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How Gen Z Breaks Marketing’s Cultural Mold


How Gen Z Breaks Marketing’s Cultural Mold

As the first generation to grow up with the internet everywhere and easily at its fingertips, Gen Z lives in a world where even those with the most niche interests can find a like-minded tribe. Its members have matured with algorithms directing them to new hobby areas and online communities where they can find companionship and camaraderie. They seem to enjoy the variety, posing challenges to marketers accustomed to adopting broad-based demographic targeting strategies and narrow definitions of what’s moving culture.

“The algorithm is their gateway to the world,” said Maxine Gurevich, senior vice president of cultural intelligence at Why Group, a unit within the agency Horizon Media, of Gen Z. “They’re showing up on different channels and different places than other generations. They’re hard to pin down.”

In a new report, titled “The Gen Z Field Guide: A Marketer’s Manual for Following the Niche Over the Norm,” Horizon Media identified five categories — and 12 subcultures within them — that have become critical to understanding and reaching this next generation of consumers. Among a cohort fragmented in its perspectives, the one thing they all seem to agree on is there’s no one theme uniting them. According to the research, 91% of 18- to 25-year-olds believe mainstream pop culture is a thing of the past.

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As a result, successful marketing to Gen Z will not be about tapping into “the culture” in a traditional sense but rather addressing subcultures that address unique and personalized interests that can sometimes be at odds with each other.

“The trends are changing so often, there really isn’t a ‘mass culture’ anymore,” said Gurevich. “Subcultures are the new demographics as members of this generation connect and respond to the things they are most passionate about.”

Sorting through subcultures

The five major cultures identified by Horizon Media are gaming, entertainment, education, fashion and beauty. Within those categories, sub-segments range from “Gamer Girls” to “Scientific Edutainers” to “Cursed Cosplayers,” each with their own passion points and engagement tolerance. Reaching such hyper-specific consumers requires a level of nuance that hasn’t previously been marketing’s forte, according to Gurevich.

“You have to be deeply embedded in the culture. You can’t just open TikTok one day and know what will appeal to these consumers,” said Gurevich. “There’s a lot of noise, and Gen Z is looking for more intimate ways to connect. That’s how we have to approach these subcultures, by looking at the passion behind them.”

For instance, Gamer Girls are a subculture of 3.1 million female gamers who regularly show up to play in a traditionally male-dominated — and sometimes misogynist — gaming category. As a result, their subculture is passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Traditionally male-skewing brands with heavy gaming strategies can tap into these passions to reach Gamer Girls without necessarily alienating their core consumers.

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Many esports and gaming deals this year reflect the insight. Denny’s in August partnered with Complexity Gaming, the sister esports team of the Dallas Cowboys, on sponsored Twitch streams with a lineup of all-female creators to promote DEI. On the flip side of the coin, products historically marketed to women are taking their first steps into the gaming arena to connect with a similar audience.

With a successful campaign, a brand has the opportunity to reach other groups as Gamer Girls interact with various subcultures. Indeed, many Gen Zers find affinity with more than one subculture, presenting a chance for marketers to reach an entirely different cohort.

“They’re not mutually exclusive,” said Gurevich. “Just because we found someone in one subculture, doesn’t mean we won’t find them somewhere else. If you have an entry point into one subculture, you can use that to run alongside the other subcultures.”


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Vad händer härnäst för Constance Hall efter drama i rättsfall


Vad händer härnäst för Constance Hall efter drama i rättsfall

Mummy blogger Constance Hall is considering her next steps after recent court action resulted in her being ordered to pay $15,000 to the creators of her now-defunct website.

The Perth mother-of-seven, best known for her highly publicised Facebook blog with more than one million followers, was taken to court by Annabel and Jody Olward, who designed her website Queens of Constance.

The case, heard in Western Australia’s District Court and which wrapped up on May 19, revolved around a deal made between Ms Hall and the Olward sisters in 2016, whereby they would create her website for free in exchange for a 50/50 split of its advertising revenue.

Judge Christopher Stevenson found while Ms Hall failed to maintain the agreed-upon frequency of blog posts, neither party fully understood the magnitude of the venture.

Ms Hall was ordered to pay the Olward sisters $15,000 in damages, but the court also heard Ms Hall would receive $5250 in a counterclaim.

But how did it get to this point, and how did a self-professed queen, self-confessed bogan, and at times controversial figure, become something of a household name in Australia?

A couple of years before fame came knocking, Ms Hall was a struggling single mother, taking care of four children under the age of five, including newborn twins, and a separation from then-husband Bill Mahon.

