More than one-in-three (35%) of American workers are millennials, making them the largest generation in the U.S. labor force, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. They also represent the largest generation in the Canadian workforce.
Many of your prospects are now millennials, so it’s vital for B2B companies to understand how to market to them. Some have the role of final decision maker, while others are researching for the decision makers. Either way, they affect your business. Unlike generations in past, millennials want things done differently. So if you're going to be successful, it's important to understand these differences and how they impact your marketing plans.
1. Be benefits focused
Millennials want to understand the purpose of your product or service and most importantly how it will help them. While this shift to benefit focused messaging is definitely becoming common practice, there are still many organizations that we meet that are stuck in the past with a features story instead. This audience doesn’t care why you think you are amazing or why you think your product is the best, they want to understand why and how it will help them. End of story.
2. Mobile first
Their phone is an extension of the body that goes everywhere with them. So, if for any reason you haven’t been completely focused on mobile that needs to change immediately! Not only does your website need to be optimized for mobile (which thankfully most are these days), your content also needs to be duplicated on your mobile site and you need to ensure the best mobile experience. What does that mean? Many organizations have leveraged pre-built website templates that are optimized for mobile but not all companies are making all the content from their desktop site available on mobile. Many organizations build the site for desktop and then it adjusts for mobile, stripping some of the content for mobile. We recommend that you think mobile first. 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly-designed mobile site.
Millennials want to engage with brands. It’s important that they feel good about the brands they buy from for both personal and professional needs. One of the easiest ways to engage with your prospects and customers is through social. If you are not currently active on social, then you should read our blog where to start with social media. This does require dedication as you need to maintain a regular cadence with your posts and keep your content fresh but it’s worth the investment. 66% of marketers that spend at least 6 hours on social per week have seen more leads. And, according to HubSpot, 90% of all marketers say social media marketing has increased their business exposure.
4. Reviews and recommendations
Millennials want to hear from their peers not from the brand. The easiest way to sell your product is to have others say it’s great. Make sure you get testimonials and case studies that you can promote and share so others can hear from people who have used your service or your product how great it is and the benefit it provided them. Make sure you have a plan to collect these from happy customers and then promote them on your website and equip your sales team with links or printed versions to share.
5. Instant response
The world today is more fast paced than ever before. People have the world at their fingertips and now expect answers instantly. Most will research the product or service they need with the help of Google prior to engaging with a sales rep however some do have questions during the research phase and want answers that may not be easily found. For those prospects, having a chat feature available on your website is one of the best ways to engage with them and ensure that you are addressing their concerns and answering their questions, so they will purchase from you when the time is right. If they can’t find the information on your site, then will go to your competitor.
6. Say hello to inbound
Millennials want to be educated. They want to know the as much as possible before they engage with your sales team and that is why thought leadership is a critical part of your marketing plan. You need to be a thought leader in your industry. Be sure to understand the basics of Inbound so you get the most out of your marketing. The reason inbound is so successful with millennials is because with inbound marketing it’s on their terms not yours.
With this generation taking over the workforce, ensuring your marketing is resonating with them is critical to your company’s growth.