Lead Gen to Gen Y



Lead Gen to Gen Y
market what’s meaningful®
Lead Gen To Gen Y
prepare for the new B2B buyer
Liz Brohan, Co-CEO and President
What You’ll Learn
Why Gen Y business buyers need a different approach
How to adapt your strategies to boost leads and sales
What marketing technologies you need to attract and engage Gen Y
Dear Executive,
Gen Y is already having a profound effect on corporate America. Business
loves to think, talk and write about them. Human Resources executives, talent
and leadership directors and consultants have produced an enormous amount
of information on how to manage Gen Y. Countless insights are offered to
harness their gifts and be more mindful of their proclivities.
Clearly, Gen Y has a voice and the ear of management and decision-makers.
They believe they can change the workplace for the better, a topic we are
all interested in.
As B2B marketers, this got us thinking. With all the change Gen Y is primed to
institute, how they buy business products and services is sure to evolve as well.
So we started asking a lot of questions. We asked companies both large and
small about their efforts or plans to retool marketing initiatives to accommodate
Gen Y’s preferences and information-consumption behaviors. Some, like IBM,
are on top of this issue, altering programs and testing new marketing technology.
Most, however, aren’t convinced that catering to this group is necessary. “After all,
our company put up a Facebook page and posts regular corporate blogs. We feel
comfortable that we’re keeping an eye on emerging marketing tools and channels
and incorporating them at sufficient levels.” But, their lead volumes are dropping.
So there was only one thing left to do: ask Gen Y if their personal savvy
regarding technology impacts their buying habits in the business world.
The answer is more complex than a simple “yes” or ”no”. Gen Y is prepared
to use all the tools at their disposal to help them make decisions. They are
not going to disregard traditional offline messages. However, they are going
to start and finish their research process and make recommendations
entrenched in the online world.
Simply put, B2B marketers need to be more integrated than ever. Within
these pages, we hope to show you how—by clearly articulating our research
findings, presenting insights and highlighting successes from companies
already leading the charge of change.
Liz Brohan
Co-CEO and President
© 2011 Colman, Brohan & Davis, Inc.
CBD market what’s meaningful®
Lead Gen to Gen Y
The Uniqueness of Gen Y.
There is no definitive agreement on the span of years that define Generation Y. Generally, the timeline falls
somewhere between 1978 and 1995. Give or take a year or two, this study uses the years 1980 to 2000. What
is not disputed is that they are the largest generation after the Baby Boomers. Generation Y is comprised of
approximately 75 million people, with Boomers outpacing them by a mere 5 million. Their numbers dwarf
Generation X, which totals only 40 million.
At first glance, there are as many names
describing this generation:
Gen Y grew up being coddled and nurtured during
an age referred to as the “Decade of the Child.”
They were put on a pedestal and protected. They
are the infamous “Baby on Board.” Their fathers
were involved in their lives and helped create the
most hovered-over generation ever in our country.
Such unprecedented parental supervision and
advocacy created “helicopter parents” and the
“parents as friend” mentality that bolstered this
generation’s self-esteem.
- Generation WHY
- Generation Next
- Nexers
- Digital Generation
- Echo Boomers
- Boomlets
- Baby Busters
- iGeneration
- Net Generation
- Netizens
- Gaming Generation
But when several thousand of them sent suggestions to
Peter Jennings at ABC News about what they should
be called, they overwhelmingly preferred “Millennials.”
The demographics and psychographics that define
this generation become evident when you examine
the list of names. They were raised with technology.
They have never experienced life without computers.
This makes them the most techno-savvy generation
in history, one that isn’t just used to, but expects
to be connected 24/7. And while this is probably
the most pronounced difference between this
group and any that came before it, it’s not the only
distinguishing factor. Truth is, they were simply
raised differently than Gen X and Boomers.
There are also several other defining events that
shaped this generation’s DNA. They came of age
during a time of incredible change and scandal,
including Columbine, 9/11 and Enron. The result is
that they have faith in themselves, admire individual
integrity, and put little belief in modern organizations.
