Why B2B Companies Should Pay Attention to Generation Y

The real question may be are they paying attention to you? Millennials, as they are often referred, is an incredibly important segment to any B2B company interested in their brand’s continued success. This is a very large and particularly aware segment of the population born between 1980 and 2000, or thereabouts. Generation Y are those born from the baby boomer generation. So why is this generation so important? Consider some key facts:

  • Approximately 76 million Millennials live in the United States today;
  • Often referred to as the Net Generation, because they have never lived without the Internet at their fingertips;
  • They are far and away superior at handling technology and adapting to software, Website behavior and harnessing its power than all other generations.

In short, Generation Y is completely comfortable analyzing your products and services and breaking them down into sound bites, product features, business briefs, and creating a deep product comparison with little effort.

As a result, they are not influenced by hollow marketing efforts designed to create leadership positioning when the facts do not support a company’s claims. And if they find that you have exaggerated the truth, they will tell the hundreds, or thousands of their friends, contacts, and those that follow them what they think of your products. And this information can spread in days and can never be erased.

Add to these facts that they will represent 36 percent of the work force by 2014 and 46 percent by 2020. Now that’s good news for B2B companies who are designing their products and services to meet this generation’s needs and are communicating with them using the technologies they most often use.

So are you in sync with this generation? Give your company a quick test:

  • Is your brand-marketing program fully established on multiple media platforms optimized for laptops, smartphones, tablets, video, and related e-broadcasts?

According to UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, Millennials switch their attention between media platforms 27 times per hour while working. To older generations, usually the ones running B2B companies, they might say they were not paying attention or properly applying themselves! But to Millennials, anything else would be considered doggedly old school and outdated. Just ask them and listen to what they have to say.

Tom Marin is the president of MarketCues, a national consulting firm. Tom serves as a senior advisor and change-management consultant with 35 years of experience. He has worked for some of the world’s largest corporations, as well as middle-market firms. Tom's focus is to plan and drive strategy shifts and strategic growth programs in the printing industry and a diverse range of market areas.
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  • Melissa Sienicki

    A very interesting read – thanks, Tom!