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    The statement “My target audience is a C-Suite executive” is heard all too often. While at one time it may have been true, the B2B market has evolved, and it will continue to do so. Don’t believe me? When was the last time a C-Suite executive called you to ask about your product?

    The First Audience You Must Reach is Not a C-Suite Executive

    According to research by Google & Millward Brown Digital, the B2B audience is becoming younger. Nearly half of all B2B researchers are Millennials, and the number of B2B researchers who are Millennials has grown by 70% since 2012. This shows that the first audience you must reach is Millennials. They need to learn about your product or service so they can sell it to the C-Suite executive for final sign off.

    According to the same study, 89% of all users start their research on the Internet using non-branded, generic search terms, thus highlighting the importance of SEO. These generic search terms could be questions about a topic or product-related searches.

    Once these users find a product or service that interests them, they want more information. The users don’t contact the company; instead, they search for more information elsewhere. Research shows that those involved in B2B research often get 57 percent percent of the way through the sales cycle before contacting a company. This highlights the importance of providing more content about your product or service. This content could include:

    • Product videos
    • How-to videos
    • Customer review videos
    • Data sheets
    • White papers
    • Webinars
    • How-to articles

    Who are Millennials?

    Millennials were born around 1980, the same year The Cure released their second album: Seventeen Seconds. More importantly, this was around the time the first set of personal computers were being released. With computers in the house, Millennials grew up with digital media surrounding them.

    By the time they entered the workforce, computers and email were being widely used in day-to-day life. Social media began and evolved along with their generation, and business transparency became more prevalent than ever before.

    Millennials appreciate brands that are transparent, entertaining, and useful, and that share similar values or beliefs as them. If your brand aligns with these values, your brand will be seen as “cool” in their eyes. Millennials value brands that help them learn new things and that listen.

    How Should We Market To Millennials?

    • Listen to their conversations. Millennials grew up in the digital era. They are content creators who share their photos and thoughts daily via social media. Listen to them by setting up Google or Talkwalker alerts for your product or brand name. Monitor social media sites using tools such as Topsy or Fresh Web Explorer.
    • Join them where they are. If they are sharing their thoughts on Facebook frequently, set up a Facebook account. If they are on Twitter, be there. Use your research to determine which social channels to follow. If they are not talking about your brand yet, test a few social platforms out and see if you can strike up a conversation.
    • Be creative. While your product may be useful and may solve problems for Millennials, marketing those features can get boring. Be creative and stand out from the crowd. Create videos, graphics, and additional resources to show how you can help Millennials be successful.

    If your company hasn’t started targeting this audience, you should do so now. It is only a matter of time before Millennials start to take over your industry—or perhaps they already have and you just don’t know it yet.