07 Case Study

Gen Z Marketing To Maximize Customer Lifetime Value

Extending Customer Lifetime Value in Young Audiences


A leading retailer for tween and teen girls spanning generations “Y” and “Z” with 5,300 stores in the United States and the United Kingdom, sought innovative Gen Z marketing.


The client was a late adopter of e-commerce due to COPPA regulations, which limits ad targeting to users under the age 13, as well as payment and logistical challenges for product delivery.

Criterion Global’s task was to launch a sound, COPPA-compliant media buying effort to support new customer acquisition and encourage on-site e-commerce transactions. At the center of this is endeavor was to extend customer lifetime value, a peculiar challenge given the brand’s core consumers are tween and teen audiences.


When we think of advertising “regulated markets,” financial marketing and healthcare/pharma typically come to mind; Advertising Disney™-licensed nail polish and pink lemonade lipgloss? Not so much.

COPPA regulations, somewhat like GDPR, require compliant opt-in workflows to ensure users under 13 aren’t targeted inappropriately.


With technology replacing the social interaction of mall culture, to revive its relevance for new generations this specialty retailer needed a strategy to aggressively engage with its customers where they spent their time – on social media and in the digital space.

Our short term strategy began with the implementation of e-commerce media buying tactics to overcome challenges unique to this retailer’s demographic and low individual product price points, which prevented economical shipping. Ultimately, customer-segmented media planning ensured compliance with COPPA regulations, with audience-specific goals for each age specific segment –  taken together, this gave us a pulse on customer lifetime value.


With Criterion Global, the client’s average transaction value through low-cost incentives and a ‘buy online, pickup in-store’ was rolled out across their owned and operated retail network. Additionally, a defined roadmap for sustaining relevance to young shoppers directed brand marketing to more effectively to promote high margin items specific to each unique age segment. This tiered marketing structure of promoting incrementally maturing products, with incrementally sophisticated brand communication helped nudge customer age segments towards products that appealed to their next age bracket as those customers matured. This strategy helped keep customers excited and shopping for new products for longer periods during their tween and teen years. 

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