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Give millennial buyers what they want…when they want it!

B2B Buyers have moved on, and it's time for brands to catch up.

In 2018 in the US, millennials emerged as the largest segment in the workplace. By 2025, 75% of the global workforce is expected to be made up of this cohort. A B2B report conducted by TrustRadius in 2020 stated that 60% of all B2B tech buyers are now millennials (aged 25 – 39).

There is no doubt about it, this generation is fast becoming a majority in B2B buying, occupying more positions of influence than ever before. 

What do millennial buyers want?

In our recent ebook, ‘Robots, Jars & Empathy’ we identified how B2B buyers want to be seen as partners, not targets.

When it comes to the buying process they expect a seamless omnichannel experience, not rooted in any one platform or format. In order to provide a positive customer experience, brands need to engage consistently with their audience at every stage of the buyer journey. 

A B2B marketer’s job today isn’t to convince customers to buy anymore, it’s to help them to buy. Forming a human connection with buyers through empathy helps B2B marketers understand not only their customers’ decision-making processes but also their motivations and buying behaviours. 

We strongly believe in this customer-centric approach. Brands that engage in strategic omnichannel marketing are currently winning in B2B, and this is in no small part to their empathetic understanding of the millennial buyer, their needs and their behaviours – both online and offline.

We have developed a simple empathy mapping template here that can help get you started. Just remember – give millennial buyers what they want. And what they want is a seamless and personalised customer experience. Every. Time.

Millennial Journey Mapping

Taking everything into consideration, we now know that millennials consume content on their own terms. Regardless of how loud a brand shouts, it ultimately comes down to how the buyer interprets (and consumes) that content. 

In February 2022, Forrester reported that millennial decision-makers are dissatisfied with most of the content that marketers make available. In addition, millennials also expressed widespread disappointment about the content that marketing and sales put in front of them. There’s no doubt about it – this is a problem that needs to be rectified.

Forrester survey of millennial decision-makers (Robertson et al. 2022).

So far, we have talked about customer empathy, we have talked about aligning B2B marketing efforts with the buyer journey and the importance of engaging in a multi-touch, omnichannel strategy. Journey mapping is the last piece of the puzzle. 

Through journey mapping, marketers can zoom out to understand what may happen outside of the marketing journey, which is important because it can have a big effect on the emotional state, or the readiness of the customer to engage. 

Marketers can also zoom in and deep dive into the specific moments a customer will spend with their brand, as they move along the buying journey. Mapping helps to visualise the entire journey and harmonise the experience for the customer. 

Here’s a simple customer journey mapping template you can use to get started. 

What (and who) is next?

After the past two years, it’s anyone’s guess what lies around the corner? However, one thing is certain – change is inevitable. As Gen Z emerges as the next wave of digital natives, experiences will likely shift again – from automation to prediction. Brands that harness the potential of AI to predict customer needs and delight customers at scale will most likely stay ahead of the curve. 

Stay tuned for our next blog post which will investigate this in more detail, and discuss how B2B tech marketers can better plan for the future. 

 

Sources:

“Millennials Are Largest Generation in the U.S. Labor Force.” 2018. April 11, 2018.

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/04/11/millennials-largest-generation-us-labor-force/.

Robertson, Laura Ramos With, April Henderson, Katie Hampton, Miriam El Korchi, and Kara Hartig. 2022. “Forrester Infographic: Millennial Buyers Seek Credible, Concise, And Curated Content,” February.

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