For years, we’ve been hearing about the coming Millennials—and now it’s Generations X, Y and Z—and the explosive growth of their buying power and purchasing influence. It seems that their moment in the spotlight has finally arrived.
According to new research, 13% of Millennials are now making B2B buying decisions, and an additional 28% of them are influencing decision making. Their colleagues and staffs likely include many Gen X and Y members, who represent young and influential professionals.
As Gen Z starts to enter the workforce as new hires or interns, it’s important for marketers to know that these younger demographics are extremely tech savvy, yet have short attention spans and can be suspicious of marketing messages. As a result, old marketing mediums (e.g. advertising) will likely not work as well with them. What will work? Here are five things marketers need to know about reaching Millennials, along with Gen X, Y and Z:
1.They avoid “sales” at all costs: These younger generations engage with sales much later in the buying process than older generations. In fact, 86% of Millennials prefer to engage with sales at the middle or toward the end of the buying process, and even then after they’ve conducted much of their own research. Keep in mind that unrequested contact by a sales person too early in the sales cycle can be off-putting to them.
2.They want to contact you on their terms: As younger generations conduct more research on their own, they may engage with your content as part of that investigation. But that doesn’t mean they will welcome a phone call right after they watch your video or attend your webinar. That means marketers need to provide valuable, helpful content that will encourage these prospects to engage with you to learn more about your solution when the time is right.
3.They value relationships: While younger generations will want to ensure your company values are aligned with their own personal values, they also place a high importance on personal relationships. That means a solution referred or (even better) recommended to them via their personal network will have a higher chance for purchase. That also means that engagement with them should be in the form of helping them find a real solution to their challenge – not just trying to close a sale.
4.They desire a consistent brand experience: While brands can involve myriad websites, apps, mobile presence and social media, younger generations gravitate towards brands that present an aesthetic consistency on all channels. Reports say that nearly a quarter of Gen Z will disown a brand due to a poorly designed user experience. As a result, marketers should create a uniform, recognizable brand experience across all touchpoints.
5.They love email: Studies continue to show that email is the most preferred channel of brand engagement by younger generations. In fact, an overwhelming number (68%) choose email as their preferred communications medium – more than all other channels combined. In addition, to these younger demographics, email feels the most personal of all communications channels. This is due to email’s ability to personalize content for its intended target audiences, and provide the best, most targeted experience for them.
Millennials and Generations X, Y and Z are now in place in corporate America, and are only growing more important in making and influencing buying decisions. It is incumbent upon marketers to reach them the right way in order to succeed now and in the years ahead.
Outward Media’s accurate, targeted email data can help you reach Millennials – along with Gen X,Y and Z -- and convert more prospects into customers. Ask us how. Also, take a look at our complimentary e-book on building a successful B2B email marketing database. â€¨