For the love of the… Millennial?! Part 1

Courtney Kay

VP of Field Marketing

In 2015 Millennials will become the largest living generation.

As a B2B marketer, why should you care?

marketing to milennialsBecause millennials now make up almost half of the audience researching B2B purchases, 46% up from 27% in 2012 (Tweet this) and by 2018 they’ll have the greatest spending power (Tweet this).

And today… they don’t find us brands particularly compelling!

Less than 1/3 find brand messages helpful – NewsCred (Tweet this) – and nearly half (45%) don’t think content is compelling enough to share (Yahoo).  Side note: the NewsCred and Yahoo studies are definitely worth checking out.

There’s a new influencer (soon to be decision maker) on the block, and they’ve got a whole different set of priorities and preferences.   For B2B marketers, that means the tactics that have worked for us in reaching the Boomers and X’ers might not work as well when it comes to connecting with millennials.  Thankfully lots of research is emerging to help us figure this generation out.

And to help you Millennialize your Marketing (yes I made that up), I’ve put together a 2-part series that explores this enigma of a generation.  In this post, I’ll explore a bit about what makes this generation tick and some quick considerations for your brand messages as you move forward.


…just want to have fun

They are living the good life!  Getting married later, living with their parents longer, and not buying their own homes until they’re older (GoldmanSachs).  They’re not as concerned with what they make or have like previous generations.  They care about experiences, or what they’re afforded the opportunity to do (Pinpoint Market Research).

(And by the way, the #1 reason they share content is because it’s funny – As a content marketer who isn’t funny- this is my worst nightmare.)

Marketer Consideration: This generation does what it loves and wants to buy from brands who love what they do.  If you don’t have a personality, find one. 


“Access is the new Ownership” according to PwC and nearly 60% of the adult population

They’re BIG sharers.  Think about it, the emergence of companies like Shuddle, ZipCar, AirBnB,  Zilok, LooseCubes, etc.  are fueled if not run by Millennials.  Because they care less about what they have and are open to sharing, they’re also looking to spend less and get more.    They tend to look to brands that offer the greatest value for the least price (GoldmanSachs). Thanks to our society of content overload and the availability of online reviews & peer-network access-  millennials can find the best, for the least, in a matter of seconds.

Marketer Consideration: The product you’re passionate about needs to exude value, defined in both your marketing, and through the peer networks of your buyers.  Make sure you’re showing your product’s value, building up your advocates, and making your messages #shareable. 

…value brands with values

“If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand” Howard Schultz

Never has this been truer than with the millennial generation.  According to Pinpoint Market Research, the Millennial is far less focused on status and cares about what the brands they buy from stand for and do for their communities to the point that 79% choose or reject a company based on its allegiance to social issues and 88% demand that the brands they buy from “effect real change” in their communities (Tweet this).  Values matter.

Marketer Consideration: Millennials stand up for what they believe in, they talk about it, and they contribute to the causes that achieve it.  They want to buy from brands that share those values.  Make sure your brand doesn’t just stand for something, but that you show it.

If you want to learn more about how B2B brands can better influence millennials, be sure to check out Part 2. In the meantime, we’d love to hear from you – feel free to leave a comment or connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter.


Millennial image via Shutterstock

content, content marketing, millennial marketing

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