CBD market what’s meaningful®
Lead Gen to Gen Y
These characteristics make the Millennials a unique
group in the workplace. And they are becoming
a very hot commodity in the job market. They’re
optimistic, well-educated, collaborative, openminded and achievement-oriented. They’ve always
felt sought-after, needed and indispensible, and
come to the workplace with higher expectations than
the generation before them.
The leading edge of the Millennial generation is
now 27 to 29 years old, has between five and seven
years of career experience, and no longer occupies
entry-level positions. As Millennials continue to
take on more responsibility, they not only influence
business purchases, but decision-making as well.
While many B2B marketers have a sophisticated
understanding of emerging technologies, they have
not changed the customer engagement model to
help them leverage Gen Y’s favorite tools: social
networking, peer marketing, better/faster online
support, text messaging and blogging, just to name
a few. More importantly, B2B marketers don’t
have a clear understanding of how this individual
researches and forms recommendations in the
purchase of business products and services.
This shift has prompted B2B marketers to recognize
that they need to know how to relate to these new
buyers. We already know they are serious and
independent information seekers and they rely on
online channels for information. More importantly,
they view their online time as critical to their learning
and development. In fact, the Internet is how they
experience the world. It would follow that they have
to interact with your product online and have the
opportunity to react to your message in order for
your brand to gain traction in their wheelhouse.
They are also going online more often and earlier
in their purchase decision process than the Gen X
and Boomer buyer.
Clearly the time to act is now.
These barriers led us to conduct an in-depth
study on the actual purchase process Millennials
undertake when researching or buying products
and services in the workplace.
These behaviors are just the beginning. Given
their collaborative nature, Millennials seek validation
everywhere and from everyone, even if it is to
affirm their consideration of your product or
service in advance of assessing your product’s
value and forming their purchase recommendation.
75% of companies believe
Millenials will have a sales
impact in the next two years.
The truth of the matter is that most companies
have not developed strategies that resonate with
this new B2B buyer, even though 75% of them
believe Millennials will have a sales impact on
their organizations in the next two years.
CBD market what’s meaningful®
Lead Gen to Gen Y
Information-gathering practices
in the B2B purchase process.
Millennial behaviors in organizational purchasing scenarios.
Working with Bart Zehren, Founder of research
firm E-RM, CBD structured their study to conceptualize
the Millennial generation’s use of the media
and electronic devices they employ for B2B
purchasing activities.
Specifically, the survey was designed to provide
insights on how Millennials approach B2B purchasing
situations. It was uniquely created to combine both
qualitative and quantitative measures in exploring
this group’s preferred methods for communication
and use of media.
It’s important to note that this was a pure B2B
research study that targeted 21 to 30-year-olds who
are currently employed in a B2B-oriented position.
It was designed to screen out consumers by asking
participants to provide information on their roles as
B2B buyers/influencers or report on their aspirations
to be involved in this business purchasing activity.
This screening process eliminated those that didn’t
have this specific business orientation. We’d like
to acknowledge and extend a special thank you to
Baillie Buchanan and her team at PeanutLabs for
providing access to its panel, which resulted in 308
completed surveys.
consideration. Seven of the options were traditional
vehicles. The other thirteen were electronic tools
including web 2.0 and social media.
The methodology consisted of a survey with
three distinct sections that is best described as
resembling a sandwich. That is, excellent breadand-butter information-gathering to start and
conclude the survey, with all the trimmings and tasty
meat extracted from the middle section.
Finally, stage three provided the opportunity to
rank the use and importance of the media vehicles
identified in section one, gain an understanding of
search strategies, and identify which electronic
devices they use to access information such as
desktop computers, laptops and mobile smart
phones. This checklist approach quantified the
purchase process by properties, priorities and tools.
The second stage of the study gave respondents
the opportunity to express in their own words how
they go about discovery and decision-making.
This was achieved by setting up a hypothetical
scenario that could be answered in free-form
narrative regarding how they went about investigating
a product or service they had little knowledge
about. We elicited the actual and sequential steps
in the process used to gather, validate and present
information and recommendations.
The first section establishes a baseline for media
usage. In this stage, qualified participants were
asked about the media they engaged throughout
the purchasing process. The media tool choices
in the survey covered twenty different options for
CBD market what’s meaningful®
Lead Gen to Gen Y
Business applications derived from
Millennials’ personal and social spheres.
