Millennials will make up over a third of the global workforce By 2020. They are already quickly moving up the corporate ladder and taking on more purchasing power in the process. But in some circles, they’re still an afterthought. Although B2C marketers are personalising their messages to cater to millennial needs and desires, most B2B marketers aren’t following suit.
One of the main reasons may be due to an outdated perception of the modern day millennial. But by better understanding their buying habits, preferences and by nurturing existing relationships, we can better target our outreach, grab their attention and target new millennial B2B customers. Here are a few data-driven insights to keep in mind before creating a campaign around what you think you know about millennial decision makers.
Millennials expect more personalisation than previous generations
When selling to businesses, many B2B marketers miss the fact that decision makers are very much human, with tailored interests, needs, and drivers. In order to stand out above all the noise, modern marketing campaigns need to be memorable and hyper-targeted at those who actually hold the keys to the company chest.
Spiceworks recently surveyed different generations of B2B buyers to understand their purchase drivers and discovered that 60% of millennials prefer to purchase from tech brands that cultivate relationships with potential customers instead of merely looking to secure quick, transactional deals.
Additionally, 34% of millennials said they need to have a personal experience with a tech brand before making a purchase, compared to 25% of Gen X and 17% of Baby Boomers. In other words, B2B marketers need to anticipate their customer needs with more demographic data: their age, company role, and where they are in the buying cycle. We can use this information to personalise our campaigns and add more value with content that moves prospects closer to a solution.
Millennials won’t respond to your cold calls
B2B buyers are bombarded every day with countless cold calls, spam emails, and pop up adverts, so it’s no wonder they’re disconnected from un-personalised, irrelevant marketing. It should, therefore, come as no surprise that millennials are less likely to respond to impersonal marketing tactics, such as cold calls, direct mail, and mass emails. In fact, 85% of millennial B2B buyers said too many sales calls and emails will make them less likely to purchase from a brand they’re loyal to. Additionally, as savvy users of social media, they are far more used to having content and marketing personalised to them, raising the expectation bar for all other forms of marketing.
In other words, instead of cold calling and emailing them product pitch after product pitch, focus on making their lives easier by sending them informative content (e.g., technical specs, how-tos, templates) that helps them get their jobs done and convince their boss to invest.
Millennials appreciate creative marketing campaigns
In addition to personalisation, millennials gravitate towards visually striking marketing, such as videos and infographics, throughout the buying decision-making process. In fact, 23% of millennial IT buyers believe creative marketing efforts are important to driving brand loyalty (and, by extension, repeat purchasing), compared to only 18% of Gen Xers and 13% of baby boomers. The right combination of personalised messages and creativity can be the win-win that marketers need.
Ultimately, as millennials continue to gain more influence over organisations’ budgets, B2B marketers need to recognise this generation’s unique preferences. And marketers who adjust their tactics to cater to millennials can improve their chances at driving purchases and reaping financial rewards.
By Jamie Bowler, marketing director at Spiceworks
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