Analysis: How Millennials transform B2B purchases

Aurel Dragan 06/09/2018 | 11:12

Millennials are changing the B2B activity. According to a survey conducted globally, Millennials are already implicated in taking decisions on the way the purchases are made, according to the analysis made by Elena Badea, managing director at Valoria Business Solutions. 

Currently, 50 percent of the globe population is under 30. According to a report conducted by the World Economic Forum Global Shapers based on a survey of more than 30,000 young people aged under 30 in 186 countries, Millennial entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs or simple consumers, are the ones who change the rules of the game in business.

Beyond the impact on society, Millennials also change how companies do business in the B2B sector. A global survey conducted by Heinz Marketing shows that in the B2B segment, 13 percent of Millennials make purchasing decisions, 27 percent influence them, 17 percent are project managers, 38 percent are in purchase research, and 5 percent have other roles.

A new experience is required in B2B

As consumers, those born after 1980 want a different purchasing experience. This generation researching before contacting a potential vendor. Purchasers of the Y generation do not look at studies or analyzes, but search for information on their own, according to their own criteria.

Profiling those who avoid B2B vendors

When engaged in B2B transactions, 60 percent of Millennials avoid contacting potential suppliers in the middle of the purchase process, because they need time to do their own research. The informational symmetry between suppliers and buyers does not count anymore. The decision-making autonomy stimulates Millennials to find their own means of collecting information and making purchasing decisions.

As employees and project team members, 28 percent of them start their research for a purchase at the request of their boss, and 30 percent of them because they have a problem they want to solve. They are the least inclined to start the process proactively in order to solve a problem faced by the team they belong to. Only 25 percent have this approach, and 16 percent do it when they find something interesting. Millennials can work in teams, but everybody is looking for their own solution, which are later compared.

Authenticity and trust count for Millennials

When buying, Millennials looks at the company’s values ​​and product quality. They ask friends and acquaintances for advice, not sales consultants. Their affiliation to the social and professional networks makes it important for them to gain the respect and appreciation of friends and colleagues, that is why 45 percent of them start collecting information on potential suppliers via social media. So, on the one hand, buying is defined as an approach with a strong selfish component. On the other hand, Millennials want conscious, human, and authentic companies that work with integrity because they make business decisions based on their personal values.

B2B marketing tactics relevant to Millennials

Concerning the content consumption of this generation, 35 percent of the, say they do not like downloadable content, 32 percent do not appreciate product descriptions, 18 percent do not appreciate expert opinions and case studies, 15 percent do not look at recorded webinars, 12 percent do not watch live webinars, 10 percent do not get product brochures. Instead they like blog articles, info-graphics, short video content, and electronic books that can be downloaded freely.

At the juncture between marketing and sales, they do not like cold calling or cold emails. Millennials appreciate a company’s values and involvement in the community, the quality of the marketing materials, product specifications clearly mentioned on the website, interactive content, and chat-bots.

Short conclusion

Each generation has its own individuality. As employees, Millennials want a work experience that highlights their talent for interacting with technology, in companies that are genuinely involved in the community. As B2B buyers, they avoid suppliers because they want to research the market options themselves and make their own decisions.

The B2B consumer habits of this generation could be summed up to “little and good” as an expression of a responsible lifestyle and environmental protection. Millennials are no better or worse than other generations. They’re just different.

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