The voice of the Millennial came through loud and clear in our survey results, telling us a few things about what
this group brings from its personal and social spheres into the business world. Because we kept things general
by not specifying a particular product or service, our respondents improvised their searches and we got a more
natural and broad look at their thinking, yielding abundant verbatims which are worth their weight in gold, but
require significant analysis.
Some of the media that Millennials say are most
important in research in a business setting:
- 84% of survey responders say
they talk with others
- 84% say search engines
are employed
- 83% use email
- 79% browse websites
Four traditional tools achieved a reported usage
penetration over 50%: talking with others, print,
business directories and TV. So, while the impact
of the Internet is strong and widespread, traditional
media cannot be eliminated from an integrated
marketing strategy.
What emerges next is a deviation from Gen X and
Boomer’s media consumption habits; social media
plays a driving role.
The profound insight revealed here is that use
of electronic media runs neck-and-neck with the
collaborative approach of talking directly with others.
CBD market what’s meaningful®
Lead Gen to Gen Y
show there is complexity and spontaneity, with
plenty of interactions and iterations. Quite clearly,
these are the watchwords, and we’re cautioned
not to oversimplify it.
purchase situation.
“Suppose your company needed a product
or service that it did not know much about.
Explain what sources you would access
or use to gather information to help your
company (or organization) evaluate and
choose that product or service.”
Even social media tools thought to have a
predominantly personal use emerge as tools
that business users—especially certain subgroups
of them—will apply in individualized ways to
search, browse and share information that supports
their improvised B2B purchase processes.
- 36% view videos on YouTube
That said, they are very sequential and logical in
their approach and we found commonalities that
lay the groundwork for a more in-depth discussion,
starting with several examples of what might be
called a “classic” approach, i.e., a progression from
broad, general information toward increasingly
specific prioritization, all while employing traditional
resources and human contact. These common
processes follow three broad stages:
- 28% read blogs
A. Search & Gather
These forms, means and approaches of seeking
needed information are most often associated
with consumer activity. In our case, we proposed
a situation in which participants are asked to help
their company identify and evaluate alternatives
for a product or service that their company needs,
but does not currently know much about.
B. Assemble & Narrow
Social media engaged most often for business
purchase purposes are:
- 40% use Facebook
- 36% turn to Wikipedia
C. Validate & Select
The study presented a wide range of media tools
used by Millennials. In reporting their general media
usage, we see a mixture of traditional forms of
communications, well-established online tools and
newer social media platforms that are constantly
emerging. This last category is being enhanced
on-the-fly through interaction with its users, as they
develop and define it to suit their purposes.
To complete this hypothetical exercise, respondents
were required to use their imaginations to construct
and articulate their approach. We asked them to
explain to us what they would do and where they
would look for information, ideas or leads. We also
requested they rank, in order from first to last, the
steps they would implement.
In the initial stage of the process, almost equally,
Millennials primarily choose to use search along with
their own version of outreach. That is, they put as
much emphasis on search engine usage as they
do email and talking with others to get a handle
on available options. Interestingly, this approach
combines traditional word-of-mouth with online search.
Another lesson from this research is that Millennials
use common sense to get things done. But the
processes they follow, when laid out for examination,
CBD market what’s meaningful®
Lead Gen to Gen Y
The B2B purchase process
is high tech, high touch and myriad.
While we observed nine common approaches to Gen Y’s B2B purchasing processes, there are numerous
iterations and variations being used. Perhaps the most significant insight revealed is that the actual company
offering the product or service may not be part of any initial effort. Sure, they will browse your site, but the truth
is, you and your sales team are probably going to be the last to know you are being included in a considered set.
Here are nine process variation examples:
1. Internet, Yet Integrate
2. “GOOGLE. That Is All You Need.”
When it is a simpler process, “just Google”—
used as a verb—was a clear winner!
“I would look online for any
information I need. I wouldn’t
look anywhere else. The
Internet is the best place.”
For example, the process answer was reduced
to a one-word answer: “Google.” Or, it appeared
with a little adornment: “We use Google” and
“I would just go and Google it.” Perhaps most
beautifully typifying of all:
- “I would mostly use a search engine...Google
would be my first and only option.”
