We see a lot of rhetoric in the media about how Millennials have ruined everything. That they’re lazy, narcissistic, and expect success to be handed to them on a plate. Perhaps the narcissistic bit isn’t far from the truth. It’s hardly their fault though, if we consider that this is the first generation to grow up alongside the internet (with the digitally native Gen Z following closely behind), where access to a world of information was at a click of a button. Why waste time trawling through a hard-back encyclopaedia or the latest CD-ROM of Encarta when you have Google in your pocket.
Businesses, marketers, innovators, and the like, all helped shape Millennials in one way or another and rather than mourning the loss of some traditional practices and processes, we all need to be looking to this generation to evolve with change.
B2B marketing campaigns have relied typically on whitepapers, webinars, trade shows or email marketing to steer prospects down the funnel towards conversion. Now that Millennials have moved up the employment ladder into senior positions, some B2B marketing strategies have started to reform the marketing mix.
As I fall into the Millennial bracket myself, I feel slightly reluctant to want to admit that the term, ‘Millennials’ no longer just refers to a group of twenty somethings, taking selfies without the possibility of SnapChat filters. But the reality is this, Millennials are influencing purchasing decisions and some of the biggest digital channels and brands marketers use wouldn’t exist without those ‘lazy’ Millennials at the helm.
Disrupter Organisations Founded By Pesky Millennials
What initially started out as a digital chat room in Mark Zuckerberg’s university bedroom, Facebook is now ranked by Business Insider as one of the fifth most important brands in the world. Marketers and huge brands rely on Facebook as a core channel for driving revenue, improving customer engagement as well as providing a wealth of useful insights to help make content relevant.
In addition to the platform itself, Facebook also owns other influential marketing channels such as Instagram and Whatsapp.
Founded by Millennial, Kevin Systrom, Instagram is loved by Millennials globally (not just narcissistic ones). Instagram isn’t exclusively for B2C brands and customers. Unlike LinkedIn and Twitter which are often favoured for more corporate or educational content, Instagram gives B2B organisations the opportunity to show a human side and build personal relationships with customers.
According to Instagram, 80 per cent of users follow a business profile, so it’s no wonder that brands like MailChimp, Adobe, and Hootsuite have all tapped into the one billion monthly Instagram users. By posting content that is either user-generated, shows off company culture, or depicts products beautifully, organisations can increase engagement and brand awareness. MailChimp gained 3172 likes from their 87.5K followers for showing off their user merchandise below.
3. Jungle Creations
Ever dreamt of creating a viral marketing campaign? Founded in 2014 by Jamie Boulding, Jungle Creations have gone on to demonstrate the power of social media and original video content for brands.
The global team of 150 (who are predominantly Millennials) are responsible for generating over 5.5 billion monthly video views, which equates to roughly two thirds of the global population.
4. Monzo Bank Ltd
Internet banking was just the first ripple for digital disruption of financial services. Fintech, blockchain, and cloud services are already turning the industry on its head and Monzo is a hugely successful Millennial-founded organisation paving the way for digital, mobile-only banks.
Monzo capitalised on the growing popularity of mobile for business which is supported by the 750,000 users it’s gained since launching in 2015.
How Millennial Is Your Marketing Approach?
The Millennials that are decision makers in B2B organisations are the same Millennials that are posting photos of their new shoes or dinner on Instagram or Facebook. Like any robust marketing campaign, understanding your audience is imperative to its success. Understanding where they are active and how important new technology is to them will help inform marketing decisions.
In 2017, Salesforce reported that 40 per cent of Millennials had started making search queries using voice assistant to make purchases, this number is only set to rise as voice assistance become more popular. Currently 6.6 million people in the UK are estimated to own a voice assistant device, which is expected to grow to eight million by the end of 2018. Marketers should be considering voice search in their digital marketing strategy to stay ahead of the competition, especially those working with ecommerce sites.
It’s this insight and understanding of the latest digital trends that drives Millennials to invest in digital solutions such as Internet of Things projects, artificial intelligence, and influencer marketing to bring innovation to their business strategies.