How the Millennial Generation Could Affect Your Business Strategy
While everyone knows that Millennials are entering the workforce, and Baby Boomers are retiring, more than just the local pizza shop is affected. B2B companies, including the electrical industry, are experiencing a faster change.
A recent article in TED Magazine on the subject got us thinking. How does this really affect electrical distributors, manufacturers and managers everywhere?
First, a little research was needed to understand the Millennials (also known as Generation Y), the group of people born generally between the early 1980 and 2000. Here’s what we found. Millennials:
- Use technology to connect to the world and each other – the social media generation
- Are socially aware, individually mindful and unwilling to compromise their values
- Have different values and personal drivers, including social causes, and excluding money
- Have a huge amount of student debt
- Are currently underemployed, many working only part time, and most not in a field related to their college degrees
- Don’t own cars because of financial situations, as well as social awareness
- See self-employment as a viable path to financial security
- Believe that business success should be measured by more than profit, 92% cite this!
Millennials and Technology
The biggest difference in the Millennial generation, compared to Gen X and Baby Boomers, is the use of technology. They’ve never experienced life without it. Instead of being just a tool, technology is an extension of their daily lives; their first line of information and communication.
Of course, they rely on the internet to research products, companies and solutions. But it’s where they access it that’s important, 42% of this group uses a mobile phone for research. If you know a young person, you likely expected this. But it’s definitely a far-cry from what the older generations do, and worthy of further examination.
They’re not only browsing websites and Facebooking, but truly doing research on problems, solutions, concepts and products. And a favorite way to learn is through video.
Which makes sense as “digital generation”. Using multiple senses to gather information is completely natural. Growing up in front of televisions and computers, with boundless knowledge at their fingertips, video is a very ordinary means of communication. Just look at the rise of cell-phone video and YouTube.
How will Millennials Impact your Sales and Marketing Strategies?
According to a recent study by Google and Millward Brown, the B2B marketplace has changed more quickly than anticipated over two years. The ranks of Millennials in purchasing have nearly doubled from 2012 to 2014, from 27% to 46%. They are not only becoming purchasing influencers but also the purchasing manager themselves.
With their numbers growing in every industry, it’s time to take note, and begin to develop strategies that help you to reach them.
Based on what we know about Millennials, the two most important factors that will shape business strategy communication are:
- Technology – use technology to reach out, educate and inspire potential customers, and be sure its mobile-friendly.
- Social awareness – create a brand and company culture that’s focused on more than just profits, you don’t need to change the world, you just need to make your tiny piece of it better.
Some say that Millennials are lazy, self-absorbed and unmotivated. But we see it differently. With spare time resulting from underemployment and a world of information at their fingertips, they’ve been watching, learning and absorbing the world around them. They’re discovering how and why things are done, and mulling over better ways in their heads.
When they have the chance to put it into action, watch out world.
Have you experienced a shift in strategy based on growing ranks of young people in business? Are you planning any changes?
We’d love to hear your input! Leave a comment below and start the discussion.