“First I would use a search engine to research the
product. I will click through the links, looking for
relevant information. I will read both professional
evaluations as well as personal experiences (as
from a blog, for example). If need be, I would
take it a step further and try to make contact with
those writing the evaluations I’ve read -- through
email, phone or even blog comments. If I am
unsuccessful in finding information online, then
I would search through periodicals archived in
the local library.”
- “Google, it’s a magical place that has answers
to every possible question.”
In many more cases, Google (or the occasional
mention of a competing search engine instead)
isn’t the sum total of the process, it’s the starting
point and a key tool used in concert with other
“I would input the product or service into Google.
I would proceed by researching each of the top
results.” Or: “Start with Google, then ask people
I know.” Or: “Google, dogpile, hotbot, library,
encyclopedia.” Or: “Google, Wikipedia and
stuff.” Or: “I would usually check Google first.
I would then type up the information and present
it to my boss.” Or: “Google search. Set up a
table with benefits and costs. Present it to the
purchaser.” Or: “Use Google, Wikipedia, Better
Business Bureau, and Encyclopedia Britannica.”
Or: “I would look on Google, then Wikipedia.
Lastly, go to library.” Or: “I would use ask.com
because it answers most of the questions you
“First, I would surf the web and try to learn
more about the product or service, both
through…official website and…online reviews
and comments. Next, I would talk to coworkers
and peers in the field to get…experiences and
opinions. Lastly, if possible, I would research
product/service in print media…journals…
Consumer Reports.”
CBD market what’s meaningful®
Lead Gen to Gen Y
ask.” Or: “I would use the Internet or ask my
friends for some advice. When I use the Internet,
I will use like Google or Yahoo or Bing to help
me find my topic.” Or: “I would just go to Yahoo
search and follow the links that seemed appropriate.”
In fact, Google (or Yahoo) is so good, why not
use it twice:
“Google the product and then Google reviews
about it.” Or: “Search the Internet again and
again and again.”
in my industry. To expand the consideration set,
I would (ask) colleagues for any recommendations.
Once we have a consideration set,…contact
each company to narrow...consideration set,
learn about their services, and possibly schedule
an in-person meeting. I would ask they come
prepared with case studies and to discuss
opportunities for my company. I would make
a decision following the meetings.”
“I would first start by going on Yahoo, and then
most likely the product’s website would be one
of the first links. After checking out the website,
I would then finally use Yahoo again and search
up any complaints or pros versus cons.”
3. People First, Search Second
This scenario often proceeds in fits and starts,
with back loops and complexities resulting in
some interesting interactions and oddities.
“I would first look into this product by searching
Google and research the product by asking the
company for written literature and looking into
all reviews of the product by existing customers.
I would then contact people and have them tell
me what they think about the product. If I was
speaking to the company I would ask why I
should choose their product. What makes it
better than another product on the market?”
“I would look to colleagues from schooling,
partner businesses, affiliates, friends, fellow
co-workers first. I would then research online
and find contacts or relevant information there. If
need be…search material databases, library, etc.”
“I would begin by reaching out to coworkers
who I think might have some insight into the
product/service, or who might have contacts I
could subsequently reach out to. I would then
contact those resources. If no resources were
available, I would use a search engine to look
for information.”
More simply stated, but still complex:
“Internet search for product list, check reviews
for goods or service, finally talk to someone at
the company via email, phone, or in person.”
5. Direct-to-the-Source Approach
4. A Classic Process
Another undeniable finding in our research is
that there is a strong impulsiveness associated
with Millennial behavior patterns.
The thoroughness in which these scenarios
are described may indicate that the responders
were slightly more seasoned professionals,
representing the older, leading edge of our
panel’s age demographic.
Why not get to the point right away, like this:
“I would start by going to the source directly…
researching the company/product through their
own websites and then reviews through other
reputable websites. I would also look into any
customer feedback.”
“I would develop a consideration set by using
Google to first identify the category/industry and
then look for services that have helped companies
CBD market what’s meaningful®
Lead Gen to Gen Y
6.Social Media Tools Have Place(s), too
something about it, either online or in person,
I would consult customers and anyone else who
would be affected by this product or service to
get their opinions and/or thoughts.”
