A big part of successful marketing hinges on knowing your audience. For many B2B companies, that means zeroing in on Millennials—you know, the generation that’s known digital since they could crawl. Now that they’re all grown up and making major purchasing decisions, what do they want from your brand? A recent study from IBM, To Buy or Not to Buy? How Millennials are Reshaping B2B, helps us shed some light on that important question.
It turns out that Millennial consumers prefer direct contact with vendors in the initial research stage of their journey as buyers, equally preferring to meet face to face or via email or phone. This isn’t surprising, really, but here’s something that is: Boomers and Gen Xers all said their own impressions and personal experiences most directly influenced their purchasing decisions.
For Millennials, though, winning responses were recommendations from family, friends, and coworkers, as well as independent data analysis. Also interesting is that almost two-thirds of Millennials said they would share a positive review on a vendor’s website, but only one in 10 would feel comfortable sharing a complaint. Of course, whatever they’re sharing, they’re likely doing so on mobile—and on the run.
There’s a lot your brand can take away from this data. Millennials are educated, mobile, and social. They value a strong connection, so it’s no longer enough for your business simply to have a great product or service. To reach these Millennial consumers, you have to provide them with an experience, making an effort to build trust and connect along the way. You can do this by taking an omnichannel approach to marketing, producing easy-to-digest visual content like videos and infographics, and understanding the importance of mobility.
Oh, and there’s more—lots more. Over on V3B, we’ve delved even deeper into the study and offered insight as to what that data means to your business. Read: Millennial Buying Habits: What B2B Marketers Need to Know [Study].