Open your B2B marketing to the next generation
Just how important is youth in today’s B2B marketing?
B2B is no longer B2C’s plain cousin. Client-side or agency, doing things the ‘boring’ way often gets you nowhere. As Forbes puts it, “The buttoned-up ‘just the facts’ corporate tone isn’t effective anymore.”
Youth is reshaping the entire tech B2B industry. Even by 2014, almost half of B2B customers were millennials. For the first true digital natives, the same old branding and marketing strategies simply don’t resonate. To stay in touch with its new audience, B2B had to evolve.
Creativity is now the key driver. In the past year alone, I’ve seen technology clients becoming more open to the big and bold. Campaigns increasingly have that B2C feel. Approaches are multichannel, and every single ad counts.
We’re using every drop of creativity we have in our quest to differentiate. But to keep pushing boundaries, we’re going to need new people. It’s time to open our doors to the next generation.
Young talent can teach old marketing heads a thing or two. Millennials are the first true digital natives, having grown up online. As such, their understanding of social media transcends that of many marketing professionals boasting twenty-plus years’ experience.
Modern multichannel campaigns make heavy use of social drivers. In fact, they’re increasingly the go-to. Here, millennials’ digital literacy could prove invaluable. As Monty Bharali, National Head of Talent at Ogilvy India, speaking to Brand Equity, put it:
“The need of the hour is to identify professionals who are… as conscious about social media as they’re about the traditional media.”
Equal opportunities, diverse skills
Our tech clients are arriving with all sorts of specialist offerings. To thrive, we need a wide breadth of experience. Because having staff from all walks of life means you boast a wide repertoire of skills. As stated by the Chairman of MullenLow Lintas Group, Amer Jaleel, on BrandEquity.com:
“We need all kinds of people to deliver a hyper-bundled agenda.”
University attendance is increasingly a financial decision. Looking beyond to other forms of education, forging inclusive routes that stem from different backgrounds and privileges, is a sure step towards building a diverse culture that produces diverse thinking.
The overnight switch to remote working may have reduced our physical world, but it’s also paved a digital path into workplaces previously inaccessible. B2B must tap into this multiplied talent pool to assemble the talent it needs.
Today, B2B is moving from a product to a more customer focus. Marketing an existing offering matters less than discovering what the customer actually wants. This is a shift in mindset, one that can be difficult to adopt for those entrenched in traditional ways of working.
Refreshing your culture with youth forges a stronger connection with customers. Young talent doesn’t belong to the status quo. They’re newbies entering the industry with new perspective and new ideas, both of which fuel innovation.
A changing audience
The next generation not only connects with customers on the level of ideas and energy, but also because they’re members of the same gene pool. Millennials increasingly make up today’s B2B buyers. Losing touch with this changing audience would prove fatal to any B2B business.
And who knows – perhaps your new marketing recruit could be your next rising star.
How does your B2B marketing lay a career path for today’s youth? Please share your experiences below.
Honey Rogers, Account Manager, MOI