Many responders are using social media tools
in their research, and express that their usage
will continue to grow. Also noteworthy: Millennials
engage several social media channels in their
process. Respondents mention using numerous
sources, which means this space will be worth
watching as more sites are introduced and
gain traction.
“Twitter because that is a site
where you talk about ideas.”
8. Some Specialized Situations
The size of the corporation the Millennial
works for may very well impact the research
and recommendation process. B2B marketers
must map out a corporation’s internal buying
process and be prepared to offer sales materials
that keep the cycle moving through each layer.
“I would begin researching on the web with a
Google search on the product/service to see the
positives and negatives.”
“I would use a search engine, Google perhaps,
MySpace, TV, browse websites for different
content, YouTube, Facebook, via phone or
in person.”
“…our Company either hires consultants for
the larger scale projects, or assigns our business
development department to perform research.
Some areas that are looked into include: reading
various trade articles, searching online for
product/service information and reviews
(if available), and perhaps contacting approved
vendors for information.”
“First…Twitter because that is a site where you
talk about ideas. Next, I would write down the
information. Last, I would read it over and look
on the Internet for more information…if…what
I have isn’t enough.”
“YouTube, Twitter, and Wikipedia would be
my first destinations.”
“I have been looking for a CRM solution for
our company. I researched Salesforce.com first,
because I have heard from friends and other
professionals that it was a good product. I
looked at their website initially. Then, I used
LinkedIn to discuss CRM in one of the groups.
I then contacted the company by phone and
discussed with a sales rep the benefits of
Salesforce.com. I met with the directors of
other departments to discuss, and finally, we
did a comparison of CRM solutions with data
collected from a third-party blog specializing
in CRM. We have decided that we will utilize
one, but it is not in the budget for the year,
so we will revisit next year.”
7. The Omnivorous Approach
You have to admire the individuals that will use
everything at their disposal. This points to the
need for B2B companies to be broad thinkers
and integrated marketers.
“I would look everywhere, books, internet,
anywhere I could find information. I would look
online first, then I would write all the information
I found there, then I would look in books and
write down everything…lastly, I would take all
the information and make 1 big product.”
“I would research the product/service online,
I would talk to other people who may know
CBD market what’s meaningful®
Lead Gen to Gen Y
9. The Suspected Traditionalist
Finally, some Gen Y participants gave answers
that might indicate that they employ only
traditional tools and human input, or at least
they used non specific language to describe
their processes. Here are the best statements
describing this approach:
“Look and listen for new products (TV,
magazines, radio, other stores) and talk with
customers and listen to their suggestions
and requests.”
Millennial search
process as word
“First, I would research various companies.
Second, I would compare prices and contact
the companies directly to see if they can
meet our needs. Last, I would look for other
clients’ reviews.”
Here’s a creative visual snapshot that sums
up which words were used most often by
survey participants to describe their B2B
purchase process. No surprise, Google is
big. The next most frequently used words
relate to the Internet, followed by traditional
options like people and phone.
“Contact the people who make the product, those
who use it and those who recommended it.”
Upon checking answers elsewhere in the survey,
however, it became clear that many of these
“low-tech” information searchers are not averse
to using high-tech media. This emerged from
their selections of items from the checklist in
subsequent questions.
CBD market what’s meaningful®
Lead Gen to Gen Y
Customizing your own approach.
B2B marketers must carefully study their own
business and markets to see how customers
behave. It’s not enough to shape your strategy
through standard research findings or to observe
and borrow from other firms’ customers and their
behaviors. B2B marketers need to be multimedia
active, keeping a close watch on social media
developments and mobile device applications.
they want to do and how they want to do it. Then
apply what you learn in your own proprietary media
presence and outreach strategies. And keep at it
over time.
An easy first step would be to multiply your
presence at every step of the process identified in
the research…Search and Gather, Assemble and
Narrow, Validate and Select. Another initial activity
should be to enhance your SEO efforts. It’s time to
get it right with Google. Have your brand, products
and services working for you in the search arena
along with your website. Also, monitor your
web presence. Put reputation management on
your maintenance list to ensure you know what is
being said about you and where those conversations
are taking place. And, look to expand your
horizons—the key to getting in the considered set
with Millennials is to be in many places at once.
