Gen Z: Why Social Marketing is Going to Be Even More Important

Move over Baby Boomers and Millennials because a new generation – Gen Z – is taking over the world. But seriously. Never heard of Gen Z? Well, they’re the generation born between 1996 and 2010 and currently are ages 7 to 21 years old. They’ve never known a pre-9/11 America. They’ve never known what it’s like to not have Internet. They may not even know how to use a phone book – or maybe that a phone book isn’t the contacts list on their iPhones.

The U.S. Gen Z population is 63 million strong and growing due to immigration. Gen Z is expected to influence 60% of U.S. revenue by 2025. Although this may seem significant, we should really be looking at China.

In China, Gen Z includes for 247 million children and young adults. And China’s Gen Z is going to a whopping 16% of total global income. That said, this generation has a lot of power, and they don’t even yet have university degrees. So, what makes Gen Z unique? We found four traits that should make organizations think twice about their long-term marketing plans.

  1. Their operating system is technology.

Gen Z-ers are always connected. An electronic device must be in their hand at all times – whether it’s a mobile phone, tablet, or laptop. The more mobile the better as they’re always on the go, but maintain connected. They spend at least 9 hours per day digitally engaged – whether in school or at home. This time is spent gaming, browsing, socializing (such as Instagram and GroupMe), listening to music (think iTunes or Spotify), watching TV (think Netflix or YouTube). Some also spend time creating their owndigital content (such as Additionally, they only use a few apps on their phone.

  1. They are more diverse than ever before.

In the U.S., the majority of Gen Z are non-white as a result of immigration. It is likely that a Gen Z kid has a mom who’s Indonesian and a dad who’s Irish. The kid is interested in not just one activity, but multiple. They don’t just see themselves as a dancer, a chemist, or musician. They have their hands in many cookie jars, so to speak, which makes them feel fulfilled and creative. It’s also likely they will pursue multiple divergent degrees such as biochemistry and theater.

When it comes to marriage, 66% back marriage equality, research firm 747 Insights confirms, and only 80% are currently interested in getting marriage. They’ll follow the path of millennials by not following traditional ideals such as getting married and having multiple kids before the age of 30. Gen Z seems to be the most independent of all generations and seek multiple experiences – such as dating and traveling – before tying the knot with a significant other.

  1. They’re more authentic and care deeply.

This generation seeks to purchase goods and services from brands that “do good” for the world and their communities. They’ve grown up in the war on terror and multiple wars such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. They care even more about social justice issues than millennials, who tend to focus on globalization issues and social responsibility.

Gen Z-ers will fight for themselves, their loves ones, their friends, and others if they see them treated unfairly due to gender, sexuality, race, pay, and environmental issues – just to name a few. This generation wants to be a change agent and truly believe they can make a positive impact. They can use their digital savviness and self-assured mindsets to influence via social media channels such as YouTube, Instagram, and Kickstarter.

Technology allows this generation to influence at a global scale virtually, rather than traveling around the world. They are able to create their own personal brands and form their online communities, which have very low barriers to entry. There are no boundaries, rules, or fees (only to the extent of what their content channels allow, of course).

  1. They value relationships over transactions.

Gen Z seeks a personalized shopping experience. As discussed above, they believe brands play an important role in society and are responsible for making it better. Just as this generation create its own content online and inspires others, they expect the same in return from brands they purchase from. They’re also likely promote a brand (particularly online) as a result of a positive customer experience. About half of all Gen Z purchases include a digital element – either through their product search or actual purchase. They are likely to use online product reviews from people they follow and trust online – especially celebrities. They are also likely to participate more in member-only events and loyalty programs that reward them for frequent purchasing.

If you thought Amazon was just a fad, think again. Online shopping is here to stay and grow, funded by Generation Z. Brands should pay special attention to this generation’s purchase patterns as they continue to grow older and become a larger part of our global economy.

Video Games: Live Streaming

Video Games. This is not the first thought that normally comes to mind when talking about a marketing class for a MBA program. Marketing products have many sides, the price, functionality, convenience, life-cycle. The same goes for marketing a video game, showing demos of game-play, focusing on certain market segments, deciding how much one should charge. Though on the other side of this industry is the consumers and within this market is a group of individuals who are trying to make a living by playing the games they love.

Image result for that's the dream gif

In this case the streamers themselves are the product that needs to be advertised. Their market segment is other gamers. The goal is to get as many followers/viewers as one can. There are many ways to make a profit by playing video games. One of the big ones is ‘Live’ streaming, thanks to better technology people are now able to get programs on their computers that will allow you to stream in real time (Live) a game you are currently playing. The three main platforms today are YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook. All three are great platforms and allow the gamers to stream their game play for free or, once you have enough followers, for a profit.


