Millennials may be the most talked about group in today’s advertising circles – check any business, advertising, or technology publication and the word will pop up at least once. However, there’s a new group that advertisers are starting to pay attention to: Generation Z. Though they’re only separated by a few years and share some similarities, it’s still important for brands to engage them differently.

When digital agency Deep Focus interviewed consumers from both the Generation Z and Millennial era, they realized many of the behavioral differences between the two have to do with when they were introduced to technology. As digital natives, Generation Z is a generation that consumes connectivity. Born in or after the late 1990’s, these current teenagers never had the learning curve of using technology that Millennials did. As a result, they’re 12% more likely than Millennials to want brands to reach them via online ads, and 5% more likely to want to be reached via social media. Their favorite website is YouTube, compared to Amazon for Millennials.

Another key difference lies in Generation Z’s deep social conscience. Growing up in an age of social reform and tolerance, they are aware of global issues and their freedom of choice. They are more likely to advocate and crowdsource online for causes they care about, and over a quarter of them volunteer. This is the generation that CSR was created for, since 82% think it’s an important role for companies. Social entrepreneurship is popular, as 60% of them have to have an impact on the world around them with their jobs, compared to 39% of Millennials.

Despite the minor age gap, the discrepancy between how these groups interact with technology and social impact are significant enough for marketers to make some major decisions moving forward. As consumers are more connected to media and different technology devices, it’ll be interesting to see if they continue to connect to creating impact, too.

Fanny Sun, MSD Intern