets of content, and rarely engaging with anything considered long-form (videos > 10 seconds, content > 1,000 words). In this, the digital experience can become less about information and more about distraction.
  • This Target Audience expects messaging to be highly personalized and focused on them. Social trends over the last decade have increased this expectation and given the nature of social media and the parts of the brain it affects (the frontal lobe or ventral tegmental area, in addition to dopamine pathways), the concept being centered on “self” has amplified. This requires advertisers and other messengers to Gen Z to explore different ways to speak to the person, and not the group.

Gen Z Survey Highlights

  • The Medical Institute for Sexual Health engaged a well-respected company to partner with us to compose and disseminate a 30-question survey of 500 American youths, aged 15-20. The survey participants were (1) 57% female, (2) almost evenly split between urban, suburban, and rural, and (3) 41% white, 27% African American, 32% Hispanic, and 6% Asian.  The following are some key findings of the survey:
  • Boys are found on YouTube and girls on TikTok.
  • This audience values receiving health information from people they know and trust, primarily through their parents, doctors, and well-renowned medical sources. The COVID-19 pandemic likely helped place an emphasis on the importance of medically accurate information.
  • This audience values honesty in someone offering them advice over empathy, humor, and vulnerability. They want to be told “like it is” to help map their next steps.

Please note: These young people don’t seem too concerned about sexual health but are very concerned about mental health.

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