B2B Companies Need to Pay Attention to Millennials NOW
As a millennial who works with both B2B and B2C clients, I'm always surprised to hear this from business owners…
"I run a B2B company, I don't need to target millennials."
People think they’re NOT a relevant audience to target?! By 2020, they're estimated to spend 1.4 trillion dollars! This is a generation you can't afford to ignore.
When people make assumptions without looking at the facts, that’s when problems occur and opportunities are lost. Know the facts first, before you make any snap judgements.
Here's the truth. Millennials DO have a major influence on B2B businesses. From 2012 to 2014, there was a 19% increase in the millennial B2B researcher demographic—making them the dominant demographic in B2B research.
So, now that we know they're a major influence with B2B companies, we need to know how to target them—whether your company is B2B or B2C.
The first step is learning more about Millennials!
Who are they?
Generally speaking, millennials are people between the ages of 18 and 34.
What are they like?
Millennials want to have a personal connection with brands, so traditional ways of marketing won't work with them. Companies should focus less on what they do, and more on telling the story of why they’re in business. If you want your company to appeal to this generation, here are three important things you should know about them.
Millennials are MOBILE.
On average, a this technology-loving generation checks their phone 43 times per day! As a millennial, I use several types of technology but I use my smartphone the most. I pretty much do everything and anything I need on it. Whether it's for using my email, checking social media, browsing websites, paying my bills; I do it all on my phone. By realizing that we are mobile centric, companies need to adapt their marketing to speak with this generation.
Reviews are important.
If you think reviews are only written after buying products off Amazon, think again. They're also there for employees to give comments about their work experience at a company. Millennials are researching prospective employers before they're sending off their resumé and cover letter. Job search websites like Indeed and Glassdoor, give users the opportunity to comment on their work experience at a company. If you don't have reviews, or if you have negative ones, now is the time to encourage others to give positive reviews.
They like to be FIRST.
Millennials are known as early adopters—people who use new technology as soon as it's available. I can hardly remember a time when I didn't know how to use a cell phone or a computer. It's something that I've had almost all of my life. Using technology is something that just comes naturally to me.
Since we’ve been around technology so long, we have higher expectations. So, if you have a website that looks outdated, we’re going to judge you on that. If your company doesn’t appear modern and professional, why would we want to do business or work with you? If you don’t look like you know what you’re doing, we’re going to assume that you don’t know what you’re doing—even if you’re the best in your industry. That’s why staying up-to-date on the latest technology trends is crucial.
What are the benefits of working with millennials?
If you're not currently working with or managing millennials, you will be! By 2020, millennials will make up 46% of the workforce! Here's why you'll want this generation to be part of your team.
They’re unconventional learners.
Technology has made it possible to learn about anything you want. Millennials are teaching themselves skills through YouTube videos, blogs, webinars, and so much more.
They love social media!
Shocker...huh?! You’re probably thinking, “How would that be beneficial to employers?” If you have employees that have an online presence, this allows them to create awareness of your company. Beyond your company’s social media, your employees can post blog articles, projects, and connect with other professionals on their accounts—expanding the awareness of your business to more people.
Money isn't everything to them.
In a study by the Kenan-Flagler Business School, millennials listed having meaningful work ahead of having a high paying job. Who doesn't want an employee that loves what they do, not just the money they make?
They like quick updates.
Do you give performance reviews? If you want to appeal to millennials, you should think about giving quick comments on their work instead. They're used to having quick and fast updates with everything else, so it only makes sense that they'd want this at their jobs.
What are you waiting for? If you're a B2B company, it's time to recognize their value as customers and employees. Start engaging with millennials now!
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Crystal Wimperis helps businesses stand out from the crowd by combining strategic thinking with captivating design. As the marketing and design specialist, she creates visuals for clients to drive their marketing efforts. Whether it’s designing graphics for a business’ social media page, website, or an event—her priority is creating designs that gets clients noticed and enhances their credibility. You can follow Crystal on Twitter at @brilliantcryst or connect with her on Linkedin
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