We’ve all seen countless blog posts and articles on the forthcoming emergence of Millennials. There’s been a lot of talk about their growing purchasing power and influence and how B2B marketers will need to get ready to serve them. But those discussions should no longer point to the future because Millennials have finally arrived in the business world. In fact, today they make up the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. And that’s why the time is now for B2B marketers to take action to evolve their offerings and email campaigns to engage, influence and win the business of this powerful, coveted demographic.
From my experience as a marketer who specializes in reaching customers on their terms, here are 4 ways to capture the attention of Millennial audiences:
- Be online: Having grown up with technology, Millennials are adept at making purchases online. That means that to whatever extent possible, B2B organizations should shift as much of their business as makes sense to an e-commerce platform. Although selling products or services online may seem intuitive, many businesses still serve their customers the “old fashioned way” with outdated delivery mediums or cumbersome purchasing processes. Millennials will expect things fast and easy – and online. Businesses today need to think differently and innovatively about their products and services and the associated go-to-market strategies in order to effectively address the needs of the changing market.
- Think B2B, act B2C: Millennial B2B buyers expect an online shopping process that’s easy, intuitive and responsive to their immediate needs – in other words, very similar to their experience with online consumer buying platforms. While B2B organizations can think and communicate in terms of solving business problems, they need to invest in front-end systems and undertake programs that mimic the consumer realm, such as personalization, product recommendations, loyalty programs, wish lists, easy purchasing and review and feedback mediums. Think of the aspects of online purchasing that you’ve found helpful in your personal life and adapt as many of these as possible to your business – your Millennial customers will almost certainly respond positively to them.
- Eliminate sales roadblocks and speed bumps: By tracking buyer behavior such as web page visits, time spent on pages, shopping cart abandonment and online reviews, you’ll begin to see how your customers engage with your company – and why sales may not be closing. For example, perhaps your product costs are unclear or your shipping costs vary and aren’t revealed until the end of the buying process, leading to abandoned shopping carts. You can also locate and eliminate sales roadblocks by pilot testing your purchasing system on your Millennial employees, friends or family members – what hurdles did they find in trying to make an online purchase?
- Provide a seamless mobile experience: Over half (63%) of Millennials shop on their smart phones every day. That means your website content must look outstanding and your online purchasing platform must work flawlessly on mobile devices. All (or as many as possible) of your product offerings and services should be available for purchase via mobile device. If they aren’t, you risk the chance that Millennials will simply go to one of your competitors – even if their solutions are inferior to yours. Here too, pilot testing on multiple mobile devices with different users should eliminate any issues.
The time is now to enable systems to support and serve today’s most powerful buyer. Millennials have arrived on the business front and are fully engaged in flexing their purchasing muscle.
How have you transformed your business to address the changing market?
Outward Media’s accurate, targeted email data can enable you to achieve better email marketing ROI by targeting your best prospects – including Millennials and top-level executives. Ultimately, we support you in converting more prospects into customers. Take a look at our case studies to find out more.