March 15, 2019 Kevin Erb

Kids these days

Millennials! When they’re not busy feasting on avocado toast and demanding participation trophies, they’re busy killing off the housing industry, the automotive industry, the retail industry…or something like that. Indeed, it’s become standard operating procedure these days for just about any industry undergoing drastic change or disruption to blame millennials for their travails. At the same time, an ever-increasing number of B2C brands across those same industries are becoming obsessed with marketing to millennials. Which makes sense, of course; as more millennials become household decision-makers, more B2C brands want to influence those purchase decisions. What’s generating less breathless coverage and conversation, however, is how this same phenomenon is already starting to impact B2B marketers, as well.

Which also makes sense, of course; just as more millennials are becoming decision makers at home, more of them are becoming decision-makers at work, too. In fact, 73 percent of millennials who work in business are involved in the technology-purchasing process for their companies, according to a recent study. This generation shift in purchasing power brings with it new challenges – and opportunities – for B2B marketers. And it should come as no surprise that, when it comes to a brand’s content strategy in particular, the most effective ways to reach and engage millennials for B2B brands are quite similar to the ways in which B2C brands are going about it.

Some examples:

  • Video. Nearly 30 percent of millennial B2B buyers listed video as their preferred content of choice, coming in first. And, just as in the B2C world, quality matters – B2B video needs to informative, engaging and entertaining.
  • Values. Millennials show unique affinity for and loyalty to B2C brands they believe share their values; the same is true of B2B brands. Making your company’s value, character and ethics more prominent in your marketing makes you stand out more to this growing group.
  • Social. While an active social presence may not necessarily be new for B2B marketers, it’s the types of platforms most popular with millennials that may be a bit foreign – and frightening – to those same marketers. Expanding beyond the typical LinkedIn and Facebook into more millennial-focused platforms, however, can pay dividends by driving stronger brand awareness and loyalty.

Do these examples, among others, take most B2B marketers outside their comfort zone? They certainly can – and they should, too! Because, performed with quality and consistency, they can also put them in prime position to connect and engage with the growing number of millennials in decision-making positions at B2B brands.