In the game streaming world there are many ways to make a profit. One way is to get fan donations or supporters. On both Twitch and Facebook, the viewers are able to become supporters where they are paying about $5 a month to as the name suggests support the individual. This is a nice way for the fans to show the streamers support and the streamers in return show they care about them. They can do this by supporter only videos or posts. Some even send out gifts. For example, Tradechat sends out cute stickers.

If we take the top streamers they have anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000 followers. If only 0.5% of that becomes supporters, they could be making $2,500 to $7,500 a month. Which is about $15.62 to $46.87 an hour to just play video games live and with the federal minimum wage sitting at $7.50 this is a great idea for those who love playing video games all the time. One Twitch Streamer Disguised Toast revealed how much he actually makes each month. He is constantly within the top 10 streamers on Twitch and from all revenue platforms combined he makes roughly $20,000 a month.

Image result for Cloud raining money

Of course, with every success story there are many more stories of people who did not make it. When considering if you want to go into this field you have to consider the idea that you will get bored, your games will no longer be fun, and there is no guaranteed paycheck.

To be successful one thing is clear. You must be entertaining to watch and get your name out there. A lot of your fame will be through shares and word of mouth from other viewers. One would need to have a marketing strategy for getting more viewers.

To start in this business, one needs to have games people want to watch, a decent system either computer or console, a streaming program, and be ready to stream on a reliable consistent basis. Being a professional streamer can be a tough career path to take. You have to make yourself different from all the others. So how does marketing work when you are the product?

First you must have a love for the games and be pretty good at playing them. No one wants to watch an amateur. Though it is entertaining to see a rage quit, you really do not want that to be what you are known for.

Image result for rage quit gif

Once you have the basics down, this is when your strategy starts. You can get other fellow streamers to watch your channel by watching their channels and supporting others. Have all of your relatives and friends share your streams and have them to ask people they know to do the same.

Once you have a big enough fan base it will become easier and easier for your streams to go viral. Also doing advertising for other companies can help. For example, you can get paid by companies to open mystery boxes or loot boxes on camera. The company will pay you and advertise you to their customers. You can also post to gaming forums about your streams.

Lastly, yes other streamers may be your competition, but gamers are a community and other streamers are your community. Help them and they will help you!

Image result for Gamer Community


Chernova, M. (2018, May 16). How to make money streaming: 6 ways to go live and get paid. Retrieved November 11, 2018, from

Disguised Toast. (n.d.). How Much MONEY Do Twitch Streamers REALLY Make? (Inside Look from a Top Streamer). Retrieved from

Fagan, K. (n.d.). We asked famous YouTubers what it’s actually like to play video games for a living — here are all the perks and drawbacks that come with the job. Retrieved November 11, 2018, from

Hale, J. (2018, October 10). Here’s A Candid Breakdown Of Exactly How Much Money Twitch Streamers Earn Per Month. Retrieved November 12, 2018, from

Korpi, J. (2017, May 25). How to Livestream on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube at the Same Time. Retrieved November 11, 2018, from

This Is How To Get More Viewers On Your Twitch Stream. (2017, October 27). Retrieved November 18, 2018, from

Video Influencers. (n.d.). How to Make Money on YouTube for Beginners – 5 Best Ways. Retrieved from


Hopsy Review: The Keurig machine for Beer Gave me Buyers Remorse

Hopsy Review: The Keurig machine for Beer Gave me Buyers Remorse

Connor Harber

After literally swallowing what was left of my pride in flat, watery tasting beer I felt defeated but hydrated ….


My experience:

The coupon got me! These were the words of the first sip of my freshly tapped beer using the SUB of my recently purchased Hopsy beer machine. I had recently seen an advertisement on Instagram for a nifty looking product that looked like a giant speaker dispensing freshly tapped beer, and with the picture of an Oktoberfest coupon fluorescently glowing in my face, I knew this $100 off was enough for me to pull the trigger to make the purchase. What I thought would become my new “Keurig” for beer quickly became a time-consuming process to get my money back for an experience that fell flat on its face!


Overview of Product:

Hopsy is a company that sells a Homedraft SUB draft system made by KRUPS which is designed to bring the taproom into your home. Hopsy then partners with dozens of breweries mostly located California to give you access to a rotation of beers. These products are offered online only through the company store to be purchased for delivery to your choice of home or office.

