4 Things Millennial and Gen Z B2B Buying Groups Want

Despite many millennials being in their 40s, people still hear the name of that generation and attribute it to young, unburdened college graduates only just entering the workforce. 20 years ago, that could have been true, but today, as many millennial b2b buyers come of age, they represent the generation with the largest customer group. Add to them the Gen Z B2B buyers, and you have a powerhouse of consumers who buck trends and are changing the way society makes purchasing decisions. 

What are they looking for? What do B2B buyers want? While the answer can be complicated, we’ll boil it down to 4 things:

  1. Authenticity and Transparency
  2. Personalized Experiences
  3. Value and Affordability
  4. Engaging and Interactive Content

If your marketing and products can tap into these four key areas, then you might just be able to figure out how to connect with B2B buyers, today.

What do modern B2B buyers look like?

Understanding these evolving preferences necessitates a deeper dive into the characteristics of modern B2B buyers. They’re a diverse bunch, formed by many complex B2B buying groups, but a few characteristics rise to the top. 

They’re digitally savvy and heavily rely on digital channels for research, reading reviews, and engaging with online communities to find information and compare options before making a purchase decision.

They want to feel independent and well-informed. Compared to previous generations, they are highly informed and prefer to conduct their own research before engaging with salespeople. 

Unsurprisingly, they’re mobile-first. They are accustomed to using mobile devices for research and communication, making it essential for businesses to have mobile-friendly websites and accessible online resources. Millennial b2b buyers communication methods start and end with their smartphones. It’s important to keep that in mind when considering how they consume advertising as well.

Being socially conscious isn’t just for show, and it’s not a passing fad. They are increasingly concerned about sustainability and social responsibility. What B2B buyers say with their wallets is that they are more likely to favor brands that align with their values and demonstrate a commitment to environmental and social good.

With all that said, measuring success with B2B buying groups might also look different today than it did 10 years ago. 

How do B2B buyers research products?

If you’re wondering how B2B buyers research products, we have one word for you: digital. Millennials and Gen Z heavily rely on digital channels for research. They conduct online searches, read reviews, and engage with online communities to gather information and compare options before making a purchase decision.

They’re less apt to want to interact with sales people, especially in the earlier stages of the sales cycle, and value their independence. Trying to contact them too early can scare them off or leave them feeling your company might be too “thirsty” as the modern lingo would say. “Thirsty” here means overly eager or even overbearing, not just in need of a glass of water.

How to connect with B2B buyers today.

Connecting with today's B2B buyers requires a shift from traditional, outbound methods to a digital-first, value-driven approach. 

Starting with being digital-first, it’s important to build a strong online presence. That includes a website, relevant social media, and SEO. Building on that, you need to offer valuable content. That includes videos, infographics, e-books, case studies, and more. 

Today’s B2B buyers don’t just want a personalized approach, they’ve grown to expect it. By segmenting your audience, leveraging lead scoring and automation for B2B buying groups, and adding a personal touch, you can reach more prospective customers.

Lastly, you need to embrace mobile-first. Today’s B2B buyers are a mobile-first cohort and that’s not changing. The sooner you adapt, the sooner you can increase your reach.

What do B2B buyers want?

Today's B2B buyers, particularly Millennials and Gen Z, present a unique set of wants and needs compared to earlier generations. 

At the top of their list is value and ROI. They’re over impulse buying. They want to know what they’re getting, and they want to know it’s going to bring them a lot of value at the best possible price. 

They’re also not an easy sell. They want personalized experiences along their buyer journey. They’re not just another cog in the wheel, and they certainly don’t want to feel like one. Context and personalized content are key.

They also want authenticity and transparency. Keeping the finer details behind paywalls or hidden at all will be big turn-offs for today’s B2B buyers. There’s no such thing as TMI (too much info) for these buyers when it comes to the products or services they’re researching. 

Lastly, they want content, content, content. The more personalized and informative, the better. We’re in a time where content is king. This includes the B2B buyer journey. Without the right content hitting them at the right time, in the right medium, you’re going to lose them.

What percent of B2B buyers are Millennial or Gen Z?

While the exact percentage is hard to pin down, when you’re thinking about what percentage of B2B buyers are Millenial or Gen Z, it’s certainly above 50%. Some studies have it in the high 70th percentile. What does that mean for you? Well, you might want to read this article one more time and take some notes. 

If you’re not into re-reading, reach out to us at BOL and we can have a great conversation about today’s B2B buyers, and how you can capitalize on the majority of them. There’s a lot to think about and a lot to take in, but it’s a great topic that we are happy to talk more about. 

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