It’s recent college grads that make up the oldest members of the generational group known as Gen Z. These are 21 and 22 year-olds eager to find their stride in the workforce. While Millennials are the generation to witness the shift in mobile technology throughout their teen and early adult years, that's all Gen Z-ers have ever known. As we like to put it, if Millennials are mobile-first, Gen Z is mobile-only. And if your organization has not put forth an effort to capture the interest of Millennials, then it’s definitely not looking great for drawing in those of Gen Z.
A common misconception about aiming to attract younger members to your organization is feeling as if you are then alienating your older demographic. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Your older members use smartphones. They use apps. And, they deserve a little more credit than you might think.
It's Gen Z-ers that are the future of your organization. Your current members are going to retire and the reality is, many of those belonging to Gen Z are unaware of what an association is or why it’s beneficial to belong to one. That makes it important to modernize now more than ever. Gen Z-ers are not going to participate in anything that feels antiquated. They are not web or email-based. They live on their phones and always have.
But don’t feel overwhelmed by the task at hand. The first (and most important) step is to commit to a mobile mindset and approach in all you do. Think - how can your organization reach its members through mobile? How can you use mobile to add value to your membership? As seen with most large, for-profit businesses, the driver of this change in engagement will be a dedicated mobile app. Gen Z-ers only interact with their trusted brands through apps.
By offering an app in your respective field, these young potential members can better grasp your goal of providing them with top industry resources they can utilize to help advance their professional endeavors. In doing this through the channel most accessible and familiar to them, you’re now speaking their language.
With 2020 being what feels just moments away, excuses for avoiding mobile can no longer be relied on. Late adoption is not attractive to the young members you’re going to need. Lay the groundwork now for those that will be responsible for carrying on both your legacy and mission. Give them the tools they expect and require.