Building relationships with Millennials is different
B2B businesses must also adjust to this astute generation’s preference for self-sufficiency around channel engagement choice, content consumption and relationship building. According to Jim Blackie, chief revenue officer for ON24, “Connection, engagement, and relationships matter; but how you build them has to be different. This isn’t about steak and martini lunches. It’s all about authentically connecting with the right message and content and doing that consistently and with the intent to help.
Brand connections matter
Millennials value all of their brand relationships. But how they form relationships is different. Nearly 90 percent of Millennials use social networks; a quarter of them spend at least 25 percent of their waking hours on social platforms. Millennials prefer communications with text messaging, chat and to a lesser extent, email. They would rather go to the dentist than pick up the phone; many will not work with companies that are ignorant of their culture. They don’t want to connect in ways their parents did, often opting to text one another while in the same room.
Transparency affects everything
Millennials trust the brands they work with in the same vein they trust friends and associates. Similar to how people are willing to pay a little more to do business with a friend, Millennials put a premium on their preferred brand relationships and are willing to pay more to sustain them. Clear pricing without gimmicks and discounts offered when appropriate are key to working with this demographic. Millennials dislike being sold, preferring to buy from places they value.
Reviews are golden
Where Boomers and Gen Xers were skeptical of “testimonials,” Millennials consider peer reviews to be the gold standard when it comes to purchasing decisions. Millennials are ruthless in seeking out reviews, articles and brand advocates in order to make an informed purchasing decision. In Forrester’s recent Millennial survey, respondents ranked peer referrals as one of their most trustworthy sources after demos and trials. Even third-party validation is better than nothing.
Time is precious
Millennials are not like their parents and older siblings, known for supporting decisions with large amounts of information, specification sheets and benefits documents; rather, they prefer short bursts of information via quick videos or bulleted lists about a product. If they have questions after their interest has been piqued they will reach out via an email or a text message for more information. Gone are the days of answering the phone from a customer that is leisurely browsing a catalog.