The next generation of B2B decision makers; Millennials

29 Oct 2019

According to a recent B2B report on millennials (the generation born between 1981 and 1996) by Merit found that 73% are involved in making purchase decisions in B2B scenarios and one-third of them reported they are the sole decision-maker for their department. 

The way we used to do business is clearly changing, so how can you benefit from this opportunity as a B2B or wholesale organisation?

1. Millennials will primarily use digital channels

Millennials have been growing up with the internet, smartphones and online shopping. They don’t like to call a representative who might not even pick up or use a form to order what they need. Efficiency is key and making it easy (for them and you) is what they are all about.

So instead of having to call (which can be time-consuming) or fill in a form (which means waiting for a response) they would rather use live chat or do their ordering process online. Otherwise, they may easily go to the competition.

2. Traditional marketing doesn’t work 

Millennials have been raised to believe that they can be or do anything, and technology empowers them to do more. They see everything and can see through everything including any traditional marketing. Millennials often see marketing as an intrusion and an interruption from what they are doing.

Instead, marketing needs to be authentic and genuine. For millennials, technology is a part of everyday life and it is personal (83% of millennials have their phones right next to their bed while sleeping). They’ve grown up with technology and it’s part of who they are and they don’t want to be bombarded with impersonalised, unfiltered advertisement.

They want to be treated like people, instead of prospects and talking to them like a human instead of using corporate-speak. This is a big part of reaching your millennial B2B buyers. Cold-calling, emails about the value of your business or how you’re the #1 in the industry won’t be effective with millennials. They are more likely to hear your message when it talks about the value for them or something that says: “I can see myself in this”.

Again value and efficiency are key. For example, an hour-long demo disguised as a webinar won’t work for millennials unless you do a good job telling them why your product or service could benefit them specifically.

3. Millennials love their phone. Make sure your website is mobile responsive.

According to a study by B2X, 25% of millennials look at their smartphone more than 100 times per day. Mobile usage has increased dramatically, including in the B2B sector. In fact, The Boston Consulting Group conducted research that found that 80% of B2B buyers are using mobile at work, and more than 60% of them report that mobile played a significant role in a recent purchase.  

Designing your website for mobile-first is essential for the success of your business. At the very least ensure your website is responsive.

4. Millennials think about the company they work with 

Millennials are a socially conscious generation. They like to feel good and like to support brands that do good. A.J. Agrawal, founder of Verma Media explained it quite clearly in a recent Entrepreneur article: “The world is in a dire state. With the rising cost of living, sluggish job markets and high college debts, millennials are tight on cash; they can’t make the charitable donations their parents once did. Given these circumstances, many want to patronize and work for companies that are not only customer-oriented, but have socially-oriented mission statements (and actually follow through).”

And the Global Corporate Sustainability report confirms this; 73% of millennials had said that they were willing to pay extra for more sustainable brands and 81% of millennials expected their preferred companies to make public declarations of corporate citizenship (referring to a company's responsibilities toward society).
Would like to learn more about how you can market your B2B business towards millennials and how your eCommerce offering can contribute to this? Contact us today via phone, email or live chat.


Insite Software

date published:

29 Oct 2019