The SUB draft system is a plug and pour appliance that sits on any flat table top surface and with 4 simple steps; 1. Load 2. Tap 3. LOCK 4. Pour, you can enjoy the award-winning breweries on tap in your home.

The beer is stored in mini-kegs the company calls “Torps” which are plastic pressurized bottles holding about 2 liters of beer that you insert into the sub similar to a Keurig K-cup. Each Torp has a tube on the end that is used when inserting the container into the Sub to dispense the beer from the tap once plugged in and powered on.

To get the perfect pour, it takes about 6 to 8 hours for a Torp sitting in room temperature to cool down for the device to give you literally a green light to start pouring. A refrigerated torp takes about half or less the time of a non-refrigerated one.

The beer can be purchased individually per Torp or with a subscription-based monthly payment only through the Hopsy site due to the proprietary technology of the Torps and the SUB device. The SUB device is designed to only work by using the TORPS just like you can only use K-cups with a Keurig coffee machine.


The First 3 Torps and the Death of the 4th

“After the remains of beer were down the sink, on the sealing and drenched my clothes, I felt a little bit at peace with myself”

My SUB draft system, as well as the four different Torps I purchased, arrived within 5 to 7 business days and after I signed for proof of delivery, I had the machine turned on in less than 10 minutes. The torps I purchased to try were the Pineapple IPA, Citra Single Hop IPA, MT. Tam Pale Ale and Therapy Session IPA.

I started with the Pale Ale as this is a go-to favorite of mine and the idea was to work my way through the IPA’s after I had started with the Pale Ale. After inserting the Torp, the SUB device took about 6.5 hours to cool down from room temperature. Once I was given the green light to pour, I pulled the tap and could immediately feel the freezing sensation of the beer being poured into the glass my hand was holding. With some froth, I decided to let the foam settle and then took a big gulp of my ice-cold beer. I was immediately transported to a somewhat familiar place in my hazy memory where I was down to the last sip of my can of “Busch Light” or as some folks in Pullman, WA would call “Pullman water” and decided I would have the courage to drink the flat, watery tasting remains in the can.

I was immediately perplexed with the situation I found myself in and wondered if the non-carbonated taste of the first Torp was due to user error or supposed to taste that way. As I powered through the rest of the first Torp to see no improvements in taste, I hoped maybe it was just the Pale Ale, and the rest of the IPA Torps would taste fine.   

I moved on to the next two IPA’s (Pineapple and Citra Single Hop) and saw my hope diminish as these Torps also suffered from the same taste issues. The beer was so flat that it reminded me of the lack of carbonation of the last sip from a can of any name brand beer. After literally swallowing what was left of my pride in flat, watery tasting beer, I felt defeated, but hydrated. I knew I could not take this pain anymore and decided to make a peace offering with the fourth Torp.

In the same way Happy Gilmore got payback at the laughing clown, or the dudes in Office Space used a baseball bat to unleash their rage on a malfunctioning printer, I also sought out to release a fury of revenge. I grabbed the last remaining untapped Torp called “Therapy Session” and placed it gently in the kitchen sink, reached for the nearest kitchen knife and began to go full on “Liam Neason” on this pressurized plastic bottle of beer. After the remains of beer were down the sink, on the ceiling and my clothes were drenched, I felt a little bit at peace with myself but knew this was only the first step in trying to recover my financial loss. This was the therapy I needed after that heartbreak.  




The Return of my dignity:

The next day I emailed the company asking for my money back due to my unsatisfactory experience with the product. After emailing back and forth with a very responsive customer service representative, I was able to receive a credit for my purchase and canceled my monthly subscription. The only cost ended up being a small nonrefundable shipping fee. I was very pleased in the end with the way the company handled this situation and was able to provide me a credit for my purchase.

Pros / Cons

In hindsight, I wish I would have done a bit more research and had taken the following Amazon Customer Review from Corey Williamson more seriously:


The verdict is in, and Hopsy failed to keep me as a customer as they could not deliver on the most important fundamental aspect of their product and business model; providing quality beer that resembles the taproom or bar in your home. This is without a doubt the most crucial aspect of delivering value to the customer and resulted in me in wanting to return the device. Aside from taste, the product was easy to set up and use, but did have its pitfalls such as time taken to cool a Torp and that I could purchase the same Beers in a local grocery store for a cheaper price. What seems like a good design on the surface, Hopsy lacks in durability by using cheap plastic materials. Hopsy did dilute my frustrations in the end by providing great customer service and crediting me for my loses. After recovering my financial loss, I wish I would have ignored the advertisement and just stuck with the beer I can get locally.

