Millennials are probably the most misunderstood generation of all times. Born in 1982 and under, they have been stereotyped as job-hopping, lazy, entitled and self-centred. According to Forbes, 68% of organisations find it difficult to manage millennials. Despite their shortcomings, millennials tend to be tech savvy, creative and focused on getting their job done. However, they are not receptive to red tapes, bureaucracy, hierarchical structures or being forced to follow a specific process (if they can achieve the end result in a more effective way). Whether you like it or not, millennials are not merely part of the workforce – they ARE the workforce. As they succeed the generations before them (baby boomers and generation X-ers alike), understanding these emerging leaders is crucial.
73% of millennial workers are involved in decisions to purchase products or services for their companies or their own businesses¹. The traditional, linear sales process of qualifying, educating, creating interest and closing, is going obsolete as millennial B2B buyers prefer a different approach.
Invest in Your Digital Presence: Millennials will gather information upfront by consuming information via social networks, videos, blogs, podcasts etcetera. They trust peer generated endorsements. Company generated advertisements do not carry as much weight as word of mouth (especially from friends and family) and product reviews. Incorporate influencer marketing as part of your strategy to build trust with customers. Ensure that your sites and apps showcase your brand clearly and create engaging content that makes them want to stay on your site for as long as possible. It is not enough to be online, you need to actively engage with your social media users, listen to what they are saying and address any pain points.
Millennials want their purchases to mean something: This generation value their dollar more and appreciate products that meet both their logistical and emotional need. 60% of millennials gravitate towards products that are an expression of their personality². They have no qualms about trying new, innovative brands and suffice to say, their brand loyalty is low (even if the brand has worked for them in the past). Companies need to revamp the concept of ‘brand loyalty’ as a means to an end. Give your customers a reason to resonate or connect with your brand and return. Millennials value experiences and they are willing to pay for it. Content creation will play a leading role in your digital marketing strategy, to give your company the competitive edge.
Be willing to change course: Adapt your approach to your millennial audience. Test your ads and content across a variety of channels and track where they are resonating with your audience the most. Leverage on this data to compare the performances of your campaigns. Steer clear of justifications for doing what you’ve always done by scrapping stereotypes and engaging the voices of your customers instead. Millennials like companies that support innovative thinking.
Mobile is the way to go: 82% of millennial B2B buyers use mobile devices when researching for new products and services³. Ensure that your business sites and other content resources such as blogs, whitepapers and e-books are optimized for mobile devices. They often perform B2B research on Facebook which frequently embeds video content. Page loading is important not just for your user’s experience but also to your search rankings. Companies with mobile optimized sites triple their chances of increasing mobile conversion rate to 5% or more4.
Millennials are digital natives and history’s first ‘always connected’ generation and digital marketing is not only essential but necessary to be part of your business strategy.
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Freelance writer who (tries to) dabble with digital marketing and practises yoga in her free time.