It dovetailed nicely with our own study, Not Your Father’s Buying Decision: How 3 Generations of B2B Technology Buyers Decide What to Purchase, released not too long ago.
Working off our research and decades of experience, we have developed 7 tips for marketing B2B technology to millennials.
Millennials are hands-on researchers. In your marketing efforts, ensure this group knows they can touch, use and learn hands-on. This sparks early interest during their buying journey.
Tip: Consider incorporating micro-apps like ROI calculators and solution finders in your marketing mix. Make a “sandbox” version of your product available or offer free demos for this inquisitive group to test drive your technology as they evaluate options.
Make Your Marketing a Mirror
The most effective marketing shows prospects are a reflection of themselves. Our research found 32-year-olds who are buying ERP systems, 23-year-olds making cloud service recommendations and 28-year-olds shortlisting cybersecurity solutions. Show them you recognize the important role they play.
Tip: Ensure your marketing imagery includes real millennial customers – not just stock photos. For example, showcase an actual 30-year-old DevOps professional who selected your solution. Use her photo on your site, ask her to pen a blog post or write a case study on why she chose your product over the competitors’.
Sharing is Caring
According to our data, colleagues carry significant weight with millennials as middle and top of the funnel influencers – so make it easy for colleagues to push that weight around. While millennials are less reliant on social media than conventional wisdom might predict, it still pays to make sharing easy.
Tip: It may seem old-school, but include “share with a friend” functionality in emails, websites and even in digital documents to stimulate sharing between colleagues.
Embrace Sensory Overload
More than any other generational cohort, millennials are omni-channel information consumers. This means marketing messages and content need to be delivered in multiple forms. While the older cohorts prefer fewer sources of information, this group has wider preferences across more content forms.
Tip: As a best practice, ensure you’re repurposing and recycling content before you set out to create new content. For example, a single whitepaper can be retooled into a blog post, tweets, a bylined article, podcast, sales collateral, tradeshow presentation, email blasts, online community posts, direct mail and a PPC campaign.
Face Off, Fast
These digital natives embrace, and even seek out, personal interactions early in the buying cycle and throughout their entire buyer’s journey. Your marketing should make one-on-one, face-to-face interaction easy.
Tip: Include calls-to-action such as “speak to an expert today” or “schedule an evaluation now” in your marketing touches. Consider constructing face-to-face opportunities like events, meetings and meet-ups – all designed to get your sales team in front of the millennial buyer.
Once the kings of thought-leadership, analysts have been relegated to the backseat as pay-to-play models and consolidation have gained ground. But millennials don’t seem to care – instead, they embrace industry analysts and consider them a key source of information, especially in the early stages of the buying cycle.
Tip: Use analysts to help younger prospects understand their business problem. You can even partner with analysts and other third-party experts for webinars, at key events or in videos to help advance your message and drive deeper interest.
Get a Facelift
If your website hasn’t been updated since Y2K, you’re in trouble. Millennials view vendor websites as a reflection of the company. If you want to be compelling, you need to be contemporary. Stay away from Flash, keep menu structures simple and shallow, and avoid gating every piece of content.
Tip: Develop punchy copy, snackable content and scrolling mobile-friendly pages – the baseline for today’s modern website. Incorporate intuitive navigation and dynamic content to engage the millennial buyer and help them find the information they need.
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