A lot of things have been said about millennials. In some people’s eyes, millennials have a bad rep for being the lazy or self-entitled or indecisive generation. However, these people fail to think of the impact they are having on the marketing world. They have completely changed the ways in which marketers communicate whether it be thru social media like Instagram or Snapchat, through chat bots, or just using a mobile device. And in doing so, they have opened doors for consumers to communicate right back.
B2B marketing, or business to business marketing, is no stranger to this shift. The traditional relationship between the salesperson and the consumer has altered significantly. Normally, the salesperson makes the sale by providing the customer with product as well as brand information, explaining why they need to purchase their product. Nowadays, millennials specifically, engage in self-conducted research before beginning their purchasing journey. And this millennial audience is all online.
These digital natives are nearly half of all B2B researchers so, if you are not marketing to this group already, you might need to reconsider your strategy. Growing up with this technology, millennials are comfortable with digital tools. Less face-to-face interaction is occurring and technology is playing a larger role in a customer’s purchasing journey. This journey starts with research.
Research is conducted on search engines and business blogs. Consumers compare a particular product with other products that are similar, look for problems and solutions, or ordering information, and look for these answers on the company’s website and their social media sites, reading customer reviews and blogs. Much of this research is conducted from the comfort of a B2B researcher’s mobile device.
In short, when a consumer hears of a product, whatever spark of interest they have, they will take it upon themselves to create their own sale. There is hardly a chance for a smooth-talking sales pitch to change the mind of the consumer once their purchasing decision has been made. A defined content-driven strategy is a must in order to engage potential buyers throughout their purchasing journey. Adapting to these new and innovative marketing methods will allow you to maintain and hopefully increase customer acquisition, lead generation and thought leadership. The consumer will always be there. However, in this digital age, you have to navigate an alternate route to get to them.