Considering the $350 billion combined spending power of Millennials and Gen Z, brands have made it a priority in 2019 to reach them, motivate them, and inspire loyalty among them.

But what's truly motivating these younger audiences? How do they differ? And what strategies and tactics can today's marketers use to inspire the enduring loyalty of Millennials and Gen Z consumers?

To find out, I recently hosted a panel at Nerd 100 with prominent marketers and researchers who excel at understanding, engaging, and bridging these two generations of customers. Here are some of the things experts from Facebook, Airbnb, Lyft, Ellevest, and InterQ Research had to say.

1. Immediacy matters

One of the dominant themes from the panel was the idea that the window for successful engagement is extremely narrow, so marketers really need to be in tune with cultural trends and relevant in the right moments.

These younger audiences—Millennials, who are 23-38 years old, and GenZ, who are 7-22 years—are true digital natives and they consume vast amounts of data each day. In fact, the average attention span for Millennials is just 12 seconds. It's an even shorter eight seconds for GenZ audiences; moreover, Gen Z consumers often consume content on up to five screens at once, compared with Millennials' three screens.

That's one of the reasons Facebook's Jasmine Clennon, advertising insights marketing strategist, attributes to the rising popularity of Stories. The 24-hour time limit for this popular vanishing-content format has unique appeal for younger audiences that crave authentic, immediate experiences.

To inspire engagement, brands should "play more," she suggested, emphasizing that younger consumers enjoy stickers, emojis, and playful photos and videos that allow them to express themselves around the brands they use and enjoy.

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image of Alison McGlone

Alison McGlone is the director of brand marketing at NerdWallet. She is responsible for launching the company's "Turn to the Nerds" brand platform.

LinkedIn: Alison McGlone