Millennials, Marketing and the Impact on B2B

Every generation has a name: Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and the newest group, Boomlets. Each preceding generation has its opinions about the next, and often there are struggles amongst them both personally and professionally. As a proud Generation X-er, I too have found myself perplexed by the generation before me and equally stumped by the thinking and behavior of the up and coming. If you can relate, then I am going to give you the same advice I plan on taking myself: Get over it. Not only do we have much to learn from cross generations, we must make it work if we are going to prosper in business. The next generation is here, making major decisions, creating their own influence and buying lots of stuff. Let’s look at some facts first regarding millennials, marketing and how to reach out to this influential group.

Millennials have more influence than you think. While most B2B marketers are focusing on C-suite executives, research has proven, according to B2B Marketing, that while 64% of the c-suite has final sign off, 24% of the non-c-suite also have sign off power. Even more importantly, that second group, primarily millennials, have the most influence, with 81% of the non-c-suite having a role in purchasing decisions.

So if you think your marketing message and demographic should be aimed specifically to c-suite, senior executives, you are probably missing the boat. This really came to light with Caterpillar, according to Renee Richardson, their global marketing services manager: “Everything was being done at c-suite level, but then we found out that new engineers coming on board were just going online and placing orders.”

According to new research from Google, millennial researchers are using search as the number one tool with 90% of all researchers using search specifically for business purchases. So if you are all about brand in your marketing, you are missing this group of researchers completely. Focus on product first.

This trend in millennials as decision makers influences so many aspects of a business’s digital presence. First, are you being found? Second, when you are found are you speaking to the right audience? Finally, are you optimized for mobile? We hope so! 42% of researchers used a mobile device during the B2B process to purchase. Does your product lend itself to video? 70% of B2B buyers and researchers watch videos leading up to a purchase. These numbers are huge and can’t be ignored.

With the start of the New Year, this is the perfect time to re-examine your digital strategy, and make some changes based on these new findings. To learn more on how to best develop a new strategy for 2016, contact g2 media pros.

Originally published at on January 4, 2016.

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