It happens to all of us eventually. Your youngest sibling or maybe that annoying kid down the street suddenly grows up and becomes an adult. For me the realization came a few weeks ago when my mom mentioned my sister had delivered her first baby.
Stop the presses my baby sister is delivering babies? When did this happen? Yes, she has been going to nursing school . Yes, I knew she enrolled in that midwife program but they are actually letting her deliver babies? How is it possible that the little girl who was the flower girl at my wedding – evidence picture above – is now a grown up working adult?
You see my sister is a millennial. She was born in that generational band after my own Generation X. Those in the millennial generation are defined as those born between 1985-1994. With those older millennials like my sister reaching their late 20’s and early 30’s they are now entering the age of recommender / decision maker for many B2B companies.
In order to frame the attitude of this generation I need you to watch this 4 minute video entitled Are You Relevant? I promise it will be worth it. Made by MediaSauce for a conference of fraternity and sorority advisors in 2007 it hits at the heart of what challenges lie in marketing to millennials.
Is your business doing any specific efforts to target millennials who are influencers in their organizations?
A few things you should consider when developing a campaign aimed at the millennial generation:
They expect you to know them – personally
Millenials have grown up with the Amazon style shopping experience. They expect you to know their preferences and habits and react accordingly. Generic email blasts aimed at a whole block of job titles is going to work for them. Concrete definition of your buyer personas and a detailed CRM system with personal preferences is going to be a requirement to build successful long term relationships.
Content formatted for the way they live
Sending a brochure or white paper in the mail or even through email isn’t going to cut it for this generation. If your collateral doesn’t view properly on an iPhone or your website is buggy in a browser other than IE then you better go back to the drawing board. I can’t tell you the number of times my sister and her friends have scoffed at my Blackberry. It is the surest way to prove you aren’t part of the bleeding edge. I did recently get an iPad but was told that wasn’t “portable” enough. Evidently the purse I carry it around in is a “mom bag”.
Their world is definitely not flat
Millenials have grown up with a more global view of the world. Millenial Marketing indicates more are listing life goals as travel to all seven continents. They are more likely to watch web and video based media than traditional TV so they aren’t limited to the influences of just the traditional mainstream US media. They tend to take into account a companies environmental stance and social responsibility. They are sometimes described as the Minimalist Generation because of their lack of interest in prestige brands.
I believe most B2B firms have yet to truly prepare for the changes the Millenial generation is going to bring us from a marketing perspective. We pay lip service with some social media dabbling but the day is coming when social media might be your primary media. When most or all tradeshows are virtual and when your next product launch copy will primarily be sent in 160 character or less text messages.
Are you relevant?
About the Author: Heather has spent the past 15 years advocating for the customer perspective in her approach to software development and product marketing. Her penchant for collaboration is what drew her to the Savvy B2B team. Read more of Heather's posts here or contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.