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The now-39-year-old turned to Facebook as an outlet, creating a page to blog, firing off a quick post to vent, and going about her day.

Camera IconConstance initially used her blog as a place to vent, and now uses it to discuss broader women’s issues, matters of equality, and sometimes back to her roots of parenting. Facebook Credit: Supplied

Constance — or Con for short — built a sizeable following, and had some experience with posts going viral. But “parent sex” would change everything.

“We had ‘parent sex’ yesterday,” wrote Ms Hall on January 5, 2016.

“You know what parent sex is, it’s that 3.5 minutes you get in between changing nappies and making food.”

Hall goes on to describe the quick lovemaking session, with measures taken to make sure her kids are none-the-wiser.

“It’s a pretty romantic scene really, listening to Iggle Piggle in the background, knowing your days are numbered when you here [sic] the ad break.”

The post resonated with Australian parents due to its honesty, its rawness, and its lack of filter: all descriptors that have been attributed to the Constance Hall blog, which exploded in popularity when the media got a hold of the “parent sex” post.

When “parent sex” was posted, her blog had about 250,000 followers. By the end of that year, it had ballooned to a million. And at the time of writing, it has 1.3m Facebook followers.

It was during this time the website fiasco involving the Olward sisters took place.

But two books, a clothing label, Dancing With The Stars appearance, a TEDx talk, charity ambassadorship, the court case, and another baby and two stepchildren later, and the Constance Hall empire continues to grow.

She still finds time to make regular blog posts; her latest musings, posted on Tuesday, explores the competition between women, societal pressures in a patriarchal world, and how it affects the development of teenage girls.

“For all the teenage girls out there, I need you to know something – you will come across bitchiness a lot in your life, but do you really understand why?” she wrote.

“I’m sure a lot of people have said the words ‘she’s just jealous, ignore it’ but I think it’s a bit more complicated then [sic] that.”

Ms Hall is no stranger to criticism, having spoken out in the past about bullying and how her meteoric rise to fame turned her into a polarising figure.

In a 2019 interview with reporter Allison Langdon on 60 Minutes, Ms Hall said she believed “tall poppy syndrome” was to blame.

“I think it’s probably one of the main reasons that everyone hates me, because the following got so big,” she said, and even confessed her thoughts turned to self-harm at her darkest point.

“There was definitely a time where I was just like, it would just be easier to not even be here.

“It was something that sort of swirled around in my head. I’d never felt like that before. I’d never even considered … like that’s terrifying. How could anyone do that, you know?”

Since her famous “parent sex” post in 2016, Ms Hall has become the target of online trolling and harassment.
Camera IconSince her famous “parent sex” post in 2016, Ms Hall has become the target of online trolling and harassment. Credit: Supplied

“People when they were commenting on my articles, weren’t so much commenting on the content, they were commenting about me,” Ms Hall told Mamamia’s Keryn Donnelly, also in a 2019 interview.

“It became more about me and less about my content.

“The trolls will do anything they can to completely destroy me. And that gets the jugular, that’s what they go for.”

Looking ahead post legal drama, Ms Hall is focusing her efforts on a new podcast.

“So this is happening,” she wrote on a post on May 16, on both her Facebook and Instagram accounts, announcing her latest venture.

“To be Frank with Constance Hall. The podcast that’s been forever in the making.

“Like everything I’m doing this independently, ok to be completely honest. I did pitch it to a network, but they failed to see its commerciality, thinking sponsors won’t take to the rawness of the content.

“Which is kind of a compliment right?”

It’s shaping up to be full of Ms Hall’s unfiltered style, discussions about life, “and some of the truly tapped shit that I find myself rabbit hole googling in the middle of the night.”

However, she doesn’t reveal which network decided to pass on the show.

It’s also yet to have a release date, but Ms Hall assures her followers, which she calls Queens, she will let them know as soon as it’s confirmed.

NCA NewsWire attempted to contact Constance Hall for this article.


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Google utökar sitt coachningsprogram för digital marknadsföring för små och medelstora företag


Google utökar sitt coachningsprogram för digital marknadsföring för små och medelstora företag

Google has announced an expansion of its digital coaches program for SMBs, which provides online marketing advice and assistance, for free, to diverse small businesses across the US.

The program aims to connect SMBs with approved digital coaches from their area, in order to help them navigate the various aspects of getting their business online and maximizing brand awareness.

Originally launched in selected regions back in 2019, Google’s now expanding the program, with new coaches in Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia.