“I don’t know if there would be a
specific order. Rather, I’d reach out
for all available information and then
research and decide accordingly.”
In the end, there’s no substitute for it: you’ve got to
ask—and then, listen to—your customers. Let them
tell you—in their own ways, their own words—what
CBD market what’s meaningful®
Lead Gen to Gen Y
Best Practices: The IBM approach
for marketing to Millennials.
The good news for B2B marketers is that as
we’re all figuring out how to customize our
programs to maximize the appropriate use of
emerging technologies and morphing processes,
companies like IBM are proving to be strong
and creative leaders worth looking at.
“At IBM we design marketing around our target
audience,” says Pam Ansley Evans, Senior
Marketing Manager, Web Marketing, Worldwide
Software Group, IBM. “We know how important
it is to relate to our prospects and customers on
their terms.”
Since they know Gen Y users search Facebook,
YouTube, LinkedIn and other Social Networks,
IBM has designed marketing campaigns that will
intercept them online in relevant, meaningful ways,
just as they do prospects of all ages.
“We started a few years ago with a set of IBM
guidelines for bloggers so that our employees would
understand the best ways to participate in online
conversations,” explained Evans. “We encourage
our subject matter experts to be open, honest
and always transparent about who they are and
what they do.”
Online communities serve as a forum where
a special group come together around a topic
of shared interest to all. This helps facilitate
discussion and ensures that IBM has an opportunity
to discuss its solutions to help businesses of any
size solve technology issues. IBM hosts “Jams”
or online events with experts on a particular topic
who can respond to questions and contribute ideas
along with the participants of the Jam. Also, IBM
embraces social media that can help promote
other marketing efforts like face-to-face meetings
or conferences.
It is imperative that you make it clear to the reader
from the start that the opinions expressed are theirs,
and not necessarily the company as a whole.”
Although the methods to reach Millennials may
have a higher dependency on the web, mobile and
social networks are also engaged.
“We improve our relevancy—by targeting this
growing audience in the ways they prefer, we can
improve our returns and our credibility with them,”
continued Evans. “Whenever possible we match
the right media with role or job functions and
industry, so that the person who works as a
developer receives technical content while more
general operational folks will receive relevant
technology and productivity messages for them.”
CBD market what’s meaningful®
Lead Gen to Gen Y
Adapt your marketing
for the mobile Millennials.
So, what devices are Millennials using to conduct
their research and access content? You may be
thinking PC desktop, notebook or laptop, but
mobile is used more commonly for web activities,
including searching, browsing and email. And
the area where mobile is truly coming on strong
is social media.
For Millennials, it is Mobile Device Users
who stand out as the vanguard leading the way,
showing how the newest and the most traditional
media will be used—in intriguing combinations—
in B2B purchase processes. They are more active
and selective social media consumers than
non-mobile users. It all points toward the need
for B2B companies to adapt brand communications
including websites, microsites and landing pages in
order to be mobile literate.
Mobile devices such as T-Mobile’s SideKick™
feed that seemingly never-ending conversation
between parties. Smartphones include applications
to connect with social networks, permit texting and
enable instant messaging to move communications
from the tethered world into a fully mobile world.
The new Motorola Cliq™ is designed to place social
networking first, applications and functions second,
and phone calls third. Gen Y is definitely driving
dramatic and innovative product design.
Millennials place a priority on virtually sustained
relationships. Mobile devices are efficient tools
for real-time, remote relating. In fact, simultaneous
dialogues can occur between one person and
several others at once.
CBD market what’s meaningful®
Lead Gen to Gen Y
Mobile is the device, not the channel.
To Millennials, mobile is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.
Smartphones encourage more interactivity, breeding
greater dependency on mobile communications.
“Mobile” is how you email, text, access the Internet,
use social media, use functional applications, review
and rate services and products, and make phone
calls. Marketers need to appreciate that various
communications components are packed into a
mobile device—mobile is not texting; texting is
done on a mobile device. That’s a significant
difference from the old CDMA cell phones.
