7.9.15

B2B Marketing and Millenials

BY JILL BARTHOLOMEW

When it comes to B2B marketing, marketers need to consider the way they are approaching the younger, up and coming generation of researchers and decision makers. Each year the percentage of Millennials in the workforce is growing, and each year traditional marketing is becoming less relevant to a company's success. Are you targeting the right customer? How are you reaching them?

From Facebook to YouTube, Millennials are eating up content when they are making a purchase. The connection you create with potential customers often begins before your customer even visits your website. To grab the attention of your customer early in the game, you need to speak their language. Being fluent in online search, video, and mobile is mandatory in this new age of B2B marketing. Learning about these "digital natives" and their buyer's journey will create new opportunities for your brand to showcase what differentiates you from your competition in new and creative ways. If you can master this, you will see an increase in customer engagement, and a larger return for your investment.

Being a generation that grew up in a digital age, Millennials have become reliant on technology for the research phase of the buying process. They know what they want, how to find it online, and this will most likely not be searching for your brand right away. In the past, branded searches were key to putting your product/service out on the World Wide Web; but, now it is important that you rank for more generic keywords. The majority of searches are looking for specific products and services rather than specific brands. Remember: your customers will learn about your products before they meet you.

So you have already started to rank for generic keywords. Are you producing relevant, rich content that drives customers to your site (i.e. a blog, whitepaper or video)? Creating meaty pieces of content that answers questions or offer solutions to pain points is imperative to making your company relevant. If you can show your customers that you can be their partner, and they are missing what you offer, they are motivated to engage with you, and research your company over those that do not. Building this connection with your customers will pay off, but your buyer's journey doesn't stop here. You need to continue staying in front of your customers, because you could be the most relevant company today, but tomorrow it could be someone else.

Building relationships with Millennials isn't as hard as it was with other generations. They are building connections on a regular basis-through social networks. As a social generation, millennials are looking for a high-touch approach from you-they want to know you and feel like you are more of their partner than their vendor. Things like online chat, social media, events, and emails all play into building a relationship with your potential customer. What you offer beyond your products could make the difference between a conversion and a passing glance. Something to keep in mind: this generation is reliant on others when it comes to making decisions. They are more inclined to ask others what their thoughts are prior to making a decision than just making a decision solo.

Considering how quickly the Millennial generation is changing the way business is done, knowing where to reach them should be a high priority for your marketing plan. Capturing their attention from the start, and keeping their attention throughout the buying process is the best way for you to turn them into a customer. Knowing how to speak digital, and mastering it will be the key to your new B2B marketing success. Happy Marketing!

Jill Bartholomew
written by JILL BARTHOLOMEW

Jill Bartholomew is an Account Manager at Carbon8. She has worked for several companies from start-ups to fortune 500 companies. Her passion for helping clients achieve their goals has led to success in building brands, growing brand awareness, and ultimately growing the bottom line for clients. Prior to coming to Carbon8, Jill worked at Location3 Media, a digital marketing agency based in Denver, servicing clients such as AT&T, Kindercare, Darden Restaurant Group, and Northwestern Mutual.

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