Business Briefs: Gen Z Clicks, Building Community & Who’s Creative

What clicks for Gen Z?

Welcome to The Metropreneur’s newest series: Business Briefs. The world of academic publications features fascinating findings from real-world experiments in business and the marketplace. Here are some key takeaways and applicable nuggets of knowledge that may be helpful for your business.

What Clicks for Gen Z?

The economic impacts of Generation Z grow every year as more of its members graduate high school and college and move into the workforce. A study conducted at Iona College and published in 2021 explores how Generation Z and Millennials respond to digital marketing. 

Using responses gained from focus groups, online discussions and interviews, the authors assessed the needs of the two groups. While the results showed very few differences between the two groups themselves, the mutual takeaways include:

  • Brevity is a virtue: advertisements should be less than 30 seconds in duration
  • In terms of emotional appeals, humor is highly valued
  • Endorsements from a respected figure carry more weight and credibility

So when pitching a product, make it short, make it funny, and recruit a spokesperson with street cred. 

Read more here

Millennial and Generation Z Digital Marketing Communication and Advertising Effectiveness: A Qualitative Exploration – Alison Munsch, Marketing Management in International Contexts

Community from Afar

As more offices shift to embrace remote environments, workplace dynamics and communities face many changes. The Journal of Management posted a literature review that highlighted the very best evidence-based recommendations for building a community through better communication:

  1. Continuous messaging from leadership – Sure, repetitive messaging can be mindnumbing. That said, even the most perfectly-formed communication can be missed or misinterpreted. So creating multiple opportunities and channels for official communication is highly recommended. 
  2. Consistent messaging – Leadership teams need to be on the same page. Failure to emphasize internal leadership consistency leads to mixed messages and contradictions in the workplace.
  3. Two-Way Communication – It’s no surprise that listening skills are important for leaders in remote spaces, too. Two-way communication happens when the audience has an input opportunities that line up with each outgoing communication. 

Read more here

People Still Make the (Remote Work-) Place: Lessons from a Pandemic – Anthony Nyburg, Jason Shaw, & Jing Zhu, Journal of Management

Are Your Creatives “Creative”?

In business studies, the world is often divided into two halves: the creatives and…the non-creatives. The creatives are the marketers, the advertisers, the teams who come up with big ideas to promote products. The non-creatives are typically the account and project managers, the web developers; the teams that execute the ideas of others. 

It’d be expected, then, that the creatives would be more creative, inherently, than the non-creatives. Surely, with job responsibilities comes a cultivated knack for coming up with original ideas.

Not so fast. A 2021 University of Akron study, published in the Journal of Advertising, found little difference in creativity levels across the occupational spectrum. 

The authors studied three groups: 46 creatives from advertising agencies, 92 non-creatives from advertising agencies, and 120 members of the general population. 

Three tests were administered during the study. Participants were asked to come up with as many uses for a brick as possible. They were also asked to find a common word that ties three others words together (So, for example, given the trio “skate, water, cream,” a conventional answer would be “ice.”) And finally, participants were asked to come up with multiple taglines for a fictional pesticide entering the market. 

In most cases, the difference between the creatives, the non-creatives, and the general population were statistically insignificant. In some arenas, both the creatives and non-creatives outperformed the general population, perhaps explained by the advertising environment in which they both work. 

The authors suggest a couple of important take-aways from this study to keep in mind:

  1. Good ideas can come from anywhere in a company
  2. When clients contract with a team, they benefit when ideas come from across the board

Read more here

Are Advertising Creatives more Creative than Anyone Else? An Exploratory Test of Competing Predictions – Federico de Gregorio and Kasey Windels, Journal of Advertising