If you're in B2B marketing, one of the issues you're likely thinking about is marketing to the up and coming Millennial business owners. The young generation are savvy entrepreneurs, and they're starting businesses even more frequently than their parents and grandparents did -- which says a lot in a nation of entrepreneurship! How can you reach this generation with your marketing messages? After you've got their attention, how do you keep them as customers?
Millennials Aren't Entirely Different From Previous Generations
First, it's important to realize how the Millennial generation is like their predecessors. Just like Generation X and the Baby Boomers, Millennials aspire to climb ladders. They aren't content to sit at the entry level desk for long, so it's wise marketing to illustrate clearly how your products will help them rise to the top. Also, Millennials share their ancestors' attitudes about leadership and garnering recognition for their achievements. Messages that speak to their ability to lead, set trends, and receive recognition for making good purchases work equally well with this generation.
The Primary Difference in Marketing to Millennials
Millennials do differ, however, in how they go about making decisions: both their personal decisions and business decisions. Millennials look at decision making more like a team effort than an individual effort, which does differ from their predecessors. Millennials are far more likely to seek out input from their peers, mentors, and colleagues. The reviews and opinions of others carry more weight to them than your marketing messages do. Additionally, Millennials are more likely than their parents to turn to analytics for the answers. They have much more confidence in data than Baby Boomers and Generation Xers.
Techniques and Strategies for Reaching Millennials
So, how do you reach the generation that leans so heavily on their peers' opinions and data to make decisions? First, you have to have great content. Millennials like their content easily digestible, in the form of videos, infographics, and the like. If you develop whitepapers, make sure you include images and graphics to make it interesting, appealing, and easy to follow along with. Social content is essential, as Millennials are heavily dependent on social media for both gathering information on products and for assessing the truthfulness and usefulness of that information. Make customer satisfaction a high priority, because Millennials are heavily influenced by the reviews your company and products get online.
When marketing to the younger business owners and decision makers, it's important to focus on establishing a sense of partnership and collaboration. Millennials aren't just looking for products and vendors; they are searching for companies with which to forge alliances and long-lasting partnerships.
Mobile is also an important aspect of advertising to Millennials. Not only can mobile be an important way to reach these entrepreneurs, it can also be a great way for gathering hard data on them, which sways their opinions more easily than it did the previous generations.
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