BAD: Hopsy delivered on ease of use and great customer service but failed on taste and design.

Overall: 4.0

Taste: 1.0

Design: 6.0

Customer Service: 9.0


Hopsy: Digital Marketing Strategy

Hopsy utilized a pull strategy to win me over as a customer and ultimately led me to purchase their product. Through their sponsored social media ads (in my case Instagram), they were able to make touchpoints with me, which increased my interest over time. After several ads that offered discounts, my interest in Hopsy drove me to their website to find out more about the product. Hopsy has a very well put together website that offers good information about the product and subscription. I think this is a good strategy for gaining new customers because I am in the ideal demographic of what Hopsy view’s as a potential customer and seeing this sponsored add over time, in combination with deals, led me to make a purchase decision.


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Cats vs. Dogs: who does the internet love more?

This has to be the greatest debate facing our generation today – who do we love more (on the Internet)? We all are well aware that animals, not only cats and dogs, hold a warm fuzzy place in our hearts, especially when it comes to videos, memes, GIFs, and more.

You might think that cats rule the Internet. There are the hero cats – such as those that save little boys biking in their neighborhoods from pitbull attacks – and cats that are pure purrodigies such as those that know how to stroke the keys effortlessly on the piano.  

So are meowsers truly the mascot of the Internet? Or are bowsers taking over? According to the Chinese zodiac, 2018 is the Year of the Dog. Perhaps then, by nature of the alignment of the stars, dogs are more popular than cats. We dug deeper into some web analytics to find out who’s the Internet’s favorite animal:

  1.   Top Most Followed Instagram Pets in 2017

According to Instagram, the majority of pets (6 out of 10) followed on Instagram were dogs. Ok, so that’s probably not enough to justify that dogs are more popular than cats online. Let’s look at some other statistics.

2.   Top Instagram Posts

When it comes to number of total posts, there were 31M more dogs posts than cat posts in 2017 on Instagram. Although dogs had more posts, there were over 323M posts about dogs and cats combined. People sure do like to share the love for these critters and they’re winning on Instagram content, but it’s still hard to conclude that dogs are truly more loved than cats online.

3.   Search Trends

In 2012, we experienced a turning point in video searches. That is, globally, people became more interested in searching for dogs videos than cat videos. The graph below shows that cats have been on a somewhat steady decline since 2008. People desire more dog video content than cats.

Source: Google Trends 2018

Then another crazy thing happened. In 2014, the Google search term “cute dogs” was searched more for the first time than “funny cats” in the United States and globally in 2015. “Funny cats” has continued a steady decline ever since then while “cute dogs” have remained relatively stable. Does this mean that we yearn for playful Fluffy more than Grumpy Cat? Or could it be that the Sochi Olympics’ sweetheart Gus Kenworthy’s viral photos of stray puppies created a rise in online puppy love?

Source: Google Trends 2018

  1.     YouTube Content

While dogs are searched for much more than cats, there are less doggy videos actually uploaded.

  1.    Subreddits

And when it comes to one of the most popular subreddits for cats, dogs, babies, and more things that make you smile, /r/aww is a hotspot for “cute and cuddly pictures” with its massive following of 18.5M subscribers and growing. By sorting top posts on the subreddit by “past month”, there is a greater number of dog posts than cat posts. When it comes to indexing all subreddits though, there are more cat subreddits. This could mean that cat lovers are branching off to create their own subreddits and posting less on /r/aww subreddit.  

  1.  Kitty vs. Doggy GIFs

We love GIFs. When it comes to our GIF library, we have more cat GIFs to choose from than dog GIFs, according to As of today, there are 81K cat GIFs while only 77K dog GIFs. When it comes to GIFs with both dogs and cats, there are almost 70K. Clearly we’re attracted to the age-old entertainment of who’s the real Iron Man: cat v. dog.

  1.    “Cats and the Internet” is its own Wikipedia page.

Finally, the fact that there is a specific webpage for “Cats and the Internet” suggests the magnitude cats have on online culture. This type of page doesn’t exist for doggies on Wikipedia.


The Verdict: When it comes to searches and content, the winner is dogs. The reason for this may be that in the state of the world as it is today, we desire a sense of belonging and loyalty, something that dogs offer unconditionally. When it comes to viralness, cats take the cake. Maybe it’s the law of diminishing returns. As humans, we can only be interested in something for a specific period of time and then we redirect our interest somewhere else. Although there isn’t as much dog content online, the interest is there so get out there and start posting some cute pupperonis!