Millennials are increasingly becoming essential B2B buyers who make purchasing decisions for their companies, and marketers should build strategies to reach out to them through social media, social audio and live video.
Over the last five years, the involvement of millennials in B2B purchasing decisions, as well as their distinctive behaviors as business buyers, have been key issues of interest for B2B marketing and sales leaders. Millennials are the first group of digital natives to hold prominent roles in the workplace. Many millennials have ascended to positions of leadership and now have major influence over B2B purchasing decisions.
According to a Demand Gen survey of 200 millennials conducted in 2019, 56% of respondents held director-level or higher roles, and another 42% occupied managerial positions. 21% of those polled worked as vice presidents or held C-suite positions. They are currently the most important target group for B2B marketers.
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Prior to the pandemic, much effort had gone into how to target this generation of digital natives. Today, B2B marketers are getting a fresh start at addressing this audience, having polished their virtual expertise doing business nearly entirely online in 2020. With that in mind, here are three strategies for improving the B2B brand among millennials and capturing their market.
Focus on emerging media
Millennials place a high value on having access to a variety of digital outlets. A majority use social media at work to communicate and keep up with industry news. They prefer a distinct brand voice and place a high value on social media.
While social media is still their primary source of engagement, live video and audio are now part of their everyday routine as well. As a result, B2B marketers should look into these channels and draw inspiration from modern thinking firms that have used live video to great effect. These companies have produced episodic, live series to engage their target audiences, followed by personalized communications- exactly what millennials expect from companies.
Utilize mobile channels to educate
Mobile apps and platforms are an excellent way for B2B marketers to capture the attention of millennials and retain their loyalty. Live video, text and, audio communications such as podcasts and Clubhouse are the key factors to engaging them on mobile.
Marketers should engage with their preferred audience through data-driven platforms regardless of the medium. While digital platforms can help B2B companies get the relevant prospects, millennials still prefer text, live video, and audio messaging. As the latest alert or message pings across their screen, the difficulty as a marketer is to hold this group’s attention.
Demonstrate brand values
Furthermore, B2B brands must demonstrate a sense of purpose. Millennials as consumers demand that brands address social injustice issues. According to a recent LendingTree survey of 1,048 Americans, 55% are willing to spend more on eco-friendly and sustainable products. At 58% and 50%, Gen Z and millennials are the most likely to boycott a company that isn’t environmentally conscientious.
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Furthermore, B2B companies should go beyond the performative and take concrete action. Millennials expect employers and brands to mirror their beliefs, and they have begun to expect this from B2B vendors. The pandemic, is likely to have accelerated this change, as brands face 360-degree accountability.
With marketing teams led by multigenerational staff with strong post-pandemic digital capabilities, B2B firms are regaining a foothold among the digitally native demographic that is now in charge. Focusing on social and emerging media, meaningful mobile content, and brand values can help B2B marketers succeed with millennials.
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