Millennials already play a key role in B2B purchasing processes at their companies. According to the study “The Next Generation of B2B: How the Millennial Buyer is Changing B2B Sales & Marketing,” 73% of Millennials are already involved in overall decision-making processes; those responsibilities will only continue to increase as Millennials become more experienced players.
By 2025, Millennials will become 75% of the global workforce. So brands need to start figuring out the Millennial business buyer. Let’s take a look at some of the key insights into how Millennials are changing the B2B game.
Digital Is the Most Important Channel
Google surveys find that most B2B buying starts online with product or service research, not brand research. This means your website must clearly and quickly convey the added value by your company.
- Your digital ecosystem is bigger than your website. It includes, for example, social media. Make sure your digital touch-points complement and support each other.
- Mobile devices are important to Millennials. Are your digital touch-points mobile friendly?
- Does your website have clear calls to action that make it easy to access sales or customer service staff?
- Does your website clearly communicate your value proposition and what makes you different than the competition?
- Is your website customer-centric and is it easy to complete transactions?
Education on Products and Services is Essential
Nielsen reports that when interacting with social media Millennials “value authenticity—they want to feel like they have a personal, direct interaction with the brand—and in return, they’ll advocate and endorse that brand.” Millennials want to get to know a vender’s products though informative and engaging content. Case studies are the second most preferred type of content: Millennials want to evidence that a company delivers on what they promise.
- Are you using video to communicate information on your products and services?
- Do you provide evidence or data that demonstrates that you deliver what you promise?
- Do you tap into social content and customer feedback to help guide your brand strategy?
- Are you educating your buyers on your product or service, or are you just talking about your brand?
- Is your brand story authentic?
- Are your product descriptions robust and accurate?
Brands Need a Social Conscience
Nielsen found that Millennial buyers often gravitate toward a vendor that supports social causes endorsed by the buyer—particularly causes focused on education, poverty, and the environment. This goes beyond donating to charities. It’s not about logos, taglines, and products. It’s about creating a human and emotional relationship with the community and your buyers.
- What human and emotional attributes do you want your brand to inspire and represent?
- How does your brand give back to community?
- Does your brand further social causes?
- Is corporate consciousness embedded in your culture or is it just lip service?