Reckoning with the more global Generation Z

| Updated on January 24, 2018

Raj Sarkar

Raj Sarkar, Vice-President, Marketing, Ford India

Ask me to reflect on the trends in the marketing domain and one cannot escape the rapidly evolving role and impact of digital and social media. Interestingly, one of the most significant aspects of this digital progress is in the role it is playing in tying communities around the world closer together.

According to reports in Ford Trends 2015, there was a substantial eight-fold increase in global share of time spent watching videos on tablets and mobile devices between 2011 and 2013.

Just over a year ago there were 4.3 billion smartphones in the world, and in the next two years this number is set to grow to 5.1 billion, or about 80 per cent of the world’s population.

Let us go behind the trend to look at who is driving this change.

For more than a decade, the world has been focused on Gen Y, the millennial generation that has marched us through this age of digital disruption. And while Gen Y continues to both fascinate and puzzle us, behind them is another powerful cohort – Gen Z – roughly defined as those born after 1993. No one can say for sure how this group of more than two billion youth will turn out, but expectations are high.

Raised in an on-demand, impatient culture, Gen Z’s mantra is ‘good things come to those who act,’ and they aren’t going to let age, education, employment or lack of resources stop them from making their mark on the world.

With the power of social media and digital, Gen Z will demand brands to be trustworthy, open and transparent – least to mention, engaged with the audience to stay interesting. The day is not far when physical geographies will give way fully to free thinking, sharing and collaboration.

And before I leave you with that thought, according to the Ford Trends Report survey, as many as 58 per cent of adults aged 35 and above worldwide, agree that children in the future will have more in common with their global peers than they do with adults in their own country. Given the age of ‘creation and collaboration’ is set to dawn, every international trend will have the power to be adapted locally and every conversation, no matter where it originates from, will become relevant for brands anywhere, anytime.

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Published on June 18, 2015
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