A survey about millennials in the B2B marketing space showed that:
- 22% of marketing and sales teams believe they deal with millennial buyers or influencers 21%-40% of the time
- 46% believe they deal with millennial buyers <20% of the time
Those marketing and sales teams are very wrong – 73% of millennials are involved in B2B purchasing decisions.
Millennial traits are widely disputed – are they confident, self-centered and entitled, lazy, a product of a bad economy, all of the above, or something else? – but it’s indisputable that they’re responsible for infusing $600 billion into the U.S. economy every year.
And that’s not counting what they spend at work. As mentioned, 73% of millennial employees are involved in making purchasing decisions for their companies or their own businesses, and 34% make purchasing decisions alone.
How do you adapt?
Consider the experience
Millennials’ expectations for B2B brand interactions match their expectations for consumer brand interaction – responsiveness, immediate gratification, and ease of use – so be prepared to offer that type of experience.
But millennials also place a high value on personal relationships with vendors, so offering them a good experience is paramount – and that isn’t a sales pitch. They want authentic interactions with vendors where they explore possibilities and get questions answered.
Change how (and where) you communicate
Millennials spend 3.5 times more time in messaging apps than individuals over 45. You’ll have to do some digging to determine if your target customers prefer text, Slack, Skype, Snapchat, or some other platform, but one thing is for sure – never leave a voicemail for a millennial.
Be search-friendly, especially on mobile
B2B millennial buyers are more than halfway ready to make a decision before they engage on your site (and they do an average of 12 generic searches before engaging with a brand). That doesn’t mean they aren’t looking at your site, though – the internet is their number one choice for research.
In addition, you’ll find 42% of millennial buyers using a mobile device for research, with 49% of those admitting to using mobile wherever they are – including at work, in front of their computer.
It’s not just consumer brands that have to focus on the millennials’ unique buying process anymore – millennials are gaining responsibility in business, and B2B brands that can connect with them will be more successful.
Need help marketing to millennials? Or with video, mobile, and designed customer experience? Or all of the above? Give us a call!