How AI Can Help Brands ‘Slay’ With Gen-Z Targeting in 2023

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One of the biggest lessons about Gen-Z for me came from my colleague’s teenage daughter. One day she is an avid meat eater and the next she’s turned vegan, after her mom has stocked up a week’s supply of steak of course. One day she’s happily slurping on a Pepsi and the next demands her family and friends to cancel the brand because of an ad featuring Kendal Jenner that unintentionally trivializes the Black Lives Matter movement. This new-age of shoppers is impossible to predict!

If it is that hard for parents to keep up with the changing behaviors of their children, imagine the task at hand for marketers struggling to reach and engage with the billions of zoomers out there. Where do they shop? What is the next trend they are into? What social cause do they care about? These are just a few of the questions (from a long list)  that need to be answered to effectively target this tech-savvy and socially conscious generation.

Fortunately, the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) presents an incredible opportunity for brands to connect with this digitally-native generation on a deeper level. In this blog, we will explore how AI can help brands ‘slay’ with their Gen-Z consumers.

What is ‘on fleek’ for Gen-Z

Before delving into how AI can assist brands in connecting with Gen-Z, it is essential to understand their behaviors and preferences. Gen-Z consumers have been characterized by their love for authenticity, personalized experiences, social consciousness, and digital fluency. They value brands that align with their beliefs and actively participate in social and environmental causes. With Gen-Z now possessing $323 billion in spending power, understanding these traits is critical for tailoring strategies that resonate with them.


From choice of words to suggested products, creating ads tailored to their preferences goes a long way with Gen-Z. A 2021 Social Commerce Report found that 97% of the generation’s shopping behavior is influenced by social media using platforms such as Tik-Tok and Instagram to research products before purchasing, making personalized digital ads the best way for marketers to engage with them. As long as the use of data isn’t too invasive or ‘sketch’, as they would describe it, and the content language is relatable without being ‘cringe’, again in zoomer lingo, they are likely to reward brands with their loyalty.

Omni-Channel Shopping

Contrary to popular belief and despite having grown up in a digital environment and heavily inclined to shopping online, Gen-Z have a strong willingness for shopping in physical stores, provided they offer an exceptional shopping experience. They are actually more likely to shop in brick and mortar stores than millennials, which I thought was more bizarre than a Black Mirror episode while reading the report by Mckinsey & Company. Gen-Zers still want the same personalized experience regardless of it being online or offline channels, which is the challenge for brands that have an omni-channel strategy.

Gen-Z Characteristics

Social Consciousness

Gen-Z have a strong commitment to environmental and social issues. A FirstInsight’s survey reported 62% of Gen-Z would rather shop from environmentally friendly brands, and 73% would not be deterred by the higher prices of sustainable products. Nike’s “For Once, Don’t Do It” campaign in response to the Black Lives Matter movement had positively resonated across their key demographics, including Gen-Z. They wanted brands to take a stand for justice and rewarded them by making Nike a preferred brand.

Retailers are seeing the need to be proactive with environmental sustainability and social causes to build a relationship with this generation of justice torchbearers. It is however frequently difficult to understand the issues that resonate most with them, and with social issues rapidly changing in today’s environment, how can brands tell which one they should take a strong stance on?

AI ‘Lit’ Marketing Strategies

AI offers unparalleled opportunities for personalizing marketing messages and experiences. Through sophisticated algorithms and data analysis, AI can gather and interpret vast amounts of consumer data, including online behavior, social media interactions, and preferences. Brands can utilize this information to curate personalized omni-channel experiences, targeted advertisements and product recommendations, and content that aligns with individual interests. As we have seen, personalization not only enhances engagement but also strengthens brand loyalty among Gen-Z consumers.

Additionally, AI-powered marketing tools enable brands to monitor and identify trends, sentiments, and reactions related to their products or services. Leveraging sentiment analysis, brands can gauge how their offerings are being received and take immediate action to address any concerns. This approach allows brands to stay agile and responsive to Gen-Z’s rapidly changing preferences and opinions.

Gen-Z to Gen-Alpha

If only my colleague had an AI tool to predict her daughter’s behavior, then I’m sure parenting would be easier for her. Gen-Z aren’t highly unpredictable but are ever evolving, so it doesn’t hurt to have a real-time analytical AI assistant tool to help curate the right marketing strategies for them.

Soon to come will be the Gen-Alpha conundrum, who are showing traits of old-fashioned behavior. By this I mean spending less time on social media and more on experiences, prefer to engage with humans or technology that is capable of replicating human-like correspondence, and are likely to be highly loyal to preferred brands. Though for now they are only capable of influencing the buying behavior of their parents, soon they will become the decision maker of their own purchases, and the predictive analytical abilities of AI marketing tools may come a lot more handy.

Get ahead of the generation with Pixis Targeting, Creative, and Performance AI. Book a free demo today.

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