Som förklarat av Google:

“Trained in partnership with Main Street America, these new coaches will work with businesses in their home states, with a focus on those that operate in small towns and rural communities. Digital Coaches will offer ongoing workshops on topics designed to help small businesses grow and thrive, including connecting with customers, selling online, and improving productivity – all for free.”

The benefit for Google, of course, is more ad spend, and more focus on improving the details of each businesses listed details, which will enhance Google’s database of businesses, services, and products that it can then highlight in Search.

So it’s free, in direct cost, but there are also clear benefits for Google in providing this education to as many businesses as possible.

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Google says that there are now 28 certified Grow with Google Digital Coaches across the US, helping Black and Latinx businesses to maximize their digital presence. Thus far, they’ve helped more than 160,000 small businesses gain new skills, and this new expansion could see that number rise rapidly, easing more businesses into the digital shift.

You can learn more about Grow with Google Digital Coaches, and how to access them, här.


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Största böterna enligt EU:s integritetslagstiftning


Mark Zuckerbergs sociala medieföretag – ägare till Facebook, Instagram och WhatsApp – har fått ungefär två miljarder euro i böter

Mark Zuckerberg’s social media firm — owner of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp — has racked up roughly two billion euros in fines – Copyright /File Brendan Smialowski

Joseph BOYLE and Jules Bonnard

The European Union rolled out its mammoth data privacy regulation five years ago this week, and has since handed down billions in fines.

Ireland’s data watchdog smashed the record for an individual fine on Monday when it demanded 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) from Meta over its transfers of personal data between Europe and the United States.

Here are some of the worst offenders of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR):

– Meta: undisputed fine king –

Mark Zuckerberg’s social media firm — owner of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp — has racked up roughly two billion euros in fines.

Breaches by Meta have included a mega-leak of some 533 million phone numbers and emails, mishandling children’s data and repeatedly failing to give a legal basis for its data collection.

Meta, along with the likes of Google, Twitter and LinkedIn has its European headquarters in Ireland, a low-tax regime that has courted big tech.

The Irish privacy watchdog has been reluctant to hand down big fines but said in a statement on Monday that the EU’s central authorities had ordered it to collect 1.2 billion euros from Meta.

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Austrian campaign group NOYB said it had spent millions in a decade-long legal battle to force the Irish watchdog to tackle the case.

“It is kind of absurd that the record fine will go to Ireland — the EU Member State that did everything to ensure that this fine is not issued,” said NOYB’s Max Schrems.

– US giants: In Meta’s shadow –

Luxembourg lit a torch under the Silicon Valley data industry in 2021 by slapping Amazon with a record fine of 746 million euros.

The country, whose low-tax policies have led campaigners to label it a tax haven, refused to give details of its decision at the time, only providing a brief statement after Amazon revealed the fine in its regulatory filings.

The online retail giant had been sued by a European consumer group claiming personal data was collected for ad-targeting without permission.

However, Amazon denied any breach and promised to appeal. It is unclear whether the fine has been paid.

Google has faced plenty of GDPR pain too.

France’s data watchdog hit the search giant with 50 million euros in fines for a lack of transparency on its Android mobile operating system in 2019 — the biggest such fine of that year.

– Clearview AI: Widespread penalties –

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Clearview AI may not be a household name, but it claims to own billions of photos of people’s faces that it sells as a searchable AI-powered database to law enforcement and other clients.

It scrapes the images from the web, often from social media accounts, without asking permission.

Privacy watchdogs in Greece, Italy, France and the UK have all hit the US firm with fines totally roughly 70 million euros, and regulators in Germany and Austria have declared it illegal.

The firm has consistently said it has no offices or clients in Europe and is not subject to EU privacy laws.

The status of the fines is unclear. France issued a penalty of five million euros recently, accusing the firm of failing to pay the initial fine.

– Public bodies, hacks –

In the early days of the GDPR, several watchdogs cracked down on public institutions, raising profound questions about the regulation’s scope.

Bulgaria fined its own tax authority around three million euros in 2019 after hackers stole the details of millions of people.

But several issues in the case were referred to the European Court of Justice, including whether such a hack automatically meant the data controller had not complied with GDPR.

The court has not yet issued a final decision.

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Portugal handed down one of the first significant fines under GDPR — 400,000 euros — in November 2018 to a hospital near Lisbon.

The watchdog ruled that the institution had allowed unauthorised access to patients’ data and the case was seen as an early wake-up call for public bodies to get busy with GDPR compliance.

Portugal later gave public institutions three years to adapt to the new regime, meaning the fine was never enforced.


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