Millennials are taking over the US workforce, and that includes the purchasing process.
Recent research looked specifically at B2B purchasing decisions, and found that 73% of millennials are involved in buying decisions, and 34% reported being the sole decision-maker for their departments.
If millennials are the ones making critical purchasing decisions for their organizations, how can you adjust your business to better position your offerings?
First let’s dive in by exploring who these new millennial buyers actually are.
Who are the New Millennial Buyers?
Millennial buyers have different preferences than other generations, making it critical for organizations to start considering a reposition of their sales methods.
What speaks to millennial buyers?
- Digital channels. Millennial buyers are used to accessing everything online. They are quick to perform their own research or check out products and services using technology. In a recent survey 56% of millennials identified digital channels as being the most important for researching products and services.
- Values. Millennials care about the values that define who they are. They are drawn to brands that emphasize passion, diversity, social change and personal growth.
- Social Media. Whether or not your company has a presence on social media may not matter to you, but it matters to millennials. A whopping 82% of millennials report using social media to look into new products or services for their company.
- Information. Notice all the research we’ve been talking about? Millennial buyers want to be informed and involved. This may explain why 33% of millennials rely on blogs to help make a purchase.
- Authenticity. Millennials value authenticity nearly above all else, and they prefer to connect with individuals over brands and logos.
These millennial buyers also have specific preferences on types of content.
3 Ways New Millennial Buyers Will Change Your Business
1. The Way You Communicate Your Brand
Your old buyers might have focused on the transaction, but millennials are focused on the relationships. They want to know about your mission and goals, not your products and features.
And they care about authenticity and honesty. So much so that 43% of millennials rank authenticity as more important than content when consuming news. This means you need to communicate your brand through new messaging, and it needs to be real.
Think about answering questions like, why does your company do what it does? How will your company have an impact on the world? How does your company have a societal impact?
In addition, millennials love connecting with individuals. They could care less about your logo and what the “corporate you” is saying. They want to hear from the people.
Consider mobilizing your employee troops to represent your brand at a deeper level. If your company is active on social media, get team members to create profiles linked to your company and start interacting with millennial buyers as real people. The personal touch will go a long way.
2. The Way You Spend Your Budget
Because millennial buyers prefer certain channels, types of content, and interaction you need to adjust your spending to invest in the right areas.
If you’re currently investing your resources in cold calling, it’s probably time to consider social selling instead. And if you are only using printed marketing materials, it’s time to migrate that information to your website.
Target millennials by adjusting to their way of life. Create content funnels where they can research and explore online, produce videos where they can preview and learn more about your product or service, and beef up your social presence to solidify your standing with them.
You need to hang out where the millennial buyers hang out, and you need to speak their language.
Don’t feel that burning sense of urgency quite yet? Just check out how millennials view advertising and purchase products online. You guessed it, their phones.
3. The Team You Employ
Just as you adjust your budget, you’ll need to adjust your team to match. Take a cold hard look at where your organization needs to expand in order to attract millennial buyers. Then, fill in the holes.
Are there key areas of expansion where you lack expertise? Start researching options for contractors or full time employees to beef up your team.
The good news is, millennials freelance more than any other generation. Since you’re testing our new growth areas targeting this specific generation, they may be the perfect solution to your hiring needs.
Millennials are getting more and more buying power, and your business needs to be ready for them. Adjust the way your organization functions so you can properly attract and close millennial buyers and continue growing your business.