Behaviorally, smartphones have unfettered the
individual so greatly that marketers have found
new ways to engage the customer…location-based
applications. Walk past your favorite Starbucks® and
you may encounter a message from them touting
their new Via™ instant coffee. In the B2B world, an
office manager could just as similarly walk past
CVS/Pharmacy® and receive a message that ink
cartridges are now 20% less than at Staples.®
All differences above, between Mobile Device Users and
Non-Mobile Device Users, are statistically significant at the
95% confidence level, except for Facebook, which is significant
at the 90% confidence level.
Nielsen recently released data finding smartphone
usage shifting from purely business use to both
personal and business use, yet owners are still
more than two times likely to own a smartphone for
business usage only. “Work never stops.” Owners
continue to be predominantly male, are 65% more
likely than the average mobile subscriber to be
between the ages of 25 and 34 and nearly two times
as likely to earn more than $100,000 a year.
CBD market what’s meaningful®
Lead Gen to Gen Y
Mobile as a business preference.
The consumer world often precedes business in
behavioral application of technology. eCommerce
is still a consumer staple, whereas gaps in various
B2B sectors can be found. The gap is quickly
closing, however. This is not necessarily due to
willingness as much as the demand of the customer.
Beyond the obvious email capability, consider
other functions that Gen Y will demand to have
on a mobile device—and the business implications
of greater real-time relationships:
As more consumers experience and place
dependency on mobile applications, expectations
in the business world will follow. For every consumer
application, there is a business corollary.
• Opt-in SMS to receive timely offers or reminders.
• Texting among friends seeking validation
and confirmation.
• Apps that provide information, e-commerce,
and reference material.
• Location-based applications (Blue Zones) that
invoke messaging as one passes by. This could
be used in trade shows, for example.
• A “Yelp” for review of business products
and services.
• Live customer chat.
• GPS-based, map-serving business directory.
• Social media channel just for business purposes.
Mobile websites.
Perhaps the biggest oversight in the business
world today is the lack of appreciation for web
surfing on the “third screen.” The assumption by
most marketers is that business occurs in the office.
The reality for Millennials (and Xers) is that their
mobile device is the most available screen at any
point in time. True enough that Millennials will
gravitate first toward their PC to utilize its speed
and power to surf the Internet for information
and resources. However, the portability of mobile
devices has pushed web surfing to the number two
activity after texting. The consumer world has
figured this out, especially those sites that
feature heavy use of graphics and multitudes
of links on each page. This does not translate well
to the mobile world, and creates a very poor brand
experience. Sports websites figured this out when
millions of new iPhone users couldn’t view the
Flash movies or read the small type without losing
place on the screen or accidentally activating a link.
Those that provided a mobile site alternative gained
allegiance—and market share.
To be fully prepared to engage Gen Y, B2B marketers
must make a mobile website a high priority.
CBD market what’s meaningful®
Lead Gen to Gen Y
market what’s meaningful®
About CBD Marketing
CBD is a B2C and B2B marketing services agency that clarifies and articulates what’s most
meaningful about your brand, product or service and helps you build more intimate and profitable
relationships with your customers.
At the heart of everything we do is a deep understanding of the rational and emotional drivers that
inspire your customers’ choices. At CBD, “market what’s meaningful” is our mission, guiding all
disciplines from brand development to media strategy, from public relations to creative.
Let’s Talk!
To talk about how CBD can help you create moments that matter to your audience and better
connect them to your brand, product or service, please contact Doug Davila, Director of
Business Development at 312.661.1050 or [email protected]
About the Author
Liz Brohan, Co-CEO and President
As Co-CEO and President of CBD Marketing, Liz Brohan contributes strategic marketing expertise in
the areas of branding, positioning, strategic messaging platform development, and brand revitalization
for a broad spectrum of clients, including those in the higher education sector. With a passionate
focus on customer-centric marketing principles, Liz leads the development of successful acquisition
and retention programs.
An active industry advocate and speaker, Liz served on the Board of Directors for the Chicago
Association of Direct Marketing and currently leads thought-leadership and education sessions for
the AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education, the Direct Marketing Association, the
National Retail Federation, the National Business Marketing Association, and the Direct Marketing to
Business Conference. She also serves on the national CRM Board of Experts for Baylor University.
© 2011 Colman, Brohan & Davis, Inc.
54 W. Hubbard St. Concourse Level East